Wilhite Says Tigers Have To Be Ready For Rebs

Auburn's Jonathan Wilhite talks about the loss to LSU, the final play and getting ready for Ole Miss.

Auburn, Ala.--Ask any cornerback and they'll tell you that sometimes no matter what you do you're going to give up a play from time to time. It happened to Rod Woodson in his prime. It happened to Deion Sanders in his prime.

Saturday night it happened to Auburn's Jerraud Powers. The only problem was that it happened at just the wrong time.

With everyone expecting LSU to run the ball to the middle of the field and set up a potential game-winning field goal, the Bengal Tigers instead threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to earn a 30-24 victory over Auburn in Tiger Stadium. Senior cornerback Jonathan Wilhite says sometimes it happens as a cornerback even when you play the ball correctly and Powers is handling it well.

"Jerraud had perfect coverage," Wilhite says. "It's just one of those times where things don't go in your favor. We watched it in slow motion. You can't get any better coverage. Not to take anything away from them because they made the plays when they needed to make the. That's something you've got to do.

"He's no different," Wilhite adds. "I don't know how he was after the game, but he didn't say that he had heard much about it. We watched it on film and you can't get any better coverage. Sometimes that's going to happen. Being a corner you're going to get beat sometimes. You've got to have a short memory."

The play handed Auburn its third loss of the season and puts the Tigers in a bind in the race for the SEC Western Division title. In a game that Auburn controlled for the first 30 minutes, Wilhite says the last play takes away a win, but not the confidence that this team is continuing to improve on both sides of the ball. Still, he says it's hard to believe the game ended that way.

"I never thought they would throw it because if the ball had been bobbled in the end zone the game would have been over," Wilhite says. "I thought they would just try to set up a field goal, but they wanted to take it all and went for it."

The loss drops Auburn into a position where the Tigers will need plenty of help if they hope to play for the conference title. Because of that Wilhite says this team knows they have no room for error thanks to a slow start this season and the loss Saturday night, but this season has given them hope than anything can happen.

"We know one thing and that is we've got to win," Wilhite says. "We can't lose any more if we want to be on top. We've got to depend on other teams to lose. We've got to get the younger guys ready because we've still got a shot. Anything can happen. Just look around the SEC and it's going crazy every where. We just have to get ready for this week and play and execute the things we're supposed to do."

Even when that happens sometimes you lose as was the case Saturday night. While Auburn didn't play perfect football on either side, the Tigers did play well enough to win. Wilhite says that makes it hard to swallow sometimes, but the team has to focus on the task at hand and that is Ole Miss.

"It was tough," Wilhite says. "We have been in a lot of those situations where it goes down to the last play. Unfortunately it didn't turn out good this time. Now we've got Ole Miss. They have a good team coming in. We've got to be ready to play this week."

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