AU Assistants Talk Prep For BCS Title Game

Auburn assistant coaches Curtis Luper, Tommy Thigpen, Jeff Grimes, Trooper Taylor and Tracy Rocker discuss Friday's practice and getting ready for Oregon.

Scottsdale, Ariz.--With the Auburn Tigers putting the finishing touches on the game plan for Monday's game against Oregon we got an opportunity to talk to assistant coaches following Friday's nearly two hour workout in shorts and shoulder pads. Getting a feel for what the coaches think is always important and we'll provide that in this Q and A session with Auburn's assistants.

Curtis Luper

Just talk about practices this week and how they've been?

"It has been really good. Essentially we're just polishing. The hay was in the barn before we left and we just want to keep them sharp and focused. There are some particulars that we need to work on that we've been working on."

What about today's practice?

"It was a good hour and a half for us. Our guys are ready to play."

Jeff Grimes

Just talk about the practices in Arizona. How has everything gone?

"It has been great. Obviously the climate has been a little bit different which has been nice. It took our players a couple of days to get adjusted to it because it's a little warmer and drier. The facilities have been great and the kids have been really focused. Today in particular we're starting to get excited about the game being pretty close."

Tommy Thigpen

Just talk about the preparation for you guys this week and how everything has gone.

"It has gone well and they've treated us tremendously well out here. The setup has been nice and we've been able to meet for a couple of hours each day on the things we need to do to prepare for Oregon."

How much has that extra time helped in getting prepared for Oregon?

"I can see why teams have a hard time playing us on offense because it's not enough time. All of the things they do to you, it's a lot. You can only play a few coverages against them and they do enough to exploit what you can do. I can see why Gus Malzahn's system is so successful because you need two or three weeks to prepare for that and in college football you only have five days. It's a tremendous advantage for teams like Oregon and Auburn."

Trooper Taylor

Just talk about Friday's practice, how did it go?

"It was good. The kids were upbeat and they flew around a little bit. I was real excited about, because we've ran these plays so long, they are calling them before we get to a certain landmark or spot on the field. They are already calling out what's coming. When we start talking scenarios they already know what's coming. When they are talking like coaches it makes you feel confident they're going to execute."

How have things come together out there in Arizona?

"The guys have been focused. A lot has been said about their curfews and things like that but mine, when I go by to see them, even though they don't have curfew until 12 they are already there. They're back in at nine and 10 o'clock. That says a bunch too. They know we trust them but it reinforces it when I look for one of them and find them at the hotel. It's really good when you walk into your meeting room and there are six of them watching tape on their own and you didn't know they were in there. That gives you great confidence."

Tracy Rocker

Just talk about the preparation for your guys this week and how everything has gone.

"So far so good. Everybody has approached practice very business-like and focused with an attention to detail. As we get closer and closer we'll have to pay attention to things. As we get closer and closer you can see them moving a bit faster and more in-tune to what's going on. Everybody is looking forward to Monday."

Do you feel like everything is on track to be ready on Monday?

"I feel like it but we've got a couple more days here. The biggest thing is getting your mind, your heart, your soul, this is a one shot deal, making sure we're all in tune. The thing for me in that defensive room is that it's the last time for me to see Mike Goggans and Mike Blanc and Antoine Carter and Zach Clayton. That's the hard part for me. Everybody talks about the game but this is my last time with them. For me it's a great time to spend with them and trying to figure out what their plans are when this thing is over. We're all here for one thing, to win the game."

Auburn will have its final practice on Saturday afternoon with a short walk-through scheduled for Sunday. Kickoff on Monday night is scheduled for 7:30 central time at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.


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