After clinching the SEC East division title this past Saturday, head coach Kirby Smart knows how the team still has big challenges ahead of them in the regular season including a top 25 matchup against the Auburn Tigers.
Smart and company will have their work cut out for them as they will face an offense which has multiple weapons in terms of running and passing the ball and a defense that has been much more stout than they are credit for in the college football world. Auburn will be looking to use their physicality to overpower the Bulldogs and Smart knows how much they will have to prepare for that.
“They are very physical up front — offensive line and defensive line. They have a back that is playing at a really high level. They have a quarterback that has an extremely strong arm and does a nice job throwing the ball vertically down the field,” said Smart. “They are really physical up front, and they do a great job. They have always been good on special teams under Gus (Malzahn) and they have a good all-around football team.”
However, Smart knows that the players are not the only thing that should provide a challenge for the Bulldogs on the road. He knows from year’s past as an assistant coach at Alabama, how rowdy this crowd in Auburn, Alabama can be and he will expect nothing less this upcoming Saturday.
“Obviously, the environment to play over there I have been there a lot throughout my coaching career. They get loud in there and they do a really good job of creating an environment,” said Smart. “It’s the same challenge it is at most SEC places. It’s just a little bit louder, and they have a good team. The better the team is the tougher the place to play is.”
These challenges should be some of the toughest the Bulldogs will have faced this whole season, but if they are able to overcome them, then they should leave Jordan-Hare stadium with their 10th victor of the season.