Winners of 34 games over the span of five years, the group has endured many hardships in their time on the Plains, something coach Tommy Tuberville said he won't soon forget.
"It was the last day of practice here for a group of seniors that have done a great job for this university," he said. "They have put Auburn back on the map and I told them what they have done out here will be a lot harder than what they do in life because we have really put them through it. We've got a good group and hopefully we'll go off on a great note in a couple of weeks. We've had great practices all week. There's not a team in the country that has gone through as rigid of practices as what we've put these guys through in the last seven days.
Tommy Tuberville and the seniors watch the team run wind sprints at Friday's practice.
Out for an hour and a half in sweats and shoulder pads before calling it a week, the team continued to polish the game plan in preparation for North Carolina. Offensively, quarterback Jason Campbell finished a very solid week of practice with another strong day throwing the ball. Looking more poised and sure of himself than at any time this season, the redshirt freshman heads into the Holidays with some much needed momentum.
Jason Campbell passes the football in Friday's practice.
On the injury front offensively the Tigers are still day-to-day with running back Carnell Williams. Although Tuberville said that he is showing improvement and is much better than he was a week ago he still must be cleared by the team doctors in Atlanta before he could return to action. That is still very doubtful at the moment. Also, tight end Robert Johnson pulled a quad muscle earlier in the week and his status is unsure heading into Christmas break. Fullback Brandon Johnson suffered a concussion in a goal line drill but should be ready to resume practicing after the break.
Defensively, the Tigers are still banged up as defensive tackles Demarco McNeil, Dante Booker and Marcus White all missed Friday's practice. While McNeil and Booker (knees) will both be back for the New Year's Eve date in Atlanta, White will miss the game as the continues a slow recovery from a neck injury suffered the week of the Georgia game.
The linebacker corps are also banged up with Mark Brown hampered by a severely sprained ankle and Mayo Sowell recovering from a shoulder sprain. While Sowell practiced Friday and appears well on his way to playing next week, Brown is very questionable for the game. That leaves Sowell as the backup to both positions inside Tuberville said. In the secondary Horace Willis has an ankle sprain and is also questionable for the game.
Kickoff for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bown on New Year's Eve is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. central time and can be seen nationally on ESPN.
Alton Moore (90) smiles as he celebrates his final on-campus practice on Friday by tackling his position coach Terry Price with help from fellow seniors Javor Mills and James Callier. Tiger Ticket Extra: Because of their sacrifice and dedication to the program, the seniors had a chance to sit back and relax while the rest of the team did conditioning work after practice on Friday. Instead of sitting down and smiling, the group first hugged each other before urging the younger guys on while they were running their sprints. The rest must have made the group frisky as they attacked their position coaches after practice to pay back some of the abuse they took during the last three seasons. Simmons, McGarry and Pucillo all ganged up on offensive line coach Hugh Nall and pummeled him relentlessly in a playful way before finally allowing him to leave the field. The same is true of defensive ends coach Terry Price as Callier, Mills and Moore all chased him down and piled on, but not before the coach game them the slip once or twice. While Pounds was overheard saying he wasn't dumb enough to go after coach Joe Whitt, the other linebackers carried him off the field on their shoulders for his final exit from the practice fields as a Tiger.