Tiger Coach Gives Good Reviews To Practice Week

Comments from senior Bret Eddins and Coach Tommy Tuberville plus notes from Thursday's football practice are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Fifth-year senior defensive end Bret Eddins and the Tigers finished their on the field preparations for what will be the first ever football game matching The Citadel Bulldogs and the Auburn Tigers.

Eddins, a 6-5, 273 senior from Montgomery, and his teammates will be heavily favored to improve their record to 4-0 when the Bulldogs arrive at Jordan-Hare Stadium for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday.

Auburn is coming off one of its biggest victories in recent seasons in a 10-9 thriller as the Tigers snapped a 10-game winning streak for defending national champion LSU. Eddins says that the Tigers need to respect everybody on the schedule, even a Division I-AA opponent such as The Citadel, which is 0-1 this season with a 28-14 loss to Appalachian State.

"I remember when The Citadel beat Arkansas," says Eddins, whose older brother Blake played basketball for the Razorbacks. "You have to take everybody you play seriously."

The Citadel is the second of three non-conference teams on the 2004 Auburn football schedule. The Tigers are expected to use the game as a tune-up for a tough SEC road test at Tennessee a week from Saturday. The victory over LSU moved Auburn to 2-0 in the conference and put the Tigers in first place in the SEC West.

Tuberville gives the overall week of practice a thumbs up, and he credits the veteran players for setting the tone in practice. "It's up to your seniors," Tuberville says. "It has been a spirited practice all week. You can tell they are having fun. They are really still high off last week's win. It took a lot out of them. They laid it on the line for four quarters. You can't play any harder than what we played so that took a toll on us.

"They pushed hard through practice," Tuberville adds. "The coaches did a good job. I am anxious to see us get better. There are some things we have got to get better at offensively and on defense. We have to get a lot better to have a chance."

Eddins says the intensely-played victory over LSU is a game that he will remember. "I didn't get to play too much in the Florida game in 2001 that we won (when Florida was ranked No. 1 nationally), and every game that we play against Alabama seems big, but to defeat the defending national champions was special," Eddins says. "To have guys I came up with to make big plays in the game vs. LSU was just a great feeling."

Eddins notes that LSU tested the Auburn defense with a talented group of offensive linemen. "They have some of the best feet we will play against," Eddins notes. "They are hard to get off their base and they are very quick to get off the ball. They got the best of us sometimes, we got the best of them sometimes."

Last year at this time, the Tigers were coming off their first victory of the season after getting off to a nightmare 0-2 start when expectations were so much higher. "Starting 3-0 is a lot better than starting 1-2," Eddins says. "This is a fun group of guys to be around, just like last year. Everybody is working hard like last year, but the outcome is different. It is a better feel when you are winning, regardless of the team you are on."

Tiger Ticket Practice Notes: Tailback Ronnie Brown, whose hamstring tightened on his 20-yard run in the fourth quarter of the victory over LSU, may watch the action from the sideline and let Auburn's young backs see more action...Tuberville says the overall theme of the week was to correct mistakes made in the LSU game. "We just took the things where we felt like we were lacking and real put an effort into that," he says...The head coach says the Tigers won't have as much contact next week in preparing for Tennessee as they did this week...Jason Campbell, who has a sprained toe, was running the offense on Thursday in practice without problems. His backup, Brandon Cox, will likely see significant action if Auburn builds an early lead...Senior middle linebacker Mayo Sowell, who missed the LSU game with an eye injury, is cleared to play this week...Marquis Gunn, a sophomore defensive end who missed the LSU game, is expected back in action this week.

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