Pressure on Tigers to Rebound from Loss

Auburn, Ala.--In the eight seasons that Tommy Tuberville has been the head coach at Auburn, the Tigers have lost to Georgia three times, including Saturday's 37-15 whipping. The other two times the Bulldogs beat Tuberville, 2002 and 2003, the Tigers rebounded to beat Alabama.

Tuberville says that the loss to Georgia was a total team defeat, but his team must get ready for the next game.

"We had no excuses," he says of the loss to Georgia. "We got beat on both sides of the ball and in coaching. You can't make that many mistakes in an SEC game and expect to win, or miss that many tackles. I wish we wouldn't have played that way or coached that way in our last home game for our seniors, but it happened.

"Now we have a one game season left in our regular season," Tuberville continues. "It's always a good one and we're looking forward to the challenge. Alabama is much improved and we watched their game last night (against LSU). It was the first time I've seen them and I was impressed with what they're doing and how they're doing it."

Auburn has won the last four games against Alabama, including a potentially job-saving victory for Tuberville and his staff in 2003.

"There is a lot of pressure, obviously, on coaches because you want to do well for your fans because it is for bragging rights for 365 days," Tuberville explains. "I always look forward to it. It's always a very hard-played game and it's a clean game on both sides.

"I'm not going to say it's a fun game for the players because they can feel the pressure also," he adds. "It's kind of like playing a championship game every year at this point. You work on it all the time and we talk to our players about it and they know the importance."


Tuberville shown after Auburn's 28-18 victory over Alabama last November. The pressure will be on his team this week to keep the streak over the Crimson Tide alive.

Auburn will head into the Iron Bowl with a 9-2 overall record and 5-2 in the SEC. Alabama, after a 28-14 loss to LSU, is 6-5 overall and 2-5 in conference play.

Auburn's only other loss this season came at the hands of Arkansas on Oct. 7. However, the next week the Tigers rebounded to beat Florida 27-17.

"We've got a lot of things to do this week to get ready to play, but this game coming up is always on your mind," Tuberville says. "Our guys are excited about playing it. It's going to be a very tough atmosphere going to Tuscaloosa, and that ball game we played against Florida was at home. We're going to have to learn from a different experience going on the road after a loss like that."

Tuberville is 3-0 at Auburn in previous games at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CST and the game will be televised by CBS.


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