Tigers Preparing For Homecoming Opponent

Auburn, Ala.--The Tigers had their second productive practice day of the week on Wednesday as the coaches continue to push the team in hopes of avoiding a letdown this weekend when the Tigers face the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs for homecoming Saturday on the Plains.

"We had good weather," head coach Tommy Tuberville notes. "The guys have been jumping around, they know what's in front of them. On defense they know they have to play probably even better than they did last week. They are going to have to keep the intensity up and we're going to have to tackle a lot better than we did last year."

Some help arrived for the defense on Wednesday as defensive tackle Demarco McNeil and linebacker Brandon Johnson both practiced and should be ready to play this Saturday. Also in action were linebackers Mark Brown and Dontarrious Thomas. Tuberville said Brown has yet to be cleared but should be fine for this weekend. Thomas did some running and looks to be close to getting back to full contact. He's still listed as questionable for this weekend.

On offense quarterback Daniel Cobb and the first-team offense looked crisp all day and especially when running the two-minute offense at the end of Wednesday's practice. The senior threw the ball well down the field with Tim Carter and Marcel Willis both making outstanding plays. In the backfield all hands appear to be healthy as Ronnie Brown is fully recovered from the ankle and quad injuries that have hampered him the last few weeks. With Johnson seeing more time at linebacker this week because of the injury problem, don't be surprised to see Brown play some fullback when the Tigers want a quicker, more versatile offensive unit on the field.

Looking past the Bulldogs would be very easy, but one player who says that he doesn't plan on letting his teammates become complacent is junior tight end Lorenzo Diamond. Following the big win over Florida, the Mississippi native says that he and the other leaders of this team have some things they have to do for the young guys this week.

"Talk to them, get them mentally prepared," notes Diamond . "They have a good team this year, a great offense as usual. Each year they come in as one of the top offenses in the nation so defensively we've got to let the young guys know that this is not one of the those games where you let your guard down.

"We've got to stay up, stay on our P's and Q's, and go out this week in practice and work like we worked last week preparing for Florida. Each week we're going to have to do that because none of the games we have left are easy games. We're going to have to go out focused every weekend and get ready for each game beginning Saturday."

Kickoff for the homecoming contest is scheduled for 1 p.m. and can be seen on pay-per-view only. Dish Network subscribers can tune to channel 455 to order the game while residential C-Band satellite customers must call 1-800-TV-STARS to order the game. Commercial dish owners must call 1-888-TV-STARS for ordering instructions.

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