Spirited Football Practice For Tigers

Auburn had an energetic and competitive Friday practice as it continues work to prepare for the Music City Bowl.

Auburn, Ala.--After a sluggish first day of bowl practice the Auburn Tigers responded with a livelier and more intense practice on Friday morning that featured several scuffles and some heavy hitting.

Working for nearly two hours in full pads the Tigers continued to install the game plan for the Wisconsin Badgers and worked heavily against the scout team.

Offensive tackle Mark Pera returned to practice on Friday from a bout with the flu that kept him out of Thursday's workouts. True freshman tackle King Dunlap is still bothered with the bug and is expected to be back on the field when the team reports to Nashville.

Pera was joined on the first team line by tackle Marcus McNeill, guards Troy Reddick and Jarrod Britt along with center Danny Lindsey. Both Monreko Crittenden and Lindsey suffered what appeared to be minor sprains in the practice, but are expected back for Friday afternoon's practice.

Britt and true freshman linebacker Quentin Groves caused some excitement during scout team work when the two tangled up for a short brawl that was finally broken up by teammates. After two consecutive plays where they butted heads, the duo finally came to blows causing teammates to stop and take in the action for a second before returning to practice.

Defensively, Tommy Jackson looks strong after struggling with a knee injury late in the season as does end Doug Langenfeld who had been hampered by a sprained ankle. Both were working some with the first team while seniors Demarco McNeil and Reggie Torbor watched from the sidelines.

Others who were impressive on Friday morning were linebackers Kevin Sears and Mayo Sowell and defensive tackle Tim Duckworth.

Mayo Sowell, Kevin Sears, Marquis Gunn and Courtney Taylor work during special teams drills on Friday.

Nobody had a better day though than defensive end Stanley McClover. Working on the scout team against the first team offense, McClover rang up sack after sack and let the offense know just how much he was getting done after each one. Along with Groves, Eric Brock, Patrick Lee, Courtney Denson and Josh Thompson, the 2003 scout team defense is as impressive as any at Auburn in quite some time.

The kicking game got a lot of work in the practice as Silas Daniels and Carnell Williams both got a chance to field punts along with Tre Smith. Expect all three to see some action against the Badgers and Williams should also return kickoffs with Devin Aromashodu. Both John Vaughn and Philip Yost kicked well in Friday morning's practice and appear to be confident heading into the New Year's Eve matchup.

Along with almost a dozen NFL scouts watching Friday's practice, two newcomers to the Auburn team were also in attendance. David Irons and Kenny Irons drove over from their home in Dacula, Ga., to see the Tigers in action. A player at Butler County Community College in Kansas, David just finished a season with a national championship and is expected to join the Tigers in January. Kenny has been at South Carolina the past two seasons, but is transferring to Auburn and is also expected to join the team in January. He will sit out the first season and be eligible in the fall of 2005.

Auburn will practice Friday afternoon at 3:30 and again Saturday morning before breaking for the holidays. Practice will resume in Nashville on Dec. 27 at Vanderbilt University's practice facilities. Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 11 a.m. on New Year's Eve.


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