Quoting Auburn Coach Gene Chizik

Auburn, Ala.--Comments from Auburn head football coach Gene Chizik are featured from Tuesday's press conference.

"This obviously is going to be a fun weekend. We are going to LSU for another great SEC game. After getting through this weekend we obviously had some opportunities to win the game. We have looked at everything very thoroughly and we feel that we are still a very good football team and that we have a chance to win every game that we play. This will be another great test for us and a great weekend for football."

(On the struggles of the passing game)

"You can't pinpoint our struggles on one thing. I don't believe in that. There are 11 men out there and sometimes there is a man out of place here and there. It could be the protection, the check down route or the timing. There are a lot of things that can go wrong. I still feel that we can fix some of the mistakes and get back on track so this week were are going to work on just that. We have proven that we can throw and catch the ball and also protect, but we need to just get back on track."

(On how walk-on linebacker Ashton Richardson has helped the team)

"He is one of six or seven guys on this team that have walked on and really helped this football team. He is a walk-on that has never asked for anything. He is out there working hard every day. He loves Auburn and going to school here so when you have guys like Ashton step up to the plate and help you win, it is not only special for the football team but also for them. Ashton has been a huge help, but again there are six or seven guys just like him that have provided help for us, especially on special teams."

(On LSU's offense)

"They are very talented starting up front with their offensive line. They are like always, big and physical. Jordan Jefferson is a very athletic and talented young man. He has three or four great receivers including the tight end Dickson--he is a very athletic. He is an older guy that has been around and has seen and done a lot of different things. They are all big targets and also fast. They also have three senior tailbacks. So they are very athletic and talented. They have some good things that can pose problems for a defense."

(On Charles Scott and the LSU running game)

"It is going to be very challenging for us. We have done some nice things against the run this season. In most of the games we have struggled at times and this is going to be a great challenge for our defense. Charles Scott is a very physical tailback. The offensive line, with backs and tight ends included, are all very physical and downhill players. You can tell that is the mentality that they coach and live or die by. Also with Jordan Jefferson back there it creates some problems because it's basically like having an extra tailback."

(On LSU's secondary)

"They are very big and athletic, just like they always are. They give your receivers problems because they get their hands on you with press coverage. They do a nice job of being physical at the line of scrimmage so this is going to be a bit of a different challenge for our receivers in terms of having to really play physical. They are big and strong but if they lose you at the line of scrimmage they still have great recovery speed to catch up. So they are a tough group to go up against."

(On improving teams rush defense)

"In this league you know that stopping the run will be a challenge. Everyone in the SEC will run the ball so it will be a challenge for us this week. We have to continue to do certain things defensively every day to help us get better. We have to work on tackling and in terms of blitzing we have to get better. At times Saturday night I was proud of the defense. There were also times where we let things get away from us a little bit and if we are going to win the game this week we will definitely have to stop the run so that is our goal defensively this week. We have to be able to hold up. It can't be for three quarters, it needs to be for all four."

(On Chris Todd's health)

"Chris Todd is fine."

(On the importance of winning at LSU)

"It will be huge, but every game is huge. October is a stretch for us where the schedule gets difficult, not only because of who we are playing, but when you look at games seven, eight and nine is when you see a lot of upsets occur. At this time of the year there are no more surprises, everyone knows what you are doing. There is no newness to anything. There is no first conference game or away game.

"At this point it becomes who can execute better, especially on the road. In my opinion this is the time when you see a lot of crazy things happen, because a team doesn't execute right. It is really hard to be good every week so for us in particular, this game and the whole month itself is huge. If we want to be good throughout this month we will have to execute better."

(On how the win at Tennessee will help heading into LSU)

"I think that was really big, just from the standpoint that it was a new arena for us at that point in time. It was our first SEC road game, our first road game period, and we were able to go in there and beat a very good team. It certainly helps you and it gives you the knowledge in the back of your head that you can go to any stadium across the country. They don't get any bigger or louder than that. Getting a win at Tennessee didn't hurt us, that's for sure."

(On playing at Baton Rouge)

"It's another great place to play in this league. Night games there are tough, but that's what the league is. It's no different than going to Tennessee or Arkansas or Florida. That's what people have to come into when they come here, and that's what we have to do when we go play somewhere else. It will just be a fun night for our guys."

(On advantages of having an extra week to prepare)

"Time. In the NCAA, you only get a certain amount of time to prepare. When you stack two of those weeks together, especially study time for coaches, it's not just about getting the players prepared on the field, it's the invaluable time that coaches can really use to get different beads on offense and defense. I think that's the biggest advantage, more than the extra practice time."

(On the lack o depth at the linebacker positions and Josh Bynes and Craig Stevens playing a lot of snaps)

"It affects you on how you practice. That's how it starts. It affects you on Sunday, and it effects you throughout the week. It affects you on special teams. They have been playing a lot of football and again I go back to games seven, eight, and nine, that's where you see it, but they're tough guys and they know our expectations of them and they can't come out. They don't have that luxury. I have to give guys like that a lot of credit, they're playing the game and they can't come out, that's not easy to do."

(On Eltoro Freeman)

"He played last week, and he'll play this week."

(Will Freeman play at linebacker this week.)

"He may be in the rotation. He's got to earn it."

(On what it would take for a defensive player to win the Heisman)

"If a defensive player were to win the Heisman Trophy, it would have to be a defensive back with a lot of interceptions who probably doubled as a punt returner or kick returner. That would probably be the closest thing to getting them into the mix."

(On the effect of playing eight straight games without a break bothering the team)

"That can't be a reason. We have got to go out and win football games. It starts on Sunday, and how many reps they get. Yesterday they had a day off, they got to rest. Now today, how much do we run them? There's a really fine line for us right now, but it's something that is on every coach's mind because we have to be very smart on how we run practice this late in the year."

(On the team's first game as an underdog)

"We don't talk about it. We don't talk about it because it really doesn't matter. To be honest with you, that was the first time I had heard about it so it doesn't matter if we're the overdog or the underdog. We don't pay any attention to it. We know we have to go in and play tough SEC opponents every week and if we execute then we can win, and if we don't then we won't win. The pregame and how people see us and what are chances are, is really not part of our mindset."

(On how to keep a positive attitude after two straight losses)

"Well, we're 5-2 not 2-5. I'm really proud of our guys. I thought Sunday they were great and responded really well. Our guys know we have a good football team, they also know that when we put ourselves in a position to win and when we don't allow ourselves to win with penalties and things of that nature then the results will be what the results are. Our coaches are very positive, our kids are positive. Our kids know that we've had a lot of success, they know the things that allow us to win and they know the things that don't allow us to win.

"We all know that we have a chance to win every game. There's not one coach or player that thinks different so we're all on the same pages, we're all marching in the same direction. We're disappointed about Saturday night, we had opportunities to win, but we're moving on. We have to go play LSU. Everybody is on the same page and we're going to go have fun on Saturday night."


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