Nov. 8, 2011
AUBURN – The 20th-ranked Auburn Tigers were back under the lights on Tuesday night with their focus squarely on Saturday’s game with the Georgia.
The Tigers (6-3, 4-2 SEC) practiced in full pads for just over two hours as they continued preparations for their rivalry showdown at No. 14 Georgia (7-2, 5-1 SEC).
“We’ve transitioned fully into Georgia and we are preparing for them,” offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said. “They’ve got an excellent defense – very physical up front and a lot of speed and experience on the back end. We just transitioned into them and put in our base stuff tonight and tried to execute.
“[Tonight’s practice] was solid. Our guys, for the most part, were mentally ready. We are trying to improve and get better.”
Malzahn believes Auburn will have to show a balanced attack on offense in order to have success against the strong Bulldogs defense.
“We are going to have to be balanced against Georgia, there is no doubt,” Malzahn said. “We are going to have to be able to run it and we are going to have to be able to throw it. They are good enough that you can’t be one dimensional or it’s going to be a tough day.”
The Tigers will be facing a Georgia defense that ranks third in the SEC and seventh nationally in total defense – surrendering just 282.0 yards per game.
“I think anytime you are playing a very good defense, you’ve got to be balanced,” Malzahn said. “That is our challenge and we’ve worked hard to get better. At times, now that we are getting some guys back healthy again, it looks like we are getting closer to achieving that.”
Auburn and Georgia will kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT, Saturday at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga. The game will air live on CBS.
The Oldest Rivalry in the Deep South, Auburn and Georgia will meet for the 115th time on Saturday with the Tigers leading the series, 54-52-8. Auburn holds an 18-11 series advantage when playing in Athens, Ga.