Tuberville Says Tigers Only Concern Is UK

Coach Tommy Tuberville discusses Auburn's BCS ranking and Saturday's game with Kentucky.

Auburn, Ala.-–When the third-ranked Auburn Tigers (7-0, 4-0) face the Kentucky Wildcats (1-5, 0-3) this Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Coach Tommy Tuberville said a lot will be on the line in terms of conference play, but the BCS won't be a concern this week.

"The BCS is good for the fans and for everybody to talk about, but it's something that is really nonexistent because it doesn't really make any difference until you get down to the last week," Tuberville said. "Right now we're just in the first week of it. We're just fortunate to be in it and we just want to try to improve our situation. It's good for our program and we just hope we can maintain that status."

Although an opponent that seems outclassed heading into Saturday's 1:30 p.m. kickoff, the Wildcats have shown some life this season at times and could give the Tigers some problems on defense. Tuberville said after watching film of them he's been impressed by some of the things that Coach Rich Brooks and his staff have accomplished on defense this season.

"They got off to a slow start," Tuberville said. "They've been on probation and they had some problems. Coach Brooks has done a good job of maintaining their program and trying to get it in the right direction with short numbers I have been there before and done that and understand what he's going through.

"They do have some good football players and they're playing solid football. They're playing real good defensively and are making a lot of plays. They're sound. They run a little bit different defense than what we normally see so it's going to take a lot of preparation for us offensively."

UK quarterback Shane Boyd

Offensively the Wildcats are a little banged up with senior starting quarterback Shane Boyd questionable for Saturday's game. That would be a big blow to Kentucky's offense as Boyd is averaging 173.5 yards out of a total offense of just 285.5 yards per game this season. Tuberville said that no matter who plays for the Wildcats Auburn will prepare just the same on defense and be ready for anything.

"We never prepare for just one guy, we always prepare for their offense," Tuberville said. "They won't change their offense no matter who plays. They've played the other one also and I expect to see the same offense. We prepare ourselves to play the best and not really worry about who we're playing. We try to play our best and improve each week. We try to keep the level of intensity that we're playing at, which has been real good so far."

No matter the records, Tuberville said that one thing you can count on is a battle when you're one of the top teams in the country. Experienced at this part of the game after years at Miami, where the Hurricanes were always the hunted, Tuberville said that Auburn can expect everybody's best game from here on out.

"There's no doubt that when you're a top-ranked team that people come in and expect to play a very good football team, but also expect to play at a different level," Tuberville said. "No matter whether you're at home or on the road, if you're a top-ranked team you've got a bigger target on your back. People know they're going to have to play better to beat you so you usually get a better game out of most teams."

Teams that build long winning streaks like Auburn has going now (nine games) usually have some breaks go their way along with staying relatively healthy. Both of those scenarios are holding true for the Tigers as they've had some good bounces this season and also been able to count on key players in the big games. A reason for that is playing so many players early and giving players breaks throughout the season. Tuberville said his team is fresh after seven games and ready for a strong finish to the nine-week stretch of games without an off week.

"We're excited about this one coming up," Tuberville said. "We don't have any major injuries. Kevin Sears is still a little beat up from last week, but he will play. We've got a couple of guys nicked up a little bit, but other than that we're pretty healthy.

"We expect a hard fought game," he added. "We expect them come in and give their best shot. They've got excellent special teams, so we'll have to work extra hard on that this week. We're just excited about playing at home and having the opportunity to play another conference game in Jordan-Hare Stadium."


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