Tigers Looking Forward, Not Back

Tight end Lorenzo Diamond says the Tigers' homecoming opponent is no pushover.

Auburn, Ala.--If Auburn's upset over No. 1 Florida had occurred at the end of the season, maybe the players could savor their surprising 23-20 victory a little longer, but for now they must view it as just another win. The Tigers (5-1, 4-0 SEC) have to forget about the Gators and start focusing on their next task.

And doing just that is crucial for a young team that shocked most of the college football world Saturday night. "I will not allow this team to let up," Coach Tommy Tuberville says. "A big concern we have as coaches is getting over this last game. And, of course, the second is playing another very good team this week."

The Bulldogs are not your typical whipping-shed opponent that teams schedule for homecoming. They are 3-2 on the season and battled No. 8 Fresno State down to the wire, on the road, before falling 38-28. Tuberville adds that preparing for the Bulldogs will be another lesson in Football 101 for his young troops.

All the motivation the Tigers might need to get up for the Bulldogs is to take a look at the film of their 38-28 victory over the Bulldogs from last season. It's an idea that Tuberville said he plans on using throughout the week. Even though it was a 10-point victory, Auburn allowed 433 yards passing to a true freshman. Without SEC Player of the Year Rudi Johnson racking up more than 200 yards on the ground and scoring four touchdowns that day, the Tigers could have felt like their cross-state rivals, Alabama, which was upset by the Bulldogs 29-28 at their homecoming in 1999.

"Watching game film from last year you get to see yourself and evaluate yourself," tight end Lorenzo Diamond says. "You get to see the things you did wrong and see the things you can improve on for this game. For the young guys, we have to let them know this team is pretty good. I don't know what we'll have to do this week to pick it up, but we'll have to do something. We can't just go out there and be lackadaisical."

If anyone has a right to be hung over from the emotion of the Florida game it would be the younger players because several of them contributed in big ways last Saturday. Especially ones like freshman linebacker Mayo Sowell, who led the team in tackles with 10 in his first collegiate start vs. Florida.

If Sowell's attitude carries over to the rest of the younger players, then the coaching staff should not be to concerned about a let up. "It's a game," Sowell says. "It's competition and I'm a competitive person. I'm fired up about practice already. Some people might not want to practice. We're going to see who forgot about Florida and is thinking about Louisiana Tech. Hopefully, everybody has forgot about Florida and is thinking about Louisiana Tech."


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