Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chizik not concerned about possible LSU suspensions

AUBURN - Auburn coach Gene Chizik met with the media following Wednesday night's practice. Here's what he had to say about the Tigers' preparation for Saturday's game at LSU.

“Practice went well. I think we’ve had two really good back-to-back practices getting prepared for this huge game. It’s going to be obviously a huge challenge but it ought to be a lot of fun. Again, we’re going to have to play our best game to win this game and it’s going to have to be a full team effort. Offense, defense special teams are going to have to have collectively the best game we’ve played to this point to to have a chance to win the game.”

Will the LSU suspensions factor into your preparation?

“No. absolutely not. We’re concerned with Auburn and what we’re trying to do. All that other stuff will take care of itself one way or the other. We’re really not paying a whole lot of attention to that.”

How has Clint Mseley's week

“I think it has gone good. I think he’s excited about the opportunity. I think he has practiced well. It’s going to be a great situation for him going into an environment like this. It ought to be a lot of fun for him, but I know he’s excited about it and I know he has prepared well. He’ll continue to prepare well the rest of the week, so we expect him to play well.”

Being from Louisiana, is Trovon Reed trying extra hard to get back?

“I think he’s trying extra hard every week to get ready to play, but certainly this will be special for him if he is available to play. Anytime you go back to your home state, no matter where you’re from, it’s exciting for those guys. We’re hoping he’ll be able to but again, we’ll know more by game time.”

Are mosf of the injured guys in the same boat?

“Yeah, they’re pretty much all in the same spot. Again, we’re going to try to continue to get them treatments and rehab them all the way up to Saturday. Again, we’ll see what happens Saturday and how they feel.”

Was Emory Blake able to do more?

“He has been able to do a little more. Again, it’s going to be a situation that comes right down to that morning and seeing how he feels at that point.”

Did Emory and Trovon practice some?

“A little bit. They’re working in there some. Again, not full go like they’ve been before obviously, but they’re trying to work in there and get some game preparation in there.”

Are all the young guys already getting used to playing on the road?

“I think so. I think as these guys experience different environments and things of that nature it becomes a little easier for them in terms of not the game they’re playing in actually, but the challenge of playing on the road in this league. But I think that’s really collectively for this whole team right now. Again, I think you get new experiences every week with this bunch. This will just be another great experience for them.”

Do you talk about road venue specifics – 'Hey guys, look out for the tiger in the cage,' etc.

“No, no we really don’t get into the specifics of it. I think they’ve probably got a good idea of what they’re in for. But again, it just goes with the territory in this league and that’s what makes it fun playing on the road in the SEC. Every environment is different, every environment has their little nuance that each school has. That’s what makes it fun. But we talk more about crowd noise and distractions, but the specifics of everything, we don’t really go there.”

Is it important to get used to the field in pre-game?

“Absolutely, and every field is different and the way their turf is and different grasses are cut different. There’s a lot of variables in there, so pre-game is really big for our guys to get a feel for all that. And footing and traction and things of that nature.”

Kickers in particular?

“I think so. I don’t think there’s any question. They’re looking for that hard surface. They want that hard ground and that really sturdy surface. But all the fields are in great shape. No matter where we play, they all do a great job of keeping their fields intact. But it is important that those guys get out there and get a feel for it because every field is a little bit different.”

They force a lot of turnovers. Will that be a key?

“They’ve done a great job of that obviously. As I said earlier in the week, there’s a reason they’re No. 1 in the country. Their time of possession is up there, their turnover margin is up there and they’re playing great defense. If you put those three things together, that pretty much tells the tale. So it’s going to be extremely important for us to protect the ball. It’s going to be extremely important for us try to get turnovers ourself. So that’s all part of our ingredient if we’re going to have a chance to win. Protect the football, try not to let them control the game so much in terms of time of possession. And obviously defensively for us, getting some turnover is critical. Whether we get them from defense or special teams, it doesn’t matter. We need to get some turnovers.”

Are they cxcited about playing No. 1?

“I think they’re excited to play No. 1, just because it’s a big game for Auburn every year. The LSU game is one they should look forward to. This time last year, they were excited about it. They’re excited this go-round. Just going on the road and playing another great team on the road. It’s a great challenge for us and I think they’re excited to play.”

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