Tigers Hope They Are Ready For the Road

Comments from a key member of the Auburn defense are featured along with head coach Tommy Tuberville.

Auburn, Ala.--Carlos Rogers and the rest of the Tigers put the finishing touches on their game plan for the SEC opener with a light workout in shorts on Thursday.

The Tigers will have a short walk-through on Friday before boarding buses to take the team to the Columbus, Ga., airport for a flight to Columbus, Miss., where they will spend Friday night. On Saturday at 11:30 a.m. the Tigers will take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a game televised regionally by Jefferson-Pilot.

Auburn cruised past the Bulldogs last year at Jordan-Hare Stadium, but Rogers says he doesn't look for a repeat of that scenario.

"They were going through coach problems," Rogers notes. "I think their coach had gotten fired and we came out ready to play that day. It isn't going to be the type of game it was last year."

The Tigers will be looking for a fourth straight victory over the Bulldogs and will try to improve to 2-0 this season. Rogers will have the assignment of keeping an eye on speedy quarterback Omarr Conner.

"Conner is throwing the ball pretty good," the Auburn cornerback says. "He is scrambling pretty good. Once he rolls out he can still make plays passing the ball.

"We have to stick with the receivers we are covering, even when he is scrambling and looks like he is going to run because he can throw on the run. We have ends and linebackers to stay with him when he does that. In the secondary we need to stay with our men in pass coverage."

Carlos Rogers has plenty of experience playing road games.

Rogers, who helped the Tigers post a shutout in week one, says, "I played pretty good in that game. There wasn't much of an opportunity to make a play though. I tried to work on my technique to help me out for further down the season."

The Indians avoided throwing the football near Rogers and he says he hopes to get more action this week. "Coach (Gene Chizik) has talked about putting me on the side they like to throw to or put me on the receiver they like to throw to so teams can't avoid me," Rogers says. "That is one way to do it."

The senior says he believes that even though the Tigers are favorites, Saturday's contest will be a major challenge. "It is going to be a real physical game," he says. "I watched the film. They play much harder than we are used to seeing them play. They are real disciplined."

Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville says he expects to see some new wrinkles from Mississippi State on offense the Bulldogs didn't show in their opening day victory over Tulane. "We will see some different formations, some different plays," he predicts. "Defensively, they ran a lot of stuff so I can't imagine them having too much more."

Tuberville says he hopes the hot and humid weather on Thursday will continue through the weekend on Saturday in Starkville because he likes his team's conditioning and depth. "Spirits are high, guys have worked hard and it's been a great week of practice," he adds.

Quarterback Jason Campbell and offensive coordinator Al Borges are shown at practice as they prepare for Mississippi State.

Tiger Ticket Extra: Tommy Tuberville and members of his coaching staff served as guinea pigs for the 2004-2005 flu shots. When the coaches didn't have any problems after four days, all of the players got the flu shots. "We ordered the shots early and got them in early this year," Tuberville notes...Tuberville says that at most positions the Tigers will not be taking third stringers to Starkville unless they are also players on special teams. Freshman Neil Brown, a third stringer who can play both end spots and is getting some work at defensive tackle, will make the trip. Another backup lineman, Tez Doolittle, did not make the travel squad, but Chris Browder did...Dusty Goodwin will be the third quarterback for the road trip and Calvin Booker, a true freshman QB, will also travel but he will not play. He is making the trip to get his first experience of college football life on the road. The other true freshman QB who is being redshirted, Blake Field, will make the next road trip...A large crowd attended a memorial service in Columbus, Ga., on Thursday for Dr. Jack Hughston, a legendary figure in medical circles for his innovations in treating sports injuries. Hughston was the long-time team physician for Auburn.


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