published Sunday, November 11th, 2012

Auburn season historically bad

Georgia tailback Keith Marshall (4) outruns Auburn defensive back Jermaine Whitehead (9) for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, in Auburn, Ala.
Georgia tailback Keith Marshall (4) outruns Auburn defensive back Jermaine Whitehead (9) for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, in Auburn, Ala.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A lousy football season at Auburn has become historically bad following Saturday night's 38-0 loss to No. 5 Georgia.

The Tigers are now 2-8, having lost eight games in a single season for the sixth time in school history and for just the second time since 1953. Auburn still has to face Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 24, so it's likely this year's Tigers will lose more games than any predecessors except the 1950 team that went 0-10.

Auburn entered this season with a 30-10 mark under coach Gene Chizik.

"I don't think you can pin it on one thing," Chizik said. "We've been in a lot of football games where we've had opportunities to win. I think our struggles, particularly in the first several games, were in the fourth quarter, where the game could have gone either way and execution-wise we weren't able to pull those out where in the past years we have a high percentage of the time.

"It's not one thing or one group, and we've said all along that we've got to coach better and we've got to play better."

Saturday's loss was Auburn's seventh in SEC play, and the Tigers will have to upset the Crimson Tide to avoid their first 0-8 league slate.

It was reported last week that Auburn president Jay Gogue is expected to review the status of Chizik and athletic director Jay Jacobs following the Alabama game and could form a committee to assist with his decisions. Chizik would be owed $7.5 million on Dec. 1 should his contract, which has two more years remaining, be terminated.

In the top five

Georgia redshirt junior quarterback Aaron Murray threw first-half touchdown passes to Chris Conley, Malcolm Mitchell and Tavarres King, giving him 83 aerial scores for his career.

Murray's big night moved him into fifth all-time among SEC quarterbacks and past reigning Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, who tallied 81 touchdown passes during his career at Ole Miss. Former SEC quarterbacks still ahead of Murray are Florida's Danny Wuerffel (114), Tennessee's Peyton Manning (89), Florida's Chris Leak (88) and Florida's Tim Tebow (88).

Headed to Atlanta

Georgia clinched its fifth trip to the SEC championship game with Saturday's win, which matches Tennessee for the second-most in the East Division behind Florida's 10 since divisional play was implemented in 1992. The Volunteers produced their five trips between 1997 and 2007, while each of Georgia's has been since 2002.

Since Mark Richt began coaching the Bulldogs before the 2001 season, Georgia's five title-game invitations top the three each by Florida and Tennessee.

Odds and ends

Georgia junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones had two sacks, giving him 10.5 this season and 24 in his two-year Bulldogs career. ... Due to Chris Burnette's shoulder contusion, the Bulldogs went with the starting lineup of left tackle Mark Beard, left guard Kenarious Gates, center David Andrews, right guard Dallas Lee and right tackle John Theus for the first time this season. Burnette had his 18-game starting streak end. ... Georgia's defense hasn't allowed a point in six straight quarters.

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