Several Tigers who were nursing injuries during the week went through the entire practice and Coach Tommy Tuberville said he was pleased with what he saw. "It was good to see Dontarrious Thomas out there and it was great to see Robert Johnson. It looked like he was almost full speed."
Thomas injured his right knee in the third quarter of the Florida game and earlier in the week it appeared that he would have to miss Auburn's Homecoming game with Louisiana Tech Saturday, but the linebacker practiced on Thursday and should be ready to play. Johnson sat out the Mississippi State game with a high ankle sprain and tried to go last week vs. Florida, but the injury kept him from being full-speed vs. the Gators.
There was other good news on the injury front with players who haven't been full-speed in the past few weeks look to be getting stronger. Tuberville said that group includes--cornerback Travaris Robinson, center Ben Nowland, defensive tackle DeMarco McNeil and linebacker Brandon Johnson. Junior linebacker Mark Brown has been practicing with a non-contact jersey all week and Tuberville said he knows the game plan. Brown will be re-evaluated to test the strength of his injured shoulder before he is cleared to play Saturday.
"We're going to be close to full strength," the coach added. "Tavarreus Pounds looks like he will be the only guy that will miss this game that has been playing. Now we just have to believe in what we've been practicing and go out and get it done."
The Tigers are coming off a surprising victory over Florida and playing the non-conference Bulldogs might be cause for an emotional letdown. Tuberville said his team is ready though. "If we don't play well, it's because the other team is better than us. They're ready to play and looking forward to it. They remember last year how they played. We didn't play that well and we were coming off a loss and maybe the win will propel us to better things."
Coach Tuberville and the 2001 seniors will take part in a Homecoming pep rally at Jordan-Hare Stadium at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Kickoff for the Auburn-Louisiana Tech game is set for 1:07 p.m. and the game can be seen on a pay-per-view basis. Contact The Auburn Network at 1-800-208-2112 for further information.