Auburn, Ala.--If there was one player that had no reason to hang his head following Saturday's loss to the Georgia Bulldogs it was sophomore defensive end Antonio Coleman. Finishing the game with eight solo tackles, four tackles for a loss, and one sack, Coleman was a one-man wrecking crew for Coach Will Muschamp's unit.
Always positive and in a good mood, Coleman says that while the team could choose to linger on the past, he was moving on as quickly as possible. He notes his thoughts on Alabama began when the Georgia game ended.
"When I was walking off the field," Coleman says. "We lost. We gave up too many big plays, but that's in the past. As soon as the whistle blew and everybody ran on the field I just went straight to the locker room and started thinking about Alabama."
His mentality has worked this season as Coleman is eighth on the team with 34 tackles and leads the way with 17 tackles for a loss and seven sacks. His 17 tackles for a loss are the most during the Tommy Tuberville era for a single player.
Coleman tackles Knowshon Moreno for a loss in Saturday's game.
While he's done more than his share of good for the defense, Coleman admits the entire unit did their part in making mistakes in the loss on Saturday. Most noticeably were several big plays given up by the defense that ignited the Georgia offense in the second half. Coleman says the right defenses were called, but the team didn't make the play.
"We just made bad plays on the field," Coleman says. "He (Muschamp) called a great game. He came in the meetings on Monday and told us what the deal was. It's all about Bama right now. We just have to put it behind us.
"We made a lot of mistakes, but that's in the past," Coleman adds. "We're just working on Bama. I just look at it as a game that we made a lot of mistakes."
This week the Tigers have an off week, the only one of the season after playing for 11 consecutive weeks. With several players banged up and nursing minor injuries, it's perfect timing for Auburn as the Tigers prepare to play their biggest rival. Coleman says the week off isn't a big deal for him, but it could mean big things in terms of preparation for the game.
"It really doesn't matter," Coleman says. "We'll still be practicing, but we get an early start (on Alabama). That early start might give us the edge in the game."
Unlike most players that grow up in Alabama, Coleman says he never really got into watching the Iron Bowl until late in his high school career. Even though he didn't grow up watching the game, Coleman says he knows plenty now and he can't wait for the game to get here.
"I didn't know too much about it," Coleman says. "Really I didn't expect to come to college and play college football. It's a big deal for this state. I just try to go out there and give it my all."