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November 8, 2011

Gene Chizik: Bad blood from Georgia rivalry is in the past

Photo by Todd Van Emst

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 ┬ásome 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.”


  1. This article fails to mention that more than one Geogia player was captured on video pounding the gut of Nick Fairley. I had the video saved for a long time showing all my Gawga buddies.

    Beyond that the rivalry with Georgia isn’t necessarily “friendly”. It’s more like a FAMILY Rivalry. Auburn and Georgia have shared coaches back and forth for a long time.

    When I first went to Auburn (1957), I used to hang out at practices. Some of my earliest recollection of the coaches was Joel Eaves. After he won the SEC Basketball championship at Auburn, he became the AD at Georgia.

    The Freshman coach was Vince Dooley. Didn’t he win a National Championship at Georgia? Then there was Erk Russell.

    I also believe that there were a number of Auburn coaches whose prior lineage involved a stent at Georgia.

    Like I said a “Family” rivalry, but a BIG rivalry non-the-less.

    Comment by Charlie-Bob — November 9, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

  2. Don’t forget that Pat Dye played at Georgia.

    Comment by AU70 — November 9, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

  3. Vince Dooley played at Auburn and my History prof at Auburn really thought the world of him. I’ve lived in GA a couple of times – love the people there, spend a bit of time in Athens at the Twilight Criterium and I believe that the Ben Jones is from my hometown in AL. There’s enough pride for both sides and I have a hard time getting my “hate on” for UGA. Play hard, play fair and let the best team win. Don’t want to play hard? Stay home but don’t complain about being “trucked” or stiff-armed.

    Comment by Gerry — November 9, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

  4. Don’t forget Hugh Nall, Muschamp, and Rodney Garner.

    Comment by RUSS — November 10, 2011 @ 8:31 am

  5. Partisan fans, like partisan politicians make for multiple spins of the events of the games. Some are more accurate than others. Sportsmanship is a lost art, but still not impossible for some. If either team resorts to unsportsmanlike conduct, the referees will respond and the perps will pay in costly game changing penalties. Now, let the games begin. War Eagle!

    Comment by JIMBOB — November 10, 2011 @ 10:22 am

  6. Yep. We get the negative publicity. “Auburn is a dirty team” well I think I would get a little mad if I was being chop blocked the whole game and not one call, but all they wanna say is your players were suspended. And why exactly were no GA players suspended, they cleared the benches and ran on the field to fight (with Richt egging them on), but no reprimands.

    Comment by Brian — November 11, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

  7. To accuse Mark Richt of egging on his players in the fight with Auburn last year is a bridge too far! Mark Richt is one of the finest, fairest coaches in college football.
    I graduated from Auburn in 1960, the first year it was a university. I love Auburn dearly and so does my family!
    Football is an emotional spodrt at best with fairness and sportsmanship supposedly guiding it. Sometimes in such an atmosphere anger gets out of control and fights start. It is also ikmperative that the referees be fair and accurate. When they are not it can lead to fights among the players. The Auburn-Georgia game this year will be just as emotional and at times angry and violent.

    Comment by Rudy Tidwell — November 11, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

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