Tigers Get Back To Work On Wet Sunday

Auburn began preparations for the Arkansas Razorbacks with a wet Sunday practice.

Auburn, Ala.–-Sundays are a time for rest and relaxation for most people, but if you're an Auburn football player it's a continuation of the work week as the Tigers practiced for just over an hour in a light rain getting ready for the Arkansas Razorbacks.

With several players out because of minor bumps and bruises, the team focused on correcting mistakes made in a 52-7 victory over Louisiana Tech on Saturday. Linebacker Travis Williams said that Sundays are good for the players to get back in the right frame of mind for the upcoming game.

"It's always good," Williams said of Sunday practice. "After a big win like yesterday it always brings us down to work and lets us know we have to work. We had a big win yesterday, but early Sunday morning we're back because we've got a lot of work to do and we have a lot of improving to do. It's all about staying focused on the goal."

On the injury front the Tigers are a little beat up with linebacker Kevin Sears (shoulder), safety Junior Rosegreen (leg), defensive tackle Jay Ratliff (ankle), safety Tony Bell (hamstring) and running back Tre Smith (shoulder) all sitting out of Sunday's practice. Smith's injury looks to be the worst of the bunch and Coach Tommy Tuberville said everyone else should be back practicing when the Tigers resume on Tuesday. Smith's injury is still day-to-day, but the coaches don't want to take a chance on injuring his shoulder any further with contact at this point.

Some good news was the return of starting center Jeremy Ingle to practice on Sunday. Held out of Saturday's game with a sore shoulder, Ingle was working with the first unit and will play this weekend against Arkansas.

Junior Ben Obomanu catches a pass at an earlier practice. He has 11 career touchdown receptions following his two against La Tech on Saturday.

Offensively Coach Al Borges said he was pleased with the focus and execution of his offense in Saturday's big homecoming victory. Rushing for just under 200 yards and passing for 225, the Tigers were pretty evenly balanced, something that Borges said he's been shooting for since arriving in Auburn last winter.

"We were pretty opportunistic," Borges said. "I think the defense did a great job of giving us good field position most of the game and we were able to take advantage of it. We're becoming bonafidably a balanced football team, which really excites me. I don't know if we were there early, but these last few games we've proven that we can efficiently run and pass the football."

A big part of the reason for Auburn's success on offense has been the play of the wide receivers. Sophomore Courtney Taylor leads the Tigers with 17 catches for 274 yards, but is one of four players on the team with at least 11 receptions this season. Auburn's receivers have caught 63 passes this season and accounted for 13 touchdowns, a stat Borges said he's very happy with this early in the year.

"It has been amazing," Borges said of the improvement of the receivers. "I think as a group they played their best game last week. This receiver corps has been a little maligned, and to be honest with you maybe early in the year they weren't playing as good as they could have been playing, but we knew going into the thing that these kids have some skills. It was just going to be a matter of getting the ball to them consistently, which we've been lucky enough to do. I think top to bottom this is a very solid receiving corps."

While much of the credit should go to an improvement at receiver, quarterback Jason Campbell's performance has been very solid this season. The senior leads the SEC in passing efficiency and has thrown for 1,066 yards and 10 touchdowns with just two interceptions. Campbell is on pace to have the most touchdown passes for an Auburn quarterback since the days of Pat Sullivan. Borges said his play has been the steadying influence for the offense this year because he's distributing the ball well to everyone on the offense.

"That's the way it should be," Borges said. "You should have your solid performances from your solid players. Every so often you're going to see someone jump up that may not have been as big a factor the week before. A lot of it is based on how they're defended. A lot of it is dependent on them (opponent) and how they decided they want to approach things."

Auburn will take Monday off before returning to the practice field on Tuesday. Kickoff for Saturday's game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and can be seen nationally on CBS television.

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