November 12, 2013

Just another game

AUBURN | Rodney Garner, the Tigers' fiery defensive line coach, spent 15 years at Georgia before returning to his alma mater last December.

With Auburn playing host to the Bulldogs this weekend, is it possible that Garner can become even more demanding?

"Guys kind of brought up that Coach G might be a little over the edge. I don't know that he can get more over the edge than he already is," defensive tackle Gabe Wright said Tuesday. "If he can? Bring it on. I know he's going to feel some way about it, but with him being a true Auburn man I know nothing is going to overdo that."

It's about to get personal.

Auburn's roster is loaded with players from Georgia, many of whom grew up hoping to play for the Bulldogs one day. Some, like cornerback Jonathon Mincy, didn't receive a scholarship offer from the Bulldogs and use that as motivation. One player, quarterback Nick Marshall, played his freshman season at UGA in 2011.

Some players may be tempted to allow emotions to become a factor this weekend. Still, coach Gus Malzahn believes his emphasis on taking one game at a time this season and remaining myopic when it comes to off-the-field issues will continue to yield dividends this weekend.

"Our guys have been even-keeled," Malzahn said Tuesday. "They just approach it like the next week. Our guys know it's a big game, but at this point in the season, just like last week, they're all big games."

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