Nov. 17, 2011
Auburn, Ala. -
The Auburn football team practiced for 70 minutes Thursday evening in the team's final practice before taking on Samford for the annual Homecoming game Saturday.
Auburn (6-4, 4-3 SEC) and Samford (6-4, 4-4 SoCon) kick off at Noon CT at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The game will be televised on Pay-Per-View.
At his weekly media conference, Auburn head coach Gene Chizik made clear his goal for the Tigers this week.
"I want to win our seventh football game," Chizik stated. "That's what I want to do. I want to win our seventh football game. I want to play much better than we did last week, doesn't matter who the opponent is. I want to get an opportunity to get back out on the football field again and play, and I think our team feels the exact same way. We have one goal in this room united, and that is that we are going to go out and work really hard to get our seventh win."
Coming off a loss on the road to No. 14 Georgia last Saturday, Chizik noted the importance of leadership from his players in helping the team focus on the task at hand this week.
"I think that (leadership) is a huge piece of the puzzle," Chizik said. "Part of the victories that we had last year when things didn't seemingly look like they were going very well, you had a lot of guys who had been through a lot of peaks and valleys during their careers. When you have guys who are experienced with going through the peaks and valleys, that means you have experience with guys who have been in the valley, and they know how to get back up to the peak. I don't think (there is) any question leadership is a huge element when you come to these types of games that we are going to see, and we are going to get in more of. We need more leadership, I don't think there's any question about that, but leadership starts with me and our coaches, and so we all have to do a better job with that."
While Saturday's game marks the 98th observance of Homecoming on the Plains, a different type of homecoming will take place when Samford head coach Pat Sullivan is honored prior to kickoff.
A three-year starter at quarterback for Auburn from 1969-71, Sullivan will be recognized for the 40th anniversary of his 1971 Heisman Trophy-winning season.
Although the game between the Tigers and Bulldogs will be the focus for both head coaches, Chizik noted his enjoyment of Sullivan's recognition.
"Obviously everybody knows what a phenomenal football player he was here and what he did for Auburn University," Chizik said. "Let me go on the record for saying what a phenomenal man he is. He is a great Auburn man. What he did for this university and what he means to the fans, what he means to this University, I'm thrilled for him to be celebrated in this way. It's (Samford's) last game of the season, and he's playing it here at his alma mater. I'm just excited for him because there's nobody that deserves it more. It'll be a great day for him and his family. I know a lot of his teammates, a lot of those former guys will be coming back. It will be a great celebration for them. It doesn't get any better than that. It couldn't happen to a better guy."
A pay-per-view broadcast will be available in the state of Alabama to cable subscribers and small dish owners who subscribe to DirecTV (Channel 785) or Dish Network (459).
Individual tickets to the Samford game are currently available for $50 each and can be purchased at www.aubtix.com or by calling 1-855-AUB-2010.