Tigers Continue Work For Alabama

Auburn, Ala.—With the kickoff for the 66th meeting between Auburn and Alabama just three days away, the Tigers practiced for just over two hours on Wednesday fine tuning the game plan on both offense and defense for Saturday.

Having already spent the better part of two practices on Alabama and its formations and tendencies, Wednesday was more of a normal practice day that included plenty of work on the special teams. Following a less than stellar outing against the Georgia Bulldogs, that area got some extra attention on Wednesday.

"It was a good day to practice, the weather was cool," head coach Tommy Tuberville noted. "We spent a little extra time on the practice field going over everything that we need to do to play this game. We put a little bit more emphasis today on the kicking game."

Injury-wise the Tigers are in great shape with the exception of right tackle Mark Pera. After spraining his right ankle early in last week's game, the sophomore continues to be bothered by pain and is likely out for Saturday. That puts the burden on Monreko Crittenden to shoulder the load. Following a much improved second half of play last week, the Montgomery native will get the call for the entire game this week. If he needs a break senior guard Mike Pucillo will move out to tackle and be replaced by either Danny Lindsey or Nate French in the lineup. Either way, the Tigers appear to have all bases covered.

While the team appears to be primed and ready for Saturday both mentally and physically, Tuberville says he is taking no chances of having tired legs on game day. With one more practice day before the game, the boss says the team will receive a little break tomorrow to make sure the Tigers are rested for the game. Even so, he can sense the excitement in his team.

"I can tell we're a little bit tired from last week. We won't practice as long tomorrow. We'll ease back tomorrow to try to get our legs back 100 percent. You can tell this is a big week because of the enthusiasm and players jumping around…everything is ready to go."

Defensive coordinator John Lovett talks strategy with end Reggie Torbor during Wednesday's practice.

The home field advantage is a huge aspect of any Southeastern Conference football game. Perhaps nowhere else is it put to use as well as in Jordan-Hare Stadium when Alabama comes to town. Tight end Robert Johnson said that it really helps to hear the fans behind the team each and every play of the game and he predicts that will be the case this week.

"Playing in front our crowd is going to be a big booster for us," Johnson said. "I think if our crowd comes ready like we know they are going to come ready, then that's going to be a key for our success in the game. Playing down there (in Tuscaloosa) it was cold. It's time to play in "The Jungle" now so hopefully the Good Lord will bless us with some good weather."

That is just what is expected as highs in the middle 70s should greet the Tigers and Tide as they tangle in Auburn on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and can be seen nationally on CBS.


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