Concentrating on putting the finishing touches on the game plan on both sides of the ball as well as polishing the kicking game, the Tigers continue a solid week of preparation as they get ready to take on the LSU Tigers this weekend for the SEC Western Division title.
"We've had a good two or three days of practice," defensive coordinator John Lovett said. "We're looking forward to this week. The kids are really working hard."
On the heels of two enthusiastic practices Saturday and Sunday, the Tigers continued that trend by showing a lot of energy throughout the day on Tuesday. Working in one-on-one drills early in the practice, the offensive line had one of its better days in recent memory as Coach Hugh Nall's pupils were able to keep the defensive line at bay for the majority of the time.
On the perimeter, wide receivers Marcel Willis and Tim Carter made several big plays in the drills with defensive back Carlos Rogers also making some noise of his own.
Deandre Green catches a pass from Daniel Cobb in one-on-one drills Tuesday.
On the injury front, defensive tackles Marcus White and DeMarco McNeil both missed Tuesday's practice but McNeil should return on Wednesday after sitting out with a slight stomach ailment. White is out for Saturday's game as he continues to be hampered by a neck injury suffered the week of the Georgia game.
Playing the best football of his career at LSU, senior quarterback Rohan Davey presents a major challenge to the Tiger defense. A big, strong signal-caller with the ability to both stand in the pocket under pressure and get outside and stretch the perimeters of the defense, Davey makes a defense play a little longer in the secondary than normal because of his ability to make plays on the run. That is cause for concern for Lovett and the defensive coaches this week and they have stressed the point that every player has to do his job for this defense to be successful.
"That's the one thing," Lovett said about Davey's scrambling ability. "They've got some talented receivers, not only does he throw a good ball but he gets out of trouble. He gives those guys a little bit of time. The second thing is, not only are those guys good receivers but they are good runners after they catch the ball. It's a two-fold thing. We've got to make sure we stay with them number one. If they get the ball we have to make sure we get them on the ground."
Defensive back Rashaud Walker has become one of the leaders for this young Tiger team. Coming off the frustration and disappointment stemming from the Alabama game, the junior says that he's been real pleased with what he has seen out of the team thus far this week. Especially impressive were the practices over the weekend when the team went through almost spring training like workouts as it prepares for LSU.
"Saturday and Sunday were some big practices for us," Walker says. "Coming back from a week off, everybody was just so excited. I know a lot of guys knew the situation we were getting into Saturday even before they even got back to practice. A lot of guys were just ready to get back and go after it. Saturday and Sunday we went at it like it was two-a-days. We were in the stadium and it was like a game atmosphere. That really helped us out a lot. It has been exciting around here all week and I look for big things out of us Saturday."
Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. and can be seen nationally on ESPN. The winner moves on to face the winner of the Florida-Tennessee game in the SEC Championship Game next Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the Georgia Dome.
Tiger Ticket Extra: Several players had good days on Tuesday, including kicker Damon Duval. After struggling to make kicks since the Arkansas game, the junior was perfect on his field goal attempts and appeared to be back to the form that made him a finalist for the Lou Groza Award as the nation's top kicker. On the offensive side of the ball, wide receivers Deandre Green and Joe Walkins continue to impress by making circus catches on seemingly every play. Defensively, Donnay Young and Rashaud Walker looked good in the secondary and Baton Rouge native Reggie Torbor made several plays rushing the passer off the corner.