Healthy Tigers Continue Work On Tide

Auburn, Ala.--Taking advantage of another perfect Autumn day on the Plains, the Auburn Tigers practiced for just over two hours Tuesday afternoon in their continued preparations for Alabama. <P>

Practicing in full pads, the Tigers worked extensively against the scout teams for much of the session after doing some tackling drills and one-on-one work to open the session. Defensive coordinator John Lovett said the day went as expected when getting ready to play your arch-rival for the final home game of the season.

"Had a pretty good day today," he noted. "We've got a lot of little things to work on that they do with their running game…I thought the kids worked hard today and they've got a grasp of what we're doing. Now it's just a matter of pulling in on it and getting after it."

On offense, quarterbacks Daniel Cobb and Jeff Klein stood out from the crowd while tailback Carnell Williams continued to impress with his work ethic and all-around ability in and out of the backfield. On the outside both Joe Walkins and Silas Daniel made several good plays and appear to be easing themselves more into the offense.

Defensively, there is no question this unit is as healthy as they've been all season. Having to piece together lineups and rotations for much of the season, Lovett said that his group is just now becoming what he was looking for when the season began.

"From the beginning of the year we have talked about leaders and continuity," he noted. "I think I told you all during camp that we haven't had our team out there, this guy is out, this guy is out, this guy is out. I think having all those guys back, Demarco (McNeil) playing like he's playing now, I think guys are being where they are supposed to be and guys can depend on guys making plays where they are supposed to be making plays."

One of the players that has made a tremendous impact not only in games of late but in practice as well is linebacker Tavarreus Pounds. After overcoming several nagging injuries this season and some serious injuries on and off for his whole career, the Villa Rica, Ga., native said that this is the game a defensive player dreams about.

"They are the type of team you look forward to because they are going to try to run at you 85 or 90 percent of the time. That's a linebacker's dream to go up against a team that tries to pound the ball. It's man-on-man, to see who is going to be the better person…we've got to stick to the basics number one. You just have to get your mind set that this is Alabama. If you can't get up for Alabama, you're pretty much dead. Practice should be very intense this week, everything should be sharper and we've just got to be clicking on all cylinders."

Playing in his final home game against Auburn's biggest rival, the senior said he can think of no better way to close out his career in the orange and blue.

"The last time in 'The Jungle' is going to be big-time," Pounds said. "It seems like just yesterday I played my first game over there. Time has shot by so fast. It's going to mean a lot to play Alabama on national TV in the last game of my career over at Jordan-Hare so it's going to be a pretty big-time game."

The Tigers will practice Wednesday and Thursday before heading out of town Friday afternoon to escape the atmosphere on campus surrounding the annual Iron Bowl contest. Kickoff for Saturday's showdown is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CST and can be seen nationally on CBS.


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