Tigers Preparing For "A Handful"

Auburn, Ala.--Trying to get back in the swing of things following the 23-20 upset win over the Florida Gators Saturday night, the Auburn Tigers hit the practice fields for just over two hours Tuesday readying for the air assault offense of Louisiana Tech.

Concentrating on Louisiana Tech's pass-dominant offensive scheme, the defense spent much of the day working on formations and recognition as the group tries to copy an outstanding performance from last Saturday night vs. Florida.

A sight for sore eyes, mainly defensive coordinator John Lovett's, was Mark Brown running around at practice along with cornerback Travaris Robinson. Brown looked to be moving fine and there is a chance he could play this weekend, which would be big news for the Tigers with only Mayo Sowell and Phillip Pate currently healthy at linebacker.

The added depth for the Tigers could mean a lot for this game with the high-powered Bulldogs coming to town. Averaging 34.6 points per game and 434 yards of total offense per game, Louisiana Tech could give Auburn an extreme test, something the Tiger coaches expect.

"We've told the kids this week, this team coming in should have beat Fresno State and Oklahoma State," Lovett said. "They are a handful and if they (Auburn's defense) don't go out there and play lights out against these guys it's going to be a long afternoon."

Since watching the film from Saturday's win, Lovett had high praise for several Tigers including cornerbacks Roderick Hood and Carlos Rogers along with rover Rashaud Walker and whip Karlos Dansby. Up front he noted that Reggie Torbor and Alton Moore both played outstanding games, something they'll need again this week if they hope to contain Luke McCown and the explosive Tech passing game.

Still missing from practice were linebackers Dontarrious Thomas (knee), Brandon Johnson (groin) and Tavarreus Pounds (ankle) along with defensive tackle Demarco McNeil (knee). Lovett said both Johnson and McNeil should practice later in the week and will likely be ready for Saturday's game. That is important, as both should give the defense some extra bodies to work with when the Bulldogs have the ball.

"You saw what happened to us in the fourth quarter in Vanderbilt," Lovett said of the defense. "We learned a lesson from that. I think again there will be early substitutions and often substitutions just to get those guys in there so we will be fresh when we are playing."

Offensively, newly annointed starter Daniel Cobb worked with the first team offense as that group spent much of the day in two-minute drills and continuing to improve the passing game. Tight end Robert Johnson was back at practice and was moving better than he has at any time since his ankle injury occurred two weeks ago to the day. With the addition of Johnson, the offense appears to be as healthy as it has been all year and should be close to full strength for Saturday's game.

Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 1 p.m. and can be seen only on pay-per-view. Dish Network customers can tune to channel 455 to order while Residential C-Band satellite customers must call 1-800-TV-STARS to order. Commercial dish owners must call 1-800-TV-STARS to order.

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