A year ago, a couple of hits by Nick Fairley on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray resulted in a chippy version of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry last year.
Auburn defensive linemen Michael Goggans and Mike Blanc took swings at Georgia players near the end of the game and were ejected from the game.
Chizik said Auburn is trying to make that a one-year aberration in what Philip Lutzenkirchen called a “friendly rivalry.”
“Unfortunately, some things happened last year we wish didn’t,” Chizik said. “But the bottom line is, we’re always trying to do things the right way. I don’t expect it to be an issue this year.”
- Chizik talked about the difficulty of a 9-game SEC schedule before reminding writers that he’s focused on Georgia. “It would be a challenge. I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about it, but we know what this schedule already entails, and it’s tough. The guys that make those decisions obviously do a great job.”
- Asked about the possibility that Cam Newton may have been ineligible before the Georgia game last year, Chizik placed the matter in his rearview mirror. “I’ve moved on. This is a new year and a new week, and we’re excited about it. It’s in the past.”
- Chizik repeated his stance on the offense’s play-calling, and how many runs there are. “Any time you can be 50-50, that’s the goal,” Chizik said. “There are some times when defenses are doing certain things that don’t allow you to do that, or circumstances in the game. … We’re going to do what’s best to give yourself an opportunity to win the ballgame.” By now, most Auburn fans should know that translates to running the football.
- The loss of A.J. Green has not hurt Georgia’s receiving corps. The Bulldogs have four receivers with 20 or more catches this season, and Chizik believes all are the prototypical Bulldogs receiver. “They’ve got some very talented, big, physical… the prototypical receivers that come out of Georgia every year. 6-2, 6-3 guys… One guy is 6-5.”
- On Carver graduate Isaiah Crowell: “Here’s a true freshman that’s rushed for more than 800 yards, give or take. He’s gaining confidence as each game goes by. He’s a very good running back, recruited very heavily out of high school for a reason. He has great vision, really good balance.”
- A streaking Georgia team that has won 7 straight games: “This is a completely different team from the one they had two years ago,” Chizik said. “They’re playing with a lot of confidence.”
- As usual, Chizik failed to take the bait on whether or not this is a big game for Auburn’s postseason hopes. His common refrain is that every game is big for Auburn.
- On middle linebacker Eltoro Freeman. “We need him to be very productive in a week like this.”