AUBURN - Auburn's football team has won every game, climbing to No. 7 in both polls. But coach Gene Chizik said Tuesday he wants to see more and will have to see more if the No. 7 Tigers (6-0, 3-0) are to beat No. 12 Arkansas (4-1, 1-1) on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn coach Gene Chizik/Bryan Matthews photo
"We still are in search of a complete game," Chizik said Tuesday at his weekly press conference. "We certainly have a lot of room for improvement. I was proud of the way they finished the game, but we have to move forward today and get ready for a great team in Arkansas."
The Auburn defense will be under siege from the air. Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett leads the league in passing by more than 100 yards per game, averaging 349.6 per game.
"Obviously, he is a great quarterback," Chizik said. "Probably, as a group, it has to be one of the best if not the best groups of receivers in the country. That’s two pretty potent entities there. Obviously, our challenge is huge. Our secondary has played well at times. There are times we definitely could have played better. We’ve played against some really good competition. "I think that has helped us getting ready for a game like this. We have to play better. If we are going to win Saturday, it will have to be our best day on defense so far."
Auburn is favored by a field goal. The game will kick off at 2:30 p.m. and be televised nationally by CBS.
More from Chizik:
On need for improvement
"Our football team has an enormous amount of improvement left in terms of consistency. It is good we are finding ways to win at the end. I would like to play more consistently throughout the game. For example, special teams Saturday night. I thought we had a letdown on a special teams coverage element we haven’t necessarily had in other games. We let one kickoff get almost to the 50, one past the 50. We can’t play defense there all night. When you look at when we’ve given up points, many times it's field position issues.
"Offensively, we have a great first half and are really hard to stop. The second half we come out and the first thing we do is turn the ball over."
On Arkansas' defense
"Just look at the stats alone and look at how many categories their defense is in the top two or three. I think their defense is playing extremely well right now. They are extremely aggressive. If you go back and look at last year, the improvement in their defense is night and day. I think that is one of the huge reasons they are doing as well as they are."
On playing to stop the run first
"That’s where you start every game. They have big, physical tailbacks. The numbers you look at may be misleading. They can run the football. Coach (Bobby) Petrino wants to run the football. I know that. That still has to be the first thing we do. That doesn’t mean we are going to neglect the potency of their passing games."
On pressure of being undefeated
"For me personally, there is no more pressure than there is every week. Our team expects to win, our coaches expect to win, our fans expect us to win. That hasn’t changed and won’t change three weeks from now. For the team, I hope not. I hope it’s business as usual in their mind. We don’t talk about rankings. We don’t talk about records."
On Arkansas' offense
"They do a great job of throwing short and deep. They take advantage of the coverages you are in, whether you are in man coverage or zone coverage. They will throw some short and throw some deep. No one completely stops Arkansas. They are going to make some plays. We have to make some plays defensively."
[/b]On 19-play game-winning drive at Kentucky[/b]
"There was no panic. That’s the first thing. The second thing is there were some clutch third downs in there I thought were huge. It was a very methodical drive that took place the way you want it to take place. I am proud of the way they executed. We can learn a lot from that."
On need to get pressure on Mallett
"Secret to having success against any quarterback is pressure. I don’t know that he gets flustered or rattled or any of that. Generically speaking, you have to get pressure on the guy. That’s not just for Ryan. That’s for any quarterback. He’s seen it all. He’s done it all. He doesn’t get rattled. He stays in there. He has a lot of poise."
For a video of Chizik's entiore press conference, [b]GO HERE