Dawg Days Begin At Busy Sunday Practice

Auburn, Ala.--Sunday's practice looked liked a Tuesday session, and an intense one at that. Very intense.

In a break from the normal Sunday routine, the Tigers put on the full pads and had one of their most physical workouts of the season on Sunday, going for more than two hours as preparations for Saturday's road trip hit high gear. Instead of just part of the practice featuring a lot of hitting, throughout the duration of the session somebody was getting physical somewhere on the AU practice fields.

Coach Tommy Tuberville said he liked what he saw. "The intensity is real good," he said. "It should be with an important game coming up against Georgia." The fact that the Tigers feature 24 Georgians on the roster probably goes a long way towards explaining the enthusiasm for Sunday's workout.

The Tigers and the Bulldogs will square off for the 105th time at 2:30 p.m. CST at Sanford Stadium, where the Tigers have won 16 of their 24 appearances. The game will be televised by CBS. Auburn leads the SEC's original rivalry game 50-46-8 and is going for a third straight win vs. the Bulldogs.

The first team offense squared off against the number one defense in passing drills as the competition for the No. 1 quarterback job continues. Daniel Cobb looks to be the leader with redshirt freshman Jason Campbell likely to remain as the reserve. Tuberville says he will announce the starter on Tuesday. Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone would give no hints on Sunday night which way he is leaning.

Daniel Cobb vs. Louisiana Tech.

One of the most interesting aspects of practice were the up-downs or grass drills the offense had to do with each mistake--a fumble, an offsides or other miscue. "That wasn't my idea," Mazzone said. "It was something the seniors decided we needed to do as a way to eliminate our mistakes on offense."

With the team having a light Friday workout and no practice on Saturday, Tuberville says that the Tigers will practice on Monday, which is normally a day off.

Tuberville is 2-0 as Auburn's head coach vs. the Bulldogs, including a 29-26 overtime victory last season at Jordan-Hare Stadium. On AU's last trip to Athens, a senior quarterback from Georgia, Ben Leard, had a career-best day to lead the Tigers to a 38-21 victory that was considerably more lopsided than the score would indicate.

Cobb, a native of Marietta, Ga., could follow in Leard's footsteps providing he gets the call from the Tiger coaching staff. Cobb signed with the Bulldogs and was on the team for two years, but was not able to perform because of injuries before transferring to play for one season at Butler County, Kan., Community College. He watched the rivalry from the Auburn sideline last year as a backup.

On Sunday night the senior said he hopes to get a chance to play against his former teammates. "I have got ties to a lot of people there," Cobb said. "It will be fun to get back there, have a good game and give it my best shot."

Cobb noted that he has no ill will towards UGA and left the program under good friendly circumstances after being told by team doctors it was best for him to give up football due to a circulatory problem in his shoulder. Cobb was able to overcome the problem and quarterback a team to the national juco championship.

The defense had a particularly intense session with tackling drills for the secondary and inside drills matching the offensive linemen vs. the defensive ends and tackles. Earlier in the day, the Tigers lifted weights, Tuberville met with his seniors to discuss the Georgia game and position coaches met with their players.

Junior free safety Stanford Simmons said, "We had a really good practice today. That is something the coaches were telling us that we needed to do get better. That was one of the better defensive practices we have had in a while."

He said the off-week should be good for the Tigers with the team getting healthier and fresher. "We have got to play better on the road. If we do that, we will be all right."

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