Tuberville: Loss Is "My Fault"

Auburn's head football coach gives his view of his team's 37-15 loss to Georgia.

Auburn, Ala.--Tommy Tuberville took the blame for his team's dreadful performance on Saturday as the Georgia Bulldogs came to Jordan-Hare Stadium and controlled all phases of the game on the way to a 37-15 victory.

"First of all, congratulations to Georgia," Auburn's head coach said. "They came in here today on a mission, and they got it done at the expense of us. I probably tried to do too many things on defense, and we couldn't get the ball back from them. That's my fault. These players played their tail off. They played hard.

"Offensively, when you turn it over against a team that is going to control the ball on you, then you are going to have problems," Tuberville added. "We've been living on that all year long. We've been on the other side--controlling the football, playing good defense, getting off the field and having a good kicking game. Today was one of those days where it wasn't anything going on our way.

"Don't take anything away from Georgia," the coach said. "They are a good football team. You find out a lot about yourself when you stumble a little bit like they did, and they bounced back. It was just a tough day for us all the way around. It's none of these players fault. It's mine. We'll get it corrected because we have a big game next week."

Auburn, which fell to 9-2 overall and 6-2 in the SEC, will play at Alabama next Saturday. Tuberville said his team would be emotionally ready for that game despite the whipping they took from the Bulldogs.

One the players who had performance he would truly like to forget is junior QB Brandon Cox. He completed just four passes and was intercepted four times and was also sacked four times.

He went down on a sack on Auburn's first play of the game. Tuberville and Cox both said after the game that despite that hit, Cox was not hurt on the opening sack.

"He's been gimpy all year," Tuberville said. "That wasn't anything. They got to him a little bit. He was trying to force the ball in. He made some plays this year. They did a good job reading him and breaking on the ball and getting to it and making plays."

Tuberville added that he never considered benching Cox in favor of backup Blake Field. Brandon is our guy. We know what he can do. He is more than just a thrower. He gets us in the right running plays and all of those things. I am proud of Brandon. He has fought all year long. We have had a couple of new offensive tackles. He has been tough. He has been hit. He has been hurt. Today wasn't one of his better days.He'll bounce back next week."

Tuberville had praise for UGA quarterback Matthew Stafford, who passed for one touchdown and ran for another. "He's tall and able to see over the defensive line. He made some good throws, but their receivers caught the ball. Their receivers have been talked about and criticized quite a bit this year. They've lost some to injury, and Mark (Richt) has battled back from that. Again, their receivers caught the ball today. That is a credit to them. Take nothing away from them. They played an excellent football game and wish we could have given them a better battle when they played one of their better games. We just didn't do it today."

Despite getting flattened, Tuberville said he didn't believe his team came out flat for the 110th renewal of the SEC's oldest rivalry. "We were ready to play. We had good practices all week I probably tried to do too much with them going into this game thinking that we could have done some more things defensively. Offensively, we probably didn't run the ball enough the first half. Again, that is my call. We went in with that game plan and it didn't work.

"We couldn't get it off the field," Tuberville added. "We couldn't make the big play. When we did score, we looked like we were just controlling the line of scrimmage. Misdirection helped us a little bit, but we never got the ball back consistently. They had the ball almost three quarters. We probably had it a quarter. Again, a lot of that is our offense's fault. We didn't move the chains. We went three and out. I think a couple of times they got defensive points. When that happens in a game like this, you are not going to win many of them."

Last year Kenny Irons rushed for 179 yards vs. Georgia, but wasn't a big factor this year. The senior tailback has been battling injuries.

"Kenny's been up and down," Tuberville said. "He has been fighting different battles. He is a good running back. Today, we were hoping that we would get a little bit more out of him. We got behind so quick, and we threw the ball down the field. We just seemed to never get in any rhythm with any running game.

Brad (Lester), Kenny, Bo Jackson--it wouldn't have made any difference who we had back there you know. We just weren't executing and getting the ball down the field. When we did, they ended up with it, and we didn't."

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