Tigers Tune For Music City Road Trip

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn football team hopes to put on a performance as nice as the weather was on Thursday as <b>Tommy Tuberville</b> put his team through a two-hour workout in its final tuneup for Saturday night's SEC road trip to Vanderbilt.

The weather was cool and dry as the team spent a majority of its practice time putting the finishing touches on the offensive and defensive game plans for the Commodores. The forecast for Saturday's game is for cool and clear weather with highs expected in the low 70s.

The Tigers also spent time fine-tuning their assignments on special teams and in their two-minute offense.

Tuberville said he was encouraged to see a couple of players at Thursday's practice who he wasn't sure would be ready to play on Saturday. "We got a couple of guys back today that were a little surprising. Lorenzo (Diamond) was back out. He sprained his toe (earlier in the week). It looks like he is going to play. Ben Nowland ran around good. He'll travel and dress and play if needed."

While Diamond and Nowland returned to practice, three Tigers took the afternoon off for what Tuberville said was to get them back to 100 percent. Running back Ronnie Brown (bruised shoulder), defensive tackle DeMarco McNeil (knee) and wide receiver Deandre Green (back spasms) all missed Thursday's practice.

Overall, Tuberville said his Tigers looked to be in good shape heading into their first conference road game. "We just need to go and play. We have a good game plan and now we can see how we'll bounce back from that loss last week."

Even though Nowland was back at Thursday's practice, true freshman Danny Lindsey still worked with the first team offense and is expected to get his first AU start Saturday. Tuberville said he has been pleased with the work of Lindsey during preparation for Vandy and that being able to work with the first team will help solve his communication breakdowns which were evident against Syracuse . "This week he has had all the snaps with Jason and they have communicated," Tuberville said. "The main thing for a center is to get the defense called and the snap off before the 25-second clock is over. He's had a good week of practice. I'm sure he'll be a little bit nervous."

Also on the injury front, redshirt freshman Nate French will travel and dress for his first game of the season. The offensive guard had missed the Tigers' first three games with an ankle injury. Tuberville said French looked good and should be ready to go.

Phillip Pate, who also returned to practice this week, will not travel with the Tigers, but Tuberville said will be ready for full-scale practices on Sunday.

The Tigers return to conference play with their tilt vs. the Commodores. Tuberville said his young troops better be prepared for what lies ahead. "Anytime you play a conference game, especially on the road, you better come to play. I don't care who you are playing. It will go down to the wire. It will be a tough game. They have a good football team and have the best offense they have had."

Auburn and Vanderbilt will kick off at 6 p.m. with the game being available on a pay-per-view basis only. For information about getting the telecast contact your local cable provider or call 1-800-TV-STARS for home satellite dish owners.

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