Brock: Bowl Game Big For Seniors

Senior safety Eric Brock talks about his final game as an Auburn Tiger and facing a potent Clemson attack.

Atlanta, Ga.--Two years ago Eric Brock and the Auburn Tigers had an unpleasant learning experience at the hands of the Wisconsin Badgers. Enjoying the bowl festivities perhaps a little too much, Auburn didn't play well from start to finish in a loss in Orlando.

Last season was a different story completely. While the team enjoyed the trip to Dallas, there was a different mindset and it resulted in a victory over Nebraska at the Cotton Bowl. Brock says this year the team has a business-like approach to the game and he's looking forward to the contest.

"In Orlando it was a very enjoyable bowl," Brock says. "There were a lot of things to do. A lot of guys may have gotten sidetracked from that. I think when we went to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl every body got back to the basics and understood what the trip is really about. Like Coach (Will) Muschamp always says, the fun is in winning. We try to take that mindset. We wanted to make a statement and come out of there victorious against a good Nebraska team."

While the fun is definitely in winning, there is more incentive than that for Brock and his fellow seniors as a victory over Clemson would give the group a total of 42 wins in four years on the Plains. They are currently tied with last year's senior class for the winningest in Auburn history and the record is something Brock says they want to achieve.

"We're proud of that," Brock says. "We're going in with the mindset of trying to become the winningest class in Auburn history. That's pretty much our focus right now."

That's good news for Auburn and the defense because they'll face one of the country's most explosive offenses led by quarterback Cullen Harper, running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller and wide receiver Aaron Kelly. Davis and Spiller have combined for 1,648 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground and added another 44 receptions out of the backfield. Brocks says they are dangerous, but far from the only players to worry about at the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Eric Brock has been a key player for the Auburn defense.

"I see a lot of speed, especially from the two backs," Brock says. "They've got a good one-two punch kind of like Arkansas had. Their quarterback has thrown for well over 2,000 yards and their receivers go up and get the ball. I see a lot, especially looking at their offense. They are an explosive offense."

Harper may be the most overlooked player in college football this season. Passing for 2,887 yards and 27 touchdowns with just six interceptions, he has been nearly flawless for Clemson this season. His favorite target is Kelly, who has 84 catches for 1,045 yards and 11 touchdowns. Number two receiver Tyler Grisham from Spain Park in Hoover has 58 catches for 629 yards and four touchdowns.

To put those numbers into perspective consider that Auburn has completed just 178 passes this season as a team for 2,084 yards and 11 touchdowns. Brock says Clemson's offense will be a tough task for the defense, but one they are looking forward to.

"He has a very high completion percentage," Brock says. "It looks like he's making all the throws on the field. I think he's almost at 70 percent. That's really outstanding, especially playing in that conference, to be that consistent with what you want to do. Then having those two guys that you can hand the ball off to, that doesn't hurt you. It's a good team and I think it's a good match up for us."


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