That could be good news for an Auburn team that head coach Tommy Tuberville says is ready to get back on the playing field after having an extra two days to prepare for the Orangemen. "We cut it a little bit short today," Tuberville said. "We've practiced enough for this team. So, we just need to play and see where we are at. It's kind of like playing your first game of the year again. I think we're ready to play. We have a good game plan. Our guys are in good spirits--a little nervous about the flight, which is normal."
The Tigers spent a majority of the practice working on alignments both offensively and defensively to make sure players were lined up correctly. The Syracuse offense is a complex scheme of formations and Tuberville said the extra few days of practice has been good for his defense. "There are so many different things they do when they come to the line of scrimmage. They move tight ends, line up in different formations. It's been tough on our defense, but it's been good to have these extra days. I don't know how people get ready for these guys in two days. We have a good game plan, we just have to get out there and play."
On the injury front, Tuberville said his team is as healthy as it has been since the first scrimmage. "When we first scrimmaged we lost Marcel Willis and Brandon Johnson with turned ankles. Since then, it's been kind of lose one, get one healthy, lose two, get one healthy. We've been on the down side, but now this is the best that we've been. We're not full speed. Some of these guys are still hurt a little bit, but they can go and play."
Wide receiver Willis has been cleared to play and has been practicing all week at full strength which should allow him to see his first action of the season. The only other real question mark going into the Syracuse game was the health of wide receiver Deandre Green, who sprained an ankle in the Tigers' victory over Ole Miss. The six-foot-one, 225-pounder practiced all week and will play against the Orangemen. The Tigers are traveling 65 players to Syracuse and all will be available for action Saturday.
The team will have a light practice at The Carrier Dome when it arrives in Syracuse Friday afternoon. Tuberville says the Tigers will run around the dome to see if they have the right shoes and hopes that they are in the right frame of mind.