Brock: "We're Used To Winning"

Auburn safety Eric Brock talks about getting ready to open SEC play against Mississippi State.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn senior safety Eric Brock has been around the Tiger program for five seasons and has seen some struggles but mostly good times in his career. Auburn lost five games his first season as a redshirt, but since then the Tigers have dropped just six games out of the 40 the Tigers have played..

The last came Saturday night as the Tigers fell to South Florida in overtime after turning the ball over five times on offense. As a veteran and one of the leaders of the defense, Brock says that there's no need to push the panic button because one thing this team knows how to do is win football games.

"We've got a couple of fifth-year seniors out here that have been around this program for a long time," the safety notes. "We know the mindset of SEC play. We've been winning a lot of games here and hopefully that trend continues. We're creatures of habit. We're used to winning and we're not going to get down on one loss. We've just got to move forward from here."

While the winning continued last season, it was a struggle most of the time with the defense and kicking game providing the spark while the offense generally doing just enough to get the victories. That continued in the season opener against Kansas State, but against South Florida not even an intense defensive effort was enough to pull out the victory.

Brock says at this point there's nothing to do but remain positive and follow a recipe that has been very good to the Tigers in recent seasons.

"I don't think there's a sense of urgency," he points out. "I think it's just time for us to get a lot more focused and concentrate on the little things. As far as us being seniors, (we need to) rally the troops and get some of these young guys thinking positively. After you take a tough loss like that you don't want anybody to get down on themselves."

While the offense has been the focus of much of the problem through two games, defensively the Tigers have been remarkably good considering the number of players who have gone down with injuries already. After losing senior Tez Doolittle in preseason camp with an Achilles injury, Auburn has been without Tray Blackmon (ankle), Aairon Savage (ankle), Jonathan Wilhite (hamstring) and Merrill Johnson (shoulder) for a good portion of the first two weeks. Brock says it has made things difficult on defense, but points out other players have stepped up their games with the absence of so many veteran defenders.

"It's been a little different," Brock says. "We had a lot of snaps, a lot of reps back there. Usually we have a little rotation, a little help, but we had some guys have to step in and give big reps. Gilbert (Zach Gilbert) came in and played big. We're rotating at corner a little bit. Wilhite (Jonathan Wilhite) is out so guys are stepping in and playing big for us right now."

Brock, who is playing his senior season as a graduate student, started last season for Coach Will Muschamp's defense.

Auburn now turns its attention to Mississippi State this weekend and the opening of conference play. Wiping the slate clean is something you always hear when players talk about the conference opener and Brock says that's exactly what you have to do because the goal of reaching Atlanta is still something they have in their sights. For the Tigers, that quest begins Saturday morning at 11:30.

"This is SEC football now," Brock says. "This is our conference. We've done really well the past couple of years in our conference and we expect nothing less than that. We're going to go out and play hard like we always do.

"We just want to get everybody on the same page and make them understand that this is a different type of situation here. We've got SEC games coming up and this is pretty much our season right here."

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