Tiger Safety Impressed by Bulldogs

Will Herring has plenty of experience in big games and the AU junior says he expects a major challenge when the Tigers take on the Georgia Bulldogs.

Auburn, Ala.--For junior safety Will Herring, getting tough is the winning formula for the Auburn defense when the Tigers take the field on Saturday night vs. the Georgia Bulldogs.

Herring's team takes a 7-2 overall mark and a 5-1 SEC record into the contest vs. the Bulldogs, who are 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the SEC.

"The thing we have got to do is be the most physical team," says Herring, who was part of last year's starting defense that played physically in Auburn's 24-6 victory over the Bulldogs.

"We have to establish the line of scrimmage and shut down the run," Herring says. "We aren't going to be able to shut them down if they are able to run the ball on us. If they can run it and balance the run and pass, it is going to be a long game. If we come out and hit them in the mouth and shut down the run, I think we have a chance."

Georgia is ranked ninth in the country and Herring says from watching video of the Bulldogs in action this year it is easy to understand why.

"They are every bit as talented as I expected, and then some," the Auburn junior says. "They have got two outstanding running backs and (quarterback D.J.) Shockley is an incredible athlete. He has developed as a passer. It will be interesting to see what percent he will be coming off that knee injury.

"Regardless, we are going into the game expecting him to be full force," Herring adds. "We have got to stop the run first and keep him in the pocket and keep his running contained and make him beat us with his arm."

Herring also says that Georgia's tight ends are particularly dangerous. Leonard Pope, a 6-7, 250 junior, was named to the preseason All-SEC team. His backup, 6-4, 250 junior Martez Miller, is also having a good season.

"They love going to both of them, especially No. 81 Pope," Herring notes. "If it is third down they are going to him. He is a heck of a receiver. He is big, physical and fast and has great hands."

Will Herring leads the Tigers in tackles. The junior has been in on 53 tackles this season and already has 37 career starts, including 33 in a row.

Kickoff for Saturday night's 109th renewal of the SEC's oldest football rivalry is set for 6:45 p.m. CST from Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga. The game will be televised by ESPN.

"We definitely have a got a challenge on our hands and we are excited about the challenge," Herring says.

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