Nov. 15, 2013
C.J. Uzomah with the game-winning catch against Mississippi State (Anthony Hall photo)
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. – C.J. Uzomah can tell it’s Georgia Week.
"My phone’s been blowing up this week," said the Auburn tight end from Suwanee, Ga.
What has Uzomah heard? "Georgia this, Georgia that."
"I don’t really respond to it right now, I’m just going to text them back after the game and see how that goes. Growing up, all I hear is Georgia so I’m definitely amped up about this game for sure."
The game is a big one for Auburn. The Tigers are 9-1 overall and 5-1 in the SEC have a chance to take a one-game edge in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. After all these years, 116 games, the series is tied 54-54-8.
Georgia, 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the league, began the season ranked No. 5. But now it’s Auburn in the Top 10, at No. 7, and the Bulldogs are ranked No. 25.
"We know the implications. We know what’s at stake and how important this game is," Uzomah said. "That’s another part of the reason we’re focusing on this game as hard as we are. They’re an unbelievable team; they have great talent on both sides of the ball."
Uzomah said Auburn’s success may be "kind of eye-opening or shocking, I guess, to some. We knew that we were going to have a successful season, maybe not as successful as this, but we knew we were going to have a great season. Coming into this game, we knew that there were going to be a lot of implications, but I guess the tables have somewhat turned."
Uzomah has made his six catches count. He leads the SEC in impact reception percentage because all of his catches have gone for a touchdown or first down or both. His most memorable catch was the game-winner in the closing moments of the Mississippi State game. He had a 25-yard touchdown catch against Tennessee last Saturday.
Uzomah came from Suwanee as a multi-talented quarterback, receiver and power runner when necessary. One of his jobs at Auburn is to block, either as a tight end or occasional wide receiver, and that’s a requirement for all Gus Malzahn receivers.
"Our running game is top-notch, one of the best in the country," Uzomah said. "Blocking on the perimeter is much different than it was for me just because I came in not knowing how to block or the coverage, didn’t know who to block most of the time.
Uzomah will get an up close view of Georgia’s line from his tight end position.
"They’re physical," he said. "We know they’re going to be physical, they’re going to play hard and they’re going to get after it. We’re going to have to do what we’ve been doing the past few weeks.
"Coach has been saying this is going to be a physical game and we’re going to have to be able to run the ball and throw the ball when necessary."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine