Tuberville Looking Forward To Honoring Seniors

Auburn's head coach says he likes his senior class and is looking forward to honoring the seniors and their families for Homecoming on Saturday.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn Coach Tommy Tuberville says that he and his sixth-ranked Tigers are looking forward to playing the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs for Homecoming and Senior Day on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Tuberville says that the Bulldogs should provide more of a test than previous non-conference opponents, Louisiana-Monroe and The Citadel.

"It's going to be a good challenge for us," Tuberville says. "It's Homecoming and it's Senior Day for our seniors and their parents. I'm excited about it because we've got a lot of seniors who deserve recognition, especially with their parents being along with them. This should be a very good opening part of the game this week for Homecoming and Senior Day."

Danny Lindsey, a starter at guard for the Tigers, will be one of the seniors to be honored in pre-game ceremonies prior to this Saturday's game.

At 3-2 this season, Louisiana Tech lost to Miami (Fla.) by 48 and Tennessee by 25, but the Bulldogs pulled out a 28-21 win against 17th-ranked Fresno State last weekend, something that caught the attention of Auburn's head coach.

"Louisiana Tech had a big win last week," he says. "They played a very tough, tough team, a physical team in Fresno State. Fresno State has beaten some very good football teams across the country. They don't turn anybody down. (Coach) Pat Hill does a great job at Fresno State. For Louisiana Tech to beat them the way they did at their game--very physical, ran the football on them, made big plays and played well defensively--we've got our hands full."

This year's Louisiana Tech football team will come to Jordan-Hare on Saturday with a different look from what most Auburn fans are used to seeing out of this team that plays out of the Western Athletic Conference. The days of quarterbacks Tim Rattay and Luke McCown are over, and the Bulldogs have been getting it done on the ground in 2004.

Junior tailback Ryan Moats (5-9, 209) leads the nation in total rushing yards with 928, and is second on the country in yards per game behind Texas' Cedric Benson. Moats also has nine rushing touchdowns on the year.

"They've got one of the best running backs in the country," Tuberville says. "He's very quick. He can run the ball inside and outside. He can outrun people and he's very fast. We're going to have to play one of our better games. This offense will be better than a lot that we've played. It's going to be a challenge for on defense.

"It's the West Coast Offense and it looks very similar to what we do," he adds. "They're not quite as much two-back, they're more one-back, but they do run a lot of formations and do a very good job. They're very well coached."

The Bulldogs have struggled on defense this year allowing an average of 30.4 points per game, but Tuberville says they should give the Auburn offense some looks they haven't ever seen. Saturday's game will be the 11th time these two schools have played, with Auburn holding a 9-0-1 advantage in the series. The last meeting was an Auburn 48-41 overtime victory in 2001.

Auburn is off to a 5-0 start for the first time since 2000. Coming off a 34-10 thrashing of Tennessee, Tuberville says that his players have a lot of momentum heading into the Homecoming game.

"They're playing with a lot of enthusiasm, excitement and confidence," he says. "The players are having fun, and when you do that you've got a chance. The biggest thing we have to do now is continue to keep our focus and poise, and continue what we need to do and get better. We don't want to think that by any stretch of the imagination we are where we should be to have an opportunity to continue to win."

"I really like this team's chemistry," Tuberville adds. "They're excited about what they've done. They're excited about the future and they're looking forward to each individual game. They've been ready to play every game that we've played this year no matter who we play. You can't really tell any difference in pre-game or on the locker room, they're just excited about playing another opponent. There is a lot of room for improvement."


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