Anxious To Get Back Into Action

Defensive end Doug Langenfeld talks about his comeback from an ankle injury and Auburn's challenge against Ole Miss.

Auburn, Ala.--Saturday could be a long day for Auburn's defensive linemen as the Ole Miss Rebels come to Jordan-Hare Stadium with the leading pass offense in the SEC. That makes for a busy day for the Tiger defensive tackles and ends because of the constant pass rushing required in what could be one of the key games of the SEC football season.

One positive for Auburn is that junior defensive end Doug Langenfeld is expected to be on the field for the first time since the Arkansas game back on Oct. 11.

A junior college transfer, Langenfeld made an instant impact for the Tigers and earned his first start against Western Kentucky. In six games the former track star had two sacks to go along with 10 tackles, but he says that he feels like he's almost back to square one after a high ankle sprain put him on the shelf for almost a month.

"It's real frustrating because I started off so well," Langenfeld says. "To have a setback like this, I have to start all over again. I can't let it get me down."

Doug Langenfeld (98) has started three games this season and played in three others. His Tigers are 4-1 in SEC games while Ole Miss is 5-0, its best league start since 1963.

Staying positive, Langenfeld worked on the exercise bikes and in the training room to be in a position to play against Eli Manning and the Rebels this weekend. Despite constant encouragement from position Coach Terry Price, Langenfeld says that he has felt like he was letting the team down and wants to make up for that beginning Saturday.

"I got sick and tired of riding that bike everyday," Langenfeld notes. "It felt good (practicing again). I can contribute. I guess some of the coaches have a little bit of faith left in me. I've been out for a while and they'll probably say, ‘Doug is probably out of shape and fatigued.' I'm halfway back. I'm not out yet."

Tuesday was his first day back practicing for Langenfeld other than walking through some drills and jogging on the side. After participating in some scout team work, he watched the contact drills from the side. The South Carolina native says that he survived the first day back without much difficulty.

"My ankle stood up pretty well at times," he says. "It got a little stiff towards the end of practice. I just went to the training room and got a little ice. I would say right now I'm about 80 percent. Hopefully, I'll be at least 90 by Friday, hopefully."

Sharing time at end since Langenfeld has been out, both Bret Eddins and Jay Ratliff have played solidly and Eddins is second on the team with three sacks. That's something that has Langenfeld excited about the possibilities at the position in the weeks to come and starting this Saturday against Ole Miss.

"I'm just going to try and get a pass rush," Langenfeld says. "I'm just going to try to put a little pressure on the quarterback and make him do some things he doesn't want to do and relieve Jay (Ratliff) and Bret (Eddins) some if I can.

"He's a good quarterback and up for the Heisman," Langenfeld notes about about Ole Miss star Manning. "I figure if I can disrupt him a little bit we'll have a good chance to win the game. That would be one less step to Atlanta."

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