Powers: Tigers Focused On Georgia

Auburn sophomore cornerback Jerraud Powers talks about last year's loss to Georgia and this year's game.

Auburn, Ala.--There is little doubt that last year's 37-15 loss to Georgia in Jordan-Hare Stadium is ingrained on the minds of every Auburn player as the Tigers prepare to travel to Athens this week to face the Bulldogs.

It's not because there is revenge on the minds of Auburn players, but because every day in the weight room since the end of last season that is what they've heard.

"During the off-season all the games we lost last year, those were the key points when we were doing workouts," Auburn sophomore defensive back Jerraud Powers says. "The coaches would scream about them. When you lose a game you've just got to bounce back to the next one. Last year we lost and bounced back against Alabama. I don't think we've thought about it too much until this week. We know what Georgia is capable of. They've got a lot of the same guys from last year. We're going to have our hands full."

While talk of last year's game hasn't dominated the conversation, it's easy to see that this Auburn team is focused on playing well against Georgia this time around. Ranked fifth in the country coming into the 2006 contest, Auburn gave up 446 total yards and fell behind 24-0 to the four-loss Bulldogs and never recovered. Powers says this is a different team and different year, but it's something to think about.

"We haven't talked about it, but it's in our minds," Powers says. "It's a reminder of what they are capable of, what they did last year. We haven't talked about it much because that was a year ago. We can't change what happened then. We just have to make sure we go to Athens and play a good football game."

That will be needed from the Tigers as Georgia comes in on a roll after consecutive 40-point showings in wins over Florida and Troy. Led by quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Knowshon Moreno, the Bulldogs have plenty of firepower to play with anyone when they are hitting on all cylinders.

Powers and his teammates have one thing going for them though and that is a history of Auburn teams performing well in Athens. Just once in the last 15 years have the Tigers lost in Sanford Stadium. That's a welcome thought, but one that Powers says means nothing this season

"It's different every year," Powers says. "You can't go into a game thinking ‘We're going to play good because history says we'll play good.' You've got to prepare well. You've got to do all the little things right to prepare for a team like Georgia because they've got a lot of explosive guys on their team.

"Stafford is getting better every week. We're going to have our hands full. We've been playing good on the road all year. I expect us to play well on the road. We've got to take this as a business trip just like we did with the other ones."

Former Auburn Coach and Georgia player Pat Dye coined the end of Auburn's season "Amen Corner" after the famed stretch of holes at Augusta National Golf Club, Dye's hometown. During his time at Auburn the Tigers faced Florida, Georgia, and Alabama to close out each year. Nowadays it has been reduced to just the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide, but Powers says it's still something that Auburn focuses on each season and makes for a tough few weeks.

"I think the main thing you've got to do when playing games like this is to take them one week at a time," Powers says. "We can't get ready to play Georgia while thinking about Alabama. We've just got to focus on the opponent at hand and that's Georgia. Right now I think they are at the head of the East. They've got a lot of things riding on this game and so do we. We've just got to focus on Georgia and go down there and handle business.

"The main thing they harp on is that people remember what you do in November," Powers adds. "This is one of those big games. It's the oldest rivalry in the South. Georgia is a great football team. They came here last year and put it to us a little bit. That's what we're going to try to do when we got to Athens. It's going to be an all-out war. It's going to be another fun game to play in."


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