Rainy Monday Bowl Practice For Tigers

Auburn wrapped up on the field preparations for the Wisconsin Badgers with a rainy Monday practice.

Nashville, Tenn.--The weather that had been perfect through two days of practice in the Music City turned nasty on Monday as the Auburn Tigers spent nearly two hours on the fields at Vanderbilt University putting the finishing touches on the game plan for the Wisconsin Badgers in a driving rain.

Coach Tommy Tuberville noted that the weather was good for his team to remain mentally focused for the task at hand on Wednesday.

"It was a good day for concentration," Tuberville said. "We almost made it through the season without a real wet day, but this was pretty difficult. When you have a wet day like this you have to concentrate more. It was a good practice. We got everything in. We changed practice today because the weather is going to get a little worse. This afternoon we'll spend most of our time in meetings and learning from mistakes we made on the practice field. It looks like everybody is ready to play."

In a steady rain that lasted the duration of the practice, the Tigers worked on all phases of the game in preparation for the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, including spending a significant amount of time on special teams. Going through every conceivable situation such as onside kicks, Tuberville said the team had a good day polishing up on the little things offensively, defensively and in the kicking game.

"The kicking game today looked real good," Tuberville said. "We got everything in that we needed to get in. Now we just need to go out and play and see what we've accomplished."

While the offense went through the paces of the plan with Jason Campbell running the show, the defense continued its pattern of substituting player after player at just about every position to ensure the depth is there for Wednesday's game. One of the positions that will get a lot of turnover in the battle against Wisconsin is at cornerback where Carlos Rogers has one spot locked down and redshirt freshman Montae Pitts along with sophomore Kevin Hobbs are fighting to see who comes out on top in time for Wednesday's kickoff. Position Coach Phillip Lolley said that it has been a healthy battle and it will likely go down to the wire to see who wins the job.

Kevin Hobbs will split time with Montae Pitts at cornerback against Wisconsin.

"It's a series to series type deal and who's in the game mentally, who's physical and who's doing the little things right," Lolley said of his plan for the game. "We'll watch how it plays out. We'll watch film again this evening. It's a practice-to-practice type thing with them. We never want them to be satisfied and say, ‘Well, I started three or four games and it's mine.' We want those guys to try to be the best they can be and never be fully satisfied. We've got a lot of work to do.

"One thing we stress to any of our guys is that just because somebody is playing in front of you today doesn't mean that you don't come to practice tomorrow to beat him out. We're going to be straight up about it. The film doesn't lie. The kids sit in the film room with us. The competition is great and that's where you improve."

The Tigers will have a longer than normal walk-through on Tuesday at the Coliseum and have meetings before getting a good night's rest for the early 11 a.m. kickoff on New Year's Eve. The game can be seen nationally on ESPN. Both Auburn and Wisconsin enter with a record of 7-5.

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