McClover And Tuberville Say Tigers Having Fun

A report on Wednesday's upbeat Auburn football practice is featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Keeping with the Auburn football team's theme of "watch out for everybody" on the 2004 schedule and having fun while you are doing it, one of the emerging young stars on defense says the Tigers will not be overlooking Kentucky this week.

Coach Rich Brooks will bring his struggling Wildcats to Jordan-Hare for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff in the first meeting on the football field between Auburn and Kentucky in 10 years. The Wildcats weren't very good the last time Auburn played UK and that looks to be the case this season. However, sophomore defensive end Stanley McClover says he and his teammates don't plan to let their guard down.

"Anybody can beat you so we have to go out there and focus on them," he says. "We have to play hard for four quarters, have fun and come out with a victory. We feel like we are the better team, but if we go out there and don't get better as a team it is like a loss."

Stanley McClover got Auburn's only sack last week vs. Matt Jones and Arkansas.

McClover says the Tigers are enjoying being on the field each week, no matter who they play. "Getting out and playing a football is a lot of fun, especially when we are having such a good season," he says.

Auburn brings a 7-0 overall record and a 4-0 SEC mark into the conference contest. The Wildcats are 1-5 overall and winless in three SEC games, including a tough 12-7 setback last Saturday on homecoming in Lexington vs. South Carolina. That same day the Tigers defeated Arkansas 38-20 and defensive coordinator Gene Chizik was not happy with his group's overall performance.

"We have to tighten up on a lot of things like pass coverages and our steps up front on the D-line," McClover says. "We need to work better as a team and keep people out of the end zone rushing the ball and passing the ball. We have a lot to work on this week."

If the Tigers can beat the Wildcats, Auburn will have just three games left on the regular season schedule to win in order to have the first unbeaten regular season since 1993. McClover says the excitement is building.

"You can't help but see that," he says. "We have to keep winning because it can be gone just like that. It can be gone in one Saturday. We have worked real hard for this and we are going to try to keep it going.

McClover and the Tigers hit the practice field on Wednesday for a two-hour workout in rain showers. The big defensive end and his teammates didn't seem to be bothered by getting wet.

Head coach Tommy Tuberville was upbeat on Wednesday night after watching his team's next to last practice before playing Kentucky. He called the session a productive one and added, "I think the guys are just having fun," he said. "They are fired up this week. They hoping we can keep it going. I have not been around a group like this. I hope it continues."

The Tigers spent extra time on the kicking game at the Wednesday practice because Tuberville noted that the Wildcats are well coached with their special teams.

"We continue to stay focused," Tuberville added. "I am just amazed at this team at how they come out every day ready to practice and focus on the game plan."

Freshman safety Tony Bell

Practice Notes: True freshman safety Tony Bell worked out on the side on Wednesday doing rehab on his hamstring problem. Tuberville says that Bell will not play this week against the Wildcats...The Auburn defense is spending practice time getting ready to defend the option play, something they also did last week preparing for Arkansas...Tuberville says he thinks the team has stayed fresh despite this being the eighth straight game without an off week because the team has better depth this year and practices have been scaled back some in hopes of putting a fresher team on the field each Saturday...The offensive line got a very early start to practice, working out 45 minutes before the full squad practice started...Tuberville says even though the Tigers have played seven games, there is still more to the offense the Tigers have not shown yet.


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