"Best Practice In A Month"

Auburn, Ala.--It wasn't a typical Thursday practice for Auburn at the team's football complex. Just two hours before the Tigers hit the practice fields, they heard the news that their game with LSU on Saturday had been postponed to a yet to be determined date.

"We felt a little of both out there today at practice," head coach Tommy Tuberville said. "I feel like all of the players and coaches would probably have rather played the game, but I felt a little sense of relief. It was probably one of the best practices we've had in a month."

The Tigers tried to make the most out of this inopportune situation and spent more than two and half hours working on team and individual drills. A normal Thursday practice would have seen the Tigers go through a light work out to fine-tune the game plan for their next opponent.

"We did a lot team work against each other," Tuberville said. "We watched film on Syracuse and we'll do more against Syracuse tomorrow. We've got to shift gears and try to refocus on another team. It's been a tough week on everybody, but it was a good practice. The players understand more than anybody why we're not playing this game. We tried to refocus today and get back to basics."

The coaching staff used the unexpected off week to allow some less than full speed players a chance to heal. "Of course, being an open date, we're trying to get as many people as healthy as we can," Tuberville said. "We were a little bit banged up, most everybody would've played, but we were banged up and this gives a little time to get people healthy before we get into this stretch here." Among the players missing from the practice fields were wide receivers Marcel Willis and Deandre Green and defensive tackle DeMarco McNeil

With the postponement of the game, wide receiver Tim Carter said Thursday's practice was more like a spring practice. "We had a lot more contact and a lot more one on one work. We did a lot of things to get people better. It feels different than a game-type preparation. It was a very fun, exciting, everybody was competitive, real competitive today. I think everybody got better today."

The Tigers did more conditioning work as well on Thursday. Tuberville said the Central Florida coaches, whose team played Syracuse last Saturday, were telling him it was the hottest place they have played.

There will be a full-scale practice on Friday and Tuberville said the coaching staff will decide on the schedule for the remainder of the weekend later.


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