Tigers Getting Healthier For Bulldogs

Coach Tommy Tuberville talks about Wednesday's practice, Auburn's injury situation and there are more news and notes from the Tiger practice field.

Auburn, Ala.--Continuing work on the Georgia Bulldogs, the Auburn Tigers practiced for two hours Wednesday with the focus on the game plan for Saturday's nationally televised contest.

Coach Tommy Tuberville noted that his team also spent a lot of time on special teams as the coaching staff adds more starters to coverage and return teams in an effort to get the best players on the field more plays as they head down the stretch of the 2003 season.

"It was a good practice today," Tuberville said. "Everybody practiced at least a little bit. Brandon Johnson practiced some and he's working through it. With no broken bones usually they play in these games. It was a good practice. We spent a lot of time on the kicking game tonight. We didn't spend a lot of time on it yesterday so concentrated a little bit more tonight.

"We're adding more starters on special teams," Tuberville added. "These last two games every year we do this. You're running out of time and everybody wants to play as much as they can in these two. We do roll a lot of people in and out, but it's hard to get people out of these games."

One of the positions that is up for grabs this week is the field goal kicker with both Philip Yost and John Vaughn working for the number one spot again. Both have been given opportunities this season and Tuberville said they will make a decision on who will kick following Thursday's practice.

Despite the SEC race being out of reach and coming off a disappointing loss to Ole Miss Tuberville said he's seen some good things out of his team this week in practice. That is something that he said this team has done a good job of doing all season.

"They have usually bounced back all year," Tuberville said. "That one all night is no different than LSU, you have to go on. They've handled it pretty good this year not getting too high when they've beaten somebody and not got too low because they know they have to come back the next week."

Offensively, the Tigers spent a lot of time on the passing game with quarterback Jason Campbell and back-up Josh Sullivan both working with the first team in seven-on-seven situations. Both quarterbacks threw the ball well and receiver Anthony Mix made several nice grabs along with sophomore Devin Aromashodu.

Defensively, the Tigers worked on stopping Georgia's cutback running lanes, something they have been deadly with in recent weeks.

True freshman defensive tackle Tez Doolittle is on the practice field this week for the first time this season.

A nice site for the defensive coaches was seeing number 99 running around with the defensive linemen for the first time this season. After having surgery late in the summer to repair an injured shoulder, true freshman Tez Doolittle has been cleared to begin practicing and was on the field Wednesday taking part in the non-contact part of the workout. The 6-3, 290-pounded appears to be moving well and should be full speed and ready to go when the Tigers begin practicing next spring.

On the injury front, tailback Brandon Jacobs was back running on the side after being kicked in the kidney during Saturday's game against Ole Miss. He's expected to be ready to go Saturday as is Johnson, who is recovering from a sprained ankle. Danny Lindsey returned to practice Wednesday with a brace on his ankle, but looked to be moving fine. Tuberville said both would play against Georgia.

"He went through all the team," Tuberville said of Lindsey. "You're not going to keep him out of this game. He's focused I would say."

Kickoff for Saturday's game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and can be seen nationally on CBS television.

Tiger Ticket Extra: Former Auburn All-SEC and NFL linebacker Mike Kolen was a visitor at Auburn's practice on Wednesday. A guest of FCA and a speaker at a meeting later on the Auburn campus, "Captain Crunch" took time out to come and speak with the Auburn team following practice. Kolen earned All-SEC honors in both 1968 and 1969 for Coach Shug Jordan's teams. He was a starter on the 1972 Miami Dolphins NFL Championship team, the last NFL team to do undefeated in a season.

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