AUBURN - Auburn's football team is back where, in many ways, it all started.
Sophomore defensive tackle Gabe Wright
On Nov. 12 last season, the Tigers went to Athens to play Georgia. They had been invigorated by a 44-23 romp past Ole Miss two weeks earlier, and they'd had an open date and an extra week to get ready. They were feeling good about themselves.
At Sanford Stadium, they lost 45-7. Auburn football hasn't been the same since.
That loss started a slump that has grown ever deeper. Starting with that game, the Tigers have gone 3-10 in their last 13 games. They have gone 0-8 in SEC games, losing six of those by at least 17 points. Saturday, they play Georgia again, this time at Jordan-Hare Stadium. And the numbers are ominous. Auburn is 2-7 overall and 0-6 in the SEC. Georgia is 8-1 overall, 6-1 in the SEC needs only to win to claim the East Division Championship.
Tiger players, vowing not to back down in the face of the worst Auburn start in 60 years, say Saturday's game can mark another kind of turnaround.
For sophomore defensive tackle Gabe Wright, from Carver High School in Columbus, it's personal.
"It does hit home with me, but I know I've got 55 other guys in that locker room riding with me," Wright said. "It's special for us Georgia guys. Especially this season, it will be fun having the No. 5 team in the nation coming in and knocking them off."
Junior defensive end Dee Ford, healthy at last after battling a lower abdominal injury, said it's about getting better, regardless of the record.
"This will be a good manifestation of life," Ford said. "You never want to quit during hard times. You want to always finish strong."
For videos of interviews with Wright and Ford, follow the links below.