Mind games: third thoughts on Auburn

I know the Georgia coaches and players are saying the right things in public about it,

… The Bulldogs also weren’t buying the idea that all the stories would distract Newton.

“It didn’t seem to bother him last week, so I doubt it,” said Richt, alluding to Newton’s four-touchdown performance against Chattanooga.

Quarterback Aaron Murray granted that Newton’s troubles weren’t “the greatest thing to deal with,” but expected him to be fine.

“He’s a great player, and he knows the difference between what’s going on on the field and what’s going on off the field,” Murray said…

but you’re not going to convince me that behind the scenes they’re not taking some hope that the Newton drama provides a serious distraction to Auburn’s preparation for the game.

After all, they’ve got first hand experience this season as to uncertainty over a player’s eligibility being a distraction for game preparation.  Now the Green and Newton situations don’t exactly parallel – I don’t expect Newton to miss Saturday’s game – but there’s got to be some slight doubt creeping in as the Tigers game plan.

And that is a plus for the Dawgs.  Anything that takes away from Auburn focusing on what’s at stake, even slightly, is a good thing.  Not to mention that Georgia has the psychological edge of coming in with four straight wins in the series.

… Auburn senior running back Mario Fannin – a Hampton, Ga., native who played at Lovejoy High School – has 12 catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns against Georgia and rushed for another score. He doesn’t want to end his Tigers career 0-for against his home-state school

“It will be a big deal,” Fannin said. “That’s something we understand as seniors. We haven’t had a chance to beat Georgia. We’ve came close a couple of times, but we just kind of fell short. We’ve got to make sure we dot our I’s and cross our T’s to make sure we come out on top this time. … To come out with a win and finally beat Georgia senior year would be big.”

The Bulldogs had lost three of five to the Tigers under Richt before true freshman quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Bulldogs upset No. 5 Auburn 37-15 in 2006.

“I do take that win, I was scout team,” fifth-year senior defensive end Demarcus Dobbs said. “It is a big deal. There’s a lot of history between these two teams. To go out saying you never lost to Auburn is a good feeling, especially with them being ranked so high and having a national championship caliber-type team. It’s something to hang your hat on if you were to win the game.”

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20 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

20 responses to “Mind games: third thoughts on Auburn

  1. fuelk2

    Hopefully we’re not banking on them being less than fully prepared, but I’m really interested in the comments coming out of Athens.

    It seems like we are really stretching to compliment AU in every way. I particularly like Murray’s “please don’t kill me” comments about Fairly.

    I get the sense that we have an understated and quiet confidence going into this game. It may backfire or just turn out to be untrue, but I feel like the players and coaches are just lying in the weeds ready to pounce on Saturday.

  2. fuelk2

    On a separate note, if Auburn comes out ready to play on Saturday, Chizik should be given his due. We’ve all seen UGA get distracted and down as a result of negative events (AJ’s suspension, tough loss to LSU, you name it). Keeping a team focused and together at a time like this isn’t impossible, but it doesn’t happen every time, either.

    • No One Knows You're a Dawg

      I think Cheatin’ Gene Chizik is going to have Auburn come out with the intent of taking out on Georgia all their feelings of being wronged by the world.

      In a just world, Providence would dictate Newton at least sit out this game. But as we all have learned, there is no justice, no god, in SEC football.

      • The Realist

        There is no point in sitting this game. They are “all in.” If he is found ineligible, then the entirety of the season would be vacated anyway. Auburn is better of letting him play and hoping nothing substantial comes of this.

        • Macallanlover

          Agree. AU, and their fanbase, will be rabid following all this negative publicity about their program and poster child QB. I expect them to be so foaming at the mouth at 3:30 Saturday that it may cause them to make errors as they wet themselves to take their frustrations out on someone. They will be “all in” and we better be ready for that opening shot.

          On the plus side, if we weather the initial flurry they could become apart. I don’t expect that, but would love to turn that adrenaline against them. We are very capable of playing them a 4 quarter game. They have been less than dominating in several games and our offense is as good a threat as they have faced. I expect a track meet type game, like the one they faced with Arky. Having this as a 3:30 game is as good as we could have hoped for, imo.

          • JaxDawg

            11am or Noon kickoff would’ve been nice. Glad it’s not at night.

            • Macallanlover

              That would have been better but top rated teams with the leading Heisman candidate and #1 story in CFB doesn’t get scheduled for noon kickoffs. 3:30 is best we could have gotten. AU made great comeback against SC and Clem’s Son at night, have to give their crowd some credit for those two Ws.

  3. JaxDawg

    “Not to mention that Georgia has the psychological edge of coming in with four straight wins in the series.”

    Florida anyone?

    And yes, I know this is Auburn week. But imagine FL was ranked #2 BCS and we were playing them this weekend. Would we have the same confidence about playing toe-to-toe and beating them? Absoultely not. We’d take a steamy dump at midfield before the game began.

    Got to beat Florida folks to knock the lid off again. GOT to do it.

  4. I’m calling it now, UGA hangs 75 unanswered points on AU, Aaron Murray and AJ Green move to NCAA lead in their respective statistical categories, and are awarded the first co-Heisman.

    All of which leads to the immediate firing of Gene Chizik.

    ….in the 1st quarter

  5. Brandon

    I hope we can pull it out, but objectively we shouldn’t win, I won’t panic unless we get blown out.

  6. Scott W.

    With all of the comments that Bobo made, I just hope he didn’t buy him dinner. That could put us in trouble with the NCAA, right?

  7. Brad

    Cross the ts and dot the…lowercase js.

  8. RussDawg

    “coaches are just lying in the weeds ready to pounce on Saturday.”

    Now that is a gas! Our coaches ready to pounce. That is the best quote I have heard all week.

    Let me tell ya, they are never ready to pounce bubba. That’s our problem. Richt just doesn’t show up in big games anymore.

    • fuelk2

      I can see your point, bubba, but we’re not exactly the mental midgets against Auburn and Tech that we seem to be in other cases. We’ll see on Saturday I guess.

      My point is that I think we’re a little more confident than the “Dear God, we are in awe of their studliness” stuff that we’re putting out right now.

      And, hey, we can at least agree that they are lying in the weeds, right? Ha.

  9. 69Dawg

    Let’s see we have not beaten a team with a winning record, yet our fans think we will beat an undefeated team with a Heisman QB this week. I would very much like to be in position of the drugs that you people are using.

  10. Vious

    Whether he is bothered or not is irrelevant

    He can be so bothered that he can barely think straight yet will still be able to run against us and beat our secondary long

  11. Hackerdog

    I don’t agree with the comparison of Newton’s status and Green’s. With Green, we didn’t know if he would play or not. With Newton, they know he will play. AU won’t sit him and the NCAA probably won’t make any conclusions until after the season.

    So he’ll play. They know he’ll play. We know he’ll play. And that’s a lot different than wondering if AJ will be available for the next game or not.