Tigers Preparing for a Physical Game vs. Bama

Auburn had another full pads practice in anticipation of a physical game in Tuscaloosa next week.

Auburn, Ala.--While Alabama was playing Georgia State on Thursday evening the Auburn football team was preparing for the Tide during a two-hour, full pads workout at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

"We got after it some," Chizik said. "I thought the focus was good. I thought the energy was good. It is really two good days in a row that we have had."

Chizik said his 11-0 team is expecting a physical game when the Tigers travel to Bryant-Denny Stadium the day after Thanksgiving for the regular season finale.

The Auburn coach said stopping the run will be a key to success for his team. "This game has such a physical nature to it," Chizik noted. "There is no doubt about it. Alabama is one of the most physical teams in our league when it comes to running the football.

"They have two great tailbacks who are both very physical," Chizik said. "Their offensive line comes off the football--you can tell that has been preached to that football team about the importance of physicality.

In games like this, certainly in this one with the nature of Alabama's offense, this is going to be one of those heavyweight slugfests that is very physical at the point of attack--both offense and defense. Both teams are going to have to be ready to play."

The Tigers are going to have team meetings on Friday morning and do walk-throughs before taking the day off on Saturday.

Auburn has already wrapped up a berth in the SEC Championship Game vs. South Carolina, but to stay in the mix for a spot in the BCS Championship Game the Tigers need to beat Alabama next week. "The importance of this game is huge, there is no question about it, but we are focusing on the game itself and what we have to do to win the game and that is it," Chizik said.

Sophomore linebacker Daren Bates, who returned to action for the first time since the LSU game, said his shoulder injury is much better. "My shoulder is not hurting at all,"?he said. "I just want to get out there and make some plays."

Daren Bates moved from safety to linebacker this season.

Bates said the Tigers had a good practice on Thursday night. "It has been going good. Everybody knows what is stake--it's Alabama. That is the only that has to be said around here. For Alabama everybody picks it up. Practice is more intense, more physical and all of that type of stuff."

In other news and notes:

*Auburn has nominated 15 players for All-SEC consideration. The group includes quarterback Cameron Newton, wide receivers Darvin Adams and Terrell Zachery, offensive linemen Mike Berry, Byron Isom, Ryan Pugh and Lee Ziemba, defensive tackles Zach Clayton and Nick Fairley, defensive end Antoine Carter, linebackers Josh Bynes and Craig Stevens, defensive back Zac Etheridge, defensive back/kick returner Demond Washington and all-purpose performer Onterio McCalebb.

Auburn has nominated seven players for consideration for 2010 Freshman All-SEC teams. The group includes cornerback Chris Davis, running back Michael Dyer, defensive end Nosa Eguae, defensive end Corey Lemonier, safety Demetruce McNeal, defensive end Craig Sanders and defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker.

*Injured safety Aairon Savage is still in rehab from his injury. Chizik said on Thursday that the sixth-year senior is trying to get back in time for wherever Auburn plays its bowl game, but the coach said he isn't sure that Savage will be recovered in time to play again for the Tigers.

*Cameron Newton can move into the Top 10 in SEC history for rushing yards by a quarterback in Auburn's next game. He has 1,410 yards and the 10th-ranked player in SEC history, Mike Fannuzzi (1971-74, Kentucky) has 1,484. The record is 2,947 by Tim Tebow (2006-2009 Florida).

*Special teams coach Jay Boulware said that senior Ryan Shoemaker will get the start as the punter vs. Alabama ahead of freshman Steven Clark.

*Chizik said the Tigers will continue to practice in Jordan-Hare Stadium leading up to the Alabama game.

*The Tigers will practice early on Thanksgiving, have a team function and then give the players time off later in the day.

*Wes Byrum is ranked eighth in SEC history for most points scored with 343. He needs three points more to pass Philip Doyle (1987-90, Alabama) to move into seventh. The record is 409 by Georgia's Billy Bennett from 2006-2009.

*Philip Lutzenkirchen, who had been sidelined with a shoulder problem since the Ole Miss game, said he was itching to play again, especially vs. Georgia, a team from his home state. Lutzenkirchen said the first of his two touchdown catches was an incredible pass from Cameron Newton. "There were three defenders and two of them crossed," the tight end said. "I don't know how he got it there."

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