Tigers Wrap Up Two-A-Days

The Tigers wrapped up two-a-days on Thursday with two half-shell practices that concentrated on the mental side of the game in preparation for the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Auburn, Ala.--On the coldest practice day of the season, the Auburn Tigers put the finishing touches on a tough week of two-a-day practices with two sessions that emphasized the finer aspects of the game such as special teams. After going through the physical days of Monday and Tuesday, coach Tommy Tuberville said this was a much needed practice day for this team.

"Practice all week has gone good," he said. "We have several guys that have gotten beaten up. Robert Johnson pulled a quad, Dante Booker twisted his knee and we had a concussion yesterday in one of those scrimmages by Brandon Johnson…but we got a lot of good work done by the younger players. It has been very physical, very tough. We've done a lot of conditioning work and lifted a lot of weight. It's been good. We've had several different types of scrimmages and some of the guys have shown up, especially some of the younger guys."

One of the younger guys that has impressed Tuberville with his play already is linebacker Lemarcus Rowell. Although he won't play against North Carolina in order to preserve his freshman season for next year, the Opelika native has shown signs that he will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

"I have been really impressed the last few days with Lemarcus Rowell," he said. "It's amazing. It's like riding a bicycle I guess. He hasn't been out there but a few days and really has made a lot of plays. He made a big play in one of our scrimmages yesterday (Wednesday), a goal line scrimmage. It's good to see him out there and having a good time. We're glad to have him on the team."

Looking for that little something that has been missing from the offense, the unit has spent more time than normal in practice this week in 11-on-11 drills and live team work. Getting more acquainted with the speed of the game and working against the number one defense seems to have been the thing this offense needed to turn the corner in preparation for North Carolina.

One player who has risen to the occasion with solid practices each of the first four days this week is Jeris McIntyre. Needing a receiver to step up in the absence of Deandre Green, who has been suspended indefinitely from the team for a rules violation (missing a team meeting), the Tampa native has answered the call all week and could become a focal point for Campbell on December 31.

"We're just looking it at like an injury, like if a receiver were to go down," he notes. "Another receiver is just going to have to step up. We're really not even thinking about it, we're just going out and doing the same things we usually do…we're just trying to come out and work, try to get better and do the right things. At the same time we have to get prepared to play North Carolina."

The Tigers will practice Friday morning before going their separate ways for Christmas break. They will resume practices December 27 in the Georgia Dome and work out each day indoors before their final practice on December 30. Kickoff for the New Year's Eve game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CST and can be seen nationally on ESPN.

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