Powers Using Last Year As Motivation For LSU

Auburn's Jerraud Powers talks about last year's LSU game and getting ready for this week's showdown at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Auburn, Ala.--For Auburn junior defensive back Jerraud Powers the LSU game this season is a special one.

It's not difficult to figure out why the game has special meaning because last year he was the victim of a perfect throw and catch for a 22-yard touchdown from Matt Flynn to Demetrius Byrd with just one second remaining in Auburn's 30-24 loss in Tiger Stadium.

That is a play that Powers had to relive time and time again last season and answer question after question about from fans and reporters. Now one year later, he says that he still thinks about it from time to time, but mainly he's concentrating on the present.

"I look back on it definitely just to realize I could have probably helped my team a little bit better with my play last year," Powers says. "It's just motivation to think that last year we were a second away from winning the game. We come back this year knowing we're in the same situation, but the difference is we're playing at home instead of playing at LSU. It's going to be another hard-fought game. I'm ready for Saturday."

Coming into Saturday night's nationally televised game on ESPN against LSU, Powers is a big part of an Auburn defense that has been excellent through three games in 2008. Leading the team in tackles, Powers is one of the keys on a defensive unit that has allowed just 15 total points.

Two of those came via a safety Saturday night as Auburn's defense dominated Mississippi State in a 3-2 victory. Powers says while it wasn't a thrilling game for the fans, as a defensive player it couldn't have been better.

"There is still a lot of room for improvement," he notes. "That's the exciting part about it. Saturday night we were just handling our responsibilities. Everybody was just out playing, having fun, stepping up to the challenge each time we were out there."

Powers has become a fixture in the Auburn lineup at cornerback.

Facing an LSU offense that has overpowered two outmanned opponents so far this season, Auburn's defense will need to be at its best on Saturday, says Powers. With so much riding on the game he adds it will be important not to get overwhelmed during the week and to make sure everyone stays focused for the task at hand.

"It's going to be fun," he predicts. "They usually say this is the game for the battle of the West. They are big, fast, strong, physical--the typical LSU team. We just have to make sure we step up to the challenge and do our job and not get caught up in the emotion or the excitement of the game. We have to make sure and handle our responsibility.

"You definitely have to keep the emotions in check, but this is the reason why you come to Auburn and play, for big games like this," Powers adds. "GameDay is going to be out there. It's going to be a soldout stadium. Auburn is going to be packed by Wednesday morning. It's going to be fun and exciting. It's two Top 10 teams going at it. Coming off the game last year and how exciting it was, I'm pretty sure it's going to be another one that goes down to the wire."

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