AU Wraps Up Preparations For LSU Road Trip

Auburn has wrapped up on the field preparations for what could be one of its toughest road games of the 2003 football season.

Auburn, Ala.--Junior quarterback Jason Campbell and his teammates wrapped up preparations for Saturday's important SEC West football showdown with a light Thursday workout on a cool and sunny fall afternoon at the Auburn Football Complex.

Campbell, who will be making his second start at Tiger Stadium, says he is certain he and his offensive teammates will have to deal with a lot of noise. "The main thing when you are playing a big game like this one, and it is so loud, is that an offensive lineman or a wide receiver, instead of them listening to the quarterback, they really need to watch the ball."

As a redshirt freshman in 2001, Campbell started in Baton Rouge as LSU won a rescheduled game postponed by the 911 tragedy that happened the previous September. Auburn didn't play well and fell 27-14 to an LSU team that won the league championship game immediate after defeating Auburn in a battle that Campbell says he definitely remembers.

Jason Campbell

"The first year we went down there it was kind of crazy," he says. "We were on the sideline. They were saying things to try to get you off your focus on the game. On the way to the game it was kind of crazy. People were throwing stuff at our buses and everything--trying to intimidate us, I guess."

Campbell says he believes his team will be ready for the hostile atmosphere. "You basically try to tune them out," he says. "You try not to look behind you and listen to what they are saying, but basically we get that about everywhere we go. People try to say things to get us off focus from the game."

Kickoff time for Saturday's game is shortly after 6:45 p.m. A sellout crowd of more than 91,000 fans is expected at Tiger Stadium and there will be a national television audience watching on ESPN. Auburn is 4-0 in the SEC while LSU is 3-1 and desperately needs to beat AU to stay in the hunt for the divisional title.

Coach Tommy Tuberville said that Thursday's hour and a half workout went smoothly and capped what he called a good week of practice. "Everybody went full speed today except for Doug Langenfeld (ankle), who will not play," Tuberville said.

"LSU is a good team and our guys can recognize that on film," Tuberville noted. "Sometimes you tried to build them (opponents) up. That is kind of hard to do because you can't fool them. You don't have to fool this week. This is a good team."

The Tigers rehearsed the game plan on Thursday with an emphasis on the kicking game. Tuberville said the Tigers have been polishing their fake punts and field goals this week in case they are needed against the nation's ninth-ranked team. Auburn didn't need any trickery to win last year, taking a 31-7 victory as Tuberville improved his Auburn record to 3-1 vs. LSU.

"The one that wins this game has an opportunity to get ahead in the West and have an opportunity to control their destiny," Campbell says. "You know the last couple of years we have been dependent on tie-breakers to go to Atlanta and they really haven't fallen our way."

LSU is ranked ninth nationally thanks to a strong defense that gives up just 263.4 yards per game. LSU has been particularly tough to run against, allowing just 53.1 yards per game, which leads the nation. teams have had more success throwing the ball vs. the Bayou Bengals, who give up 210.3 yards per game through the air.

Campbell is eighth all-time in career passing yards among Auburn quarterbacks with 3,459. This season he has completed 89-145 for 1,127 yards with five TDs and three interceptions.

"I am pretty sure there is going to an opportunity for me to throw the ball a lot," Campbell says. "The main thing we have got to do is play within ourselves, go out and execute, be relaxed, be comfortable and not put any pressure on yourself. Just go out there and do the best you can and do your job. I am pretty sure we are going to have to throw the ball to move the sticks (yardsticks). They are going to put eight or nine people in the box and make us throw the ball."

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