Nov. 4, 2007
Auburn, Ala. -
Hitting the homestretch of the 2007 schedule, the Auburn football team returned to the practice fields Sunday, beginning preparations for the Deep South's oldest rivalry with a road game at Georgia this weekend.
Auburn improved to 7-3 on the season Saturday, as the Tigers defeated Tennessee Tech, 35-3, in the school's annual Homecoming game.
The game marked the fourth time in the last five outings that the Tigers defense held an opponent to single digits. It also was the 19th time in the last 23 games over the last two years that the Auburn defense has held an opponent under 20 points.
"We got a lot of guys in," said defensive coordinator Will Muschamp about Saturday's win against Tennessee Tech. "It was a pleasing thing in a game like that. We kept it pretty simple. It was nice to get some guys on tape and some guys that probably deserved to play a little more to this point. It was a good day."
Auburn's defense will be challenged with facing a Georgia offense that is averaging 31.4 points and 379.7 yards per game. The Bulldogs are led by quarterback Matt Stafford who has thrown for 1,798 yards and 15 touchdowns and redshirt freshman tailback Knowshon Moreno who has rushed for 1,003 yards and nine touchdowns.
"They've really taken off in the last two games scoring 40-plus points," Muschamp said. "Moreno is an outstanding running back and watching him on film reminds me a lot of (Auburn's) Carnell Williams. Matthew Stafford is a very talented player. He has all the arm strength and can put great touch on the ball."
The Auburn offense will face a Bulldog defense that has held six of nine opponents to 20 points or less in regulation.
"It's a typical Georgia defense," said offensive coordinator Al Borges said. "They are very athletic and they do a good job of mixing up their pass coverage. They disguise their two deep and three deep coverages. They're pressuring more and in more ways than they used to. They are always very sound and don't get a lot of people out of position. It's not easy to get a lot of big plays against Georgia."
Auburn (7-3, 4-2 SEC) and No. 10 Georgia (7-2, 4-2 SEC) will kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT Saturday at Sanford Stadium. The game will air on nationally on CBS.
The Bulldogs defeated Troy, 44-34 on Saturday. Stafford passed for 217 yards on 17-of-29 attempts, while Moreno had a career-high 196 yards on 26 carries.
The Auburn-Georgia series is tied with Oregon-Oregon State as the seventh-most played series in the nation (Football Bowl Subdivision). It is the lone Southern series and one of just 23 in the nation to have reached the century mark in games played.
Georgia won last year's game in Auburn, 37-15, while the Tigers took the last meeting in Athens, 31-30, in 2005.
After its typical off-day on Monday, the Tigers will return to the practice fields Tuesday morning at 8:15 a.m. CT.