Simmons, Georgia upperclassmen focused on Saturday’s test versus Auburn

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Simmons, Georgia upperclassmen focused on Saturday’s test versus Auburn

Tyler Simmons (87) vs Auburn in 2018
Tyler Simmons (87) vs Auburn in 2018

This week, many of Georgia’s upperclassmen have spoken to the media about how hostile of environment Jordan-Hare Stadium is. Most of them have assured the younger players that they need to keep their head on a swivel, and focus on the game and not let the crowd affect them. Georgia’s trip to Auburn this Saturday is just another test their going to have to overcome if they want to be national championship bound. 

The last time Georgia traveled to Auburn was two years ago when the Bulldogs were the No.1 team in the country. The Tigers spanked the Bulldogs 40-17in an upset that shocked college football. In that game, former Auburn quarterback Jared Stidham was sharp. He was 16 of 23 for 278 yards and three touchdowns. Former Tigers running back Kerryon Johnson ran the ball for 167 yards on 32 attempts. The Tigers’ defense played to the intensity of the home crowd and held the Bulldogs’ offense to just 230 yards of total offense. 

Georgia senior wide receiver Tyler SImmons was just a sophomore at the time, and recalls how loud it was, but Wednesday he talked about how he’s elated to get another shot to play in Jordan-Hare. 

“Everybody’s just excited, especially the guys that were here to get a taste of it in 2017,” said Simmons. “They’re excited to get back to that point, but the young guys, we’re trying to pull those guys aside and let them know the importance of this game. We’re not in the clear just yet. We have to win out, we have to win the SEC if we want to get where we’re going.”

The upperclassmen who participated in that game two years ago have played in hostile environment before, and will be counting on their younger teammates to continue to grind it out like they have all season. Freshman wide receiver George Pickens has some emotional ties to this game because he was once committed to Auburn before flipping his decision to come to Georgia. The coaches themselves have also stressed to the underclassmen about how loud playing on The Plains will be. 

“Just hone in to the details of the game, and forget the crowd noise,” Simmons said about the decibel levels of the crowd. “Staying focused. We do a lot of crowd noise during the week just to prepare ourselves for that, and Jake is doing different things to keep up with the snap count just to control the crowd and everything. Just hone in on those little details and make sure we transfer that over to the field.”

Georgia is entering the game Saturday at Jordan-Hare as the No. 4 team in the country, and from here on out they control their own destiny if they want to get back to the College Football Playoff. Many Bulldog fans on social media have been bragging about the ranking, but to Simmons there are other things on his mind. 

“We kind of look at it as a distraction right now,” Simmons added about the Playoff ranking. “We just try to focus on every week, focus on getting better, focus on us. Try to block everything, all the outside things out and just hone in on the details. Like I said, Coach Smart, he emphasizes that a lot. Just honing in on us. We don’t worry about the outside sources. We just want to get better and focus on us.”

The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry between Georgia and Auburn is set, and kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. on CBS. This is 124th meeting between the two schools, and Georgia leads the series 59-56-8. 

Here is the video from Tyler Simmons’ press conference:

Tyler Simmons Interview

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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.