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.”