Tigers Put On the Pads to Get More Physical

A report on Tuesday night's Auburn football practice features comments from coaches and players.

Auburn, Ala.--After having lighter football practices in shorts in recent weeks, that changed on Tuesday night as the Tigers put on the full pads for a physical session that lasted two hours and 20 minutes as Auburn prepared for Saturday's Homecoming game vs. Samford.

"I think practice was very awesome," junior running back Onterio McCalebb said. "Everybody was running around being physical and things like that. That is what we needed. We couldn't have anybody out there feeling sad about last week."

McCalebb said the session was one of the more physical workouts the Tigers have had in a while. The running back said the team had a meeting and he believes the group's focus is looking forward in hopes of playing well vs. Samford and Alabama to close the regular season rather than lingering on a dreadful performance last Saturday at Georgia.

Commenting on the practice, offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said, "We were just tying to get back into the flow, trying to be physical, trying to get the mindset so we can finish strong. I think it was pretty solid, really. I feel like our guys were ready to get back at it to get back on track."

Head coach Gene Chizik said Auburn's the offense needs to do a better job of spreading the ball around to more receivers after just four Tigers made receptions in the Georgia game. One of the players who would love to be a part of that plan is junior Travante Stallworth.

"I think that's a great thing that should happen soon," Stallworth said, noting that he believes it will make the offense more difficult to defend.

Emory Blake grabbed half of Auburn's dozen receptions vs. Georgia and he has been getting the majority of the passes thrown to him along with tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen and running back Onterio McCalebb. "That's just how the offense is run," Stallworth said. "Where Emory's position is that is where most of the balls are going to go to. That is just how the offense is."

Trovon Stallworth is shown in action this year.

Stallworth has 13 receptions this season, but nine came in two games with four for 93 yards in the opener vs. Utah State and five for 71 yards vs. Clemson. Since that game he has just three catches with the last two coming three games ago at LSU for a total of just 10 yards.

Despite missing a substantial amount of playing time this season Blake leads the team in receptions with 30 and yardage with 505. McCalebb had 26 catches for 263 yards and Lutzenkirchen has 9 catches for 172 and a team-high six touchdown catches.

"Those guys are three of our big play-makers so the ball gets in their hands most of the time," Stallworth said. "Other people have just got to step up and try to make some plays.

Auburn finished the Georgia game with just 195 yards of total offense while giving up 528. Asked if the Tigers are embarrassed with how they played in Athens, Stallworth said, "Yeah, we're all embarrassed, but we have just got to have short-term memory and go out there and get ready for Samford on Saturday.

Stallworth said the offense needs to do a better job of carrying out Malzahn's game plans to play to its potential. "It's been frustrating because last year we were averaging 400 to 500 yards a game," the receiver said. "It goes back to execution and just going out there and making the plan work like in practice, and, just winning."

In other news and notes:

*The only telecast of Saturday's game is pay-per-view with Andy Burcham and Ben Leard calling the action. It is available on cable in the state of Alabama as well as on DirecTV or Dish Network subscribers.

*Auburn has won 13 consecutive games at Jordan-Hare Stadium going into Saturday's contest.

*The Tigers have an even longer streak concerning Homecoming games. Auburn is going for its 20th straight Homecoming victory after setting a school record last year with its win over Chattanooga, surpassing the old streak that ran from 1953 through 1969. Overall, the Tigers have 71 victories, eight losses and five ties in Homecoming games.

*Samford's second leading tackler is defensive back Alvin Hines, Jr., from Pelham, whose father was on the football team at Auburn. The Samford player was recruited by Will Muschamp when he was the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Auburn.

*Former Auburn assistant Rhett Lashley is Samford's offensive coordinator. Malzahn said it will be "weird" seeing his long-time assistant on the other sideline. "Someday he will be a head coach at this level," Malzahn predicted. "He has that it factor. He is a very smart individual. He has got everything it takes to be a really good coach."

Malzahn said he hated to lose Lashley, but said the young coach was ready to take an offensive coordinator's post so he can move up the coaching ladder.

*On Tuesday the athletic department announced parking plans for the final two home games with the campus on break next week for the Thanksgiving holiday. Here is that plan:

•RVs parked in the hayfields for this weekend's Samford game may remain parked until the Nov. 26 contest vs. Alabama. The hayfield lots will open on Wednesday, Nov. 23rd at 2 p.m. for RVs that weren't previously parked by this Saturday. The RVs must remain unoccupied from Sunday night following the Samford game until 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23rd.
•The SRV lot will open for football permit RV parking at noon on Friday, Nov. 25.
•The East Coliseum RV lot will open for football permit RV parking at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 25.
•At 6 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 25 the campus will open for tailgating. Reserved game day parking lots will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26.

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