Auburn tries to regroup after Saturday’s blowout

Dyer and the Tigers couldn't get anything going against Georgia this past Saturday

Your average football fan would look at Auburn’s homecoming matchup with Samford this weekend and see an easy win for the Tigers.

After watching his team’s 45-7 dismantling at the hands of Georgia on Saturday, Gene Chizik is not your average football fan.

“If you saw us play yesterday,” the Auburn head coach said, “we’re not supposed to beat anybody.”

The Tigers suffered their most lopsided loss in 15 years — the worst since 1946 to their oldest rival — and have now suffered two losses of 35 points or more in the same season for the first time since 1950.

The first blowout, a 45-10 loss to top-ranked LSU, was kind of understandable.

The second one, to then-No. 15 Georgia, was less so.

“I don’t feel like they were that much better than us, what the score showed anyway,” wide receiver Emory Blake said. “It kind of was a punch to the gut, I feel like.”

The Georgia loss followed much the same script as the LSU one.

Auburn hung in the game for the first quarter and change before a series of unfortunate events — all favoring the home team — made the score snowball out of control in a hurry.

LSU scored 35 points in 12:33. Georgia scored 21 in 5:36.

And pick-6’s were involved in both.

“We needed to keep believing, and I think a couple guys shut it down,” Blake said. “Just kind of losing hope a little bit. When you have a couple turnovers in crucial moments or somebody doesn’t make a specific play, then it kind of lets you down a little bit.

“But as leaders, we have to be better at picking people up and stuff.”

Now, for the second time in four weeks, it’s time for Auburn to regroup.

Sophomore quarterback Clint Moseley said his big message to the team after the game was accountability.

If you mess up, own it. Don’t shift the blame.

Moseley, who went 11-for-22 with 140 yards and an interception against Georgia, also getting sacked five times, started with himself.

“Even if I have All-Pro linemen, there are going to be times I’ll have pressure, and you have to handle it. It’s something I feel like is not an excuse for not playing well,” Moseley said. “People will make excuses for me. That doesn’t help me at all. I should have played a lot better.

“There’s no debate about that.”

Chizik said games like Saturday are to be expected from a team that — while 10 games into the season — is still young in many areas.

It’s the ebb and flow of youth finding its footing and, while it’s not an excuse, it’s a fact.

But it’s not acceptable.

“We have to be mindful that there is still a lot of youth on our whole team. There are a lot of growing pains that go with that,” Chizik said. “That doesn’t make a performance like yesterday OK. Some days and some weeks you really see a lot of glimmers of it being a great direction we are heading. Some weeks you look at it and say, ‘Wow, how did we take a step back in some areas?’

“That’s kind of where we are at as a football team. There are a lot of inconsistencies in there.”

It’s a familiar refrain from early in the season, one that started cropping up after Auburn’s close shaves with Utah State and Mississippi State and has made repeat appearances after all four of its losses.

It’s one the Tigers don’t want to use again this season.

“We can’t get down and start blaming and letting the pressure of doing bad build up,” Moseley said. “It’s time for all us to grow up.

“We’ve got to get better. It’s just got to happen at this point.”

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