Tigers Get Healthy, Ready For Hogs

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn used its Thursday workout to install the final part of its game plan for Arkansas which and the Tigers ended the session in better shape health-wise than they have been in recent weeks.

The Tigers wrapped up what Coach Tommy Tuberville said was a good week of practice. He also noted that Auburn is in much better shape going into the Arkansas game this year than they were last year.

"We looked bad early on," Tuberville said. "About three or four weeks ago we were really beat up. I was really afraid going into this game that we were really going to be struggling, even mentally. We really struggled to beat them (Auburn 21, Arkansas 19) even though the ball game was here. This year we're in a better frame of mind. It looks like we have a lot more energy."

Tuberville said linebacker Mark Brown is only the player who might miss the game Saturday vs. Arkansas. The junior will be re-evaluated before a final decision is made.

The Tigers return to conference play with their contest with the Razorbacks and the Hogs will give the AU defense a different look after facing two teams which primarlily pass the ball. Tuberville said his defense's confidence is fine after allowing 41 points to the Bulldogs on Homecoming Saturday. "Last week's game, you can count that off defensively. We knew going in it would be a battle. They probably have one of the best, if not the best, offenses we will see all year matchup-wise with what we do. I think you can kind of write that one off as experience."

Linebacker Mayo Sowell, who will likely start for the third consecutive week, said the mistakes from the Louisiana Tech game are correctable. "I don't think our cofidence is shaken," Sowell says. "If we knew we didn't have the talent, then we would be nervous or scared, but we know we have the talent. It's the mental things we need to correct. If we do that then we'll get back on top."

The coach noted there will be a number of players rotating in and out at the linebacker spots Saturday. One of those players is senior Tavarreus Pounds, who returned to practice this week after spraining his ankle in the Mississippi State game three weeks ago. Pounds is expected to see action, but Tuberville said he probably will not start.

"I think the guys are excited about this game and excited about being off next week," Tuberville said. "We need to get our legs back underneath us. Then, we'll regroup next week and get everybody healthy and get after the next three."

The Tigers and Razorbacks kickoff at 11:30 a.m. with the game being broadcast by Jefferson-Pilot Sports. Tuberville said playing a game this early on the road is an advantage to the visiting team. He said he doesn't like to play home games in the morning time slot.

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