Defensive Coordinator Wants Title Shot For Tigers

Gene Chizik discusses Auburn's victory in the SEC Championship Game.

Atlanta, Ga.--"When you go undefeated in this league, you deserve to play for the national championship."

That is the opinion of Auburn defensive coordinator Gene Chizik, whose Tigers improved their record to 12-0 with a 38-28 victory over Tennessee in the SEC Football Championship team.

"When you go 12-0 in the Southeastern Conference, I don't see how anybody can keep you from playing in the national championship game. However, that is not for us to decide. We will just have to wait and see what happens."

Sophomore safety Will Herring makes a tackle vs. the Vols on Saturday night.

The final Bowl Championship Series rankings will be released on Sunday. The top two teams, which have been Southern Cal and Oklahoma, will meet in the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla., with the winner being crowned the BCS national champion. If Auburn doesn't jump one of those teams in this week's ranking, the Tigers will be headed to the Sugar Bowl where they are expected to play Virginia Tech.

Chizik's defensive players were dominant in the first half vs. Tennessee, holding the Volunteers to just 39 yards of offense and two first downs. In the second half, UT made adjustments and finished the game with 297 total yards and nine first downs compared to 559 yards for the Auburn offense.

"I am so proud of our guys," Chizik said. "They never gave up faith. They never quit believing they were going to get it done. In a game like this, with a championship on the line, nobody is going to fold their tent. They are going to keep coming, and coming and coming and we kept coming at them. The result is we won the game and that is all that matters.

"I am just so happy for all of these kids," Chizik added. "They deserve every bit of this championship. I am also happy for the Auburn fans who deserve this championship, too."

The Vols managed to pass for just 69 yards in the game on cornerback Carlos Rogers and the rest of the secondary. The senior said, "It was a hard-fought game. We knew it was going to be tough playing a team for the second time. We made the plays we needed all the way to the end and we came out victorious."

Rogers said the victory is a special one in his eyes. "It means a lot, especially to all of the seniors. Everybody stuck together. Even when they made some big plays, we didn't lose our poise and confidence and that helped us win this championship."

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