Cox And Tigers Focusing On Alabama

Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox talks about dealing with Saturday's disappointment and getting ready for the Iron Bowl.

Auburn, Ala.--It was the worst of possible days for Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox against the Georgia Bulldogs. Playing for a possible BCS bowl berth the junior threw four interceptions and had just 35 yards passing in a 37-15 loss.

Cox has had experience getting over some tough games already in his college career and he'll have to do it once again this week as the Tigers get ready to face archrival Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Just like he did after games against Georgia Tech, Wisconsin and Arkansas, Cox says he and the team have no choice but to put the game behind them and try to beat the Crimson Tide.

"It's tough but we did it against Arkansas," Cox says. "We've already done it. We watched the film. It was tough watching it again. We've learned from our mistakes and put it behind us. We're focused on Alabama now.

"That's part of the position," he adds of his off day. "You've got to just put it behind you. Coach (Al) Borges referred back to that Georgia Tech game. I struggled and had a tough game that day, but I moved on and did well after that. He told me to do that again. I've done it before and this is another time to do it."

Cox has struggled with turnovers in Auburn's last three games after playing stingy football the first half of the season.

Watching his play against the Bulldogs it was painfully obvious that Cox still isn't healthy despite the talk going into the game that he was back to form. A sack on Auburn's first offensive play didn't help matters for his injured right knee, but it's something that Cox says didn't bother him throwing the football unlike his previous knee problem.

"It's better," Cox says of his knee. "It's still a little sore. I got some treatment and I'm a lot better now than I was at this time last week. It's only the knee. Every time I get hit it swells and tightens up on me. I would like to not get hit on it all game and the first play of the game I get hit on it. I kind of got frustrated after that. It was hurting, but I don't want to say it affected my throwing. If it was my back leg like it was after the LSU game, that did."

Growing up an Alabama fan wanting to play for the Crimson Tide, Cox has instead become the quarterback at Auburn and now plans on beating the team he once rooted for. Cox did it last year and is going for his second win oveer Alabama as AU's starting QB when Auburn travels to Tuscaloosa for the Iron Bowl this Saturday.

"This is the one I look forward to all year," Cox says. "Last year, to come out and play like we did, was awesome. It's another year. To play in Tuscaloosa is going to be crazy. It's a great environment. I'm looking forward to just getting out there and playing.

"It's going to be very special," he adds. "Last year was my first time to play against Alabama. It was awesome coming out playing like we did. Now going on the road and playing in Bryant-Denny where I've been to many games there and watched them play, it's going to be special getting to play on that field."

When he steps on the field Cox says he'll feel an energy that's not present at any other game all season. With the chance to make its season Saturday, Cox expects Alabama will play its best football and with everything riding on this game he's expecting the same from the Tigers. For the quarterback this is another big stage and he's hoping to use the energy to his advantage as the Tigers look for their fifth victory in a row in the series.

"You feel it in the atmosphere," Cox says. "Throughout the whole week everybody is talking about it. The whole state is talking about it and you know it's all on your shoulders. Three hundred and sixty-five days out of the year they talk about it. It comes down to that one game. You step out on that field and it's just electrifying."


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