Tigers Tune Up for Saturday Scrimmage

A first stringer was hurt, another first stringer had a rough day and several young players had strong performances at Friday's football practice.

Auburn, Ala.--The fourth day of practice and the second in pads was mostly a teaching session on Friday for Coach Tommy Tuberville's football Tigers.

With hundreds of high school coaches on campus for AU's annual coaching clinic, Tiger coaches ran a variety of drills to demonstrate coaching techniques for the visitors.

Offensive coordinator Al Borges and defensive coordinator David Gibbs also worked on getting their players ready for the first major scrimmage of the spring. That is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday at the practice fields behind the football complex.

Brandon Cox will be directing the first team offense in Saturday's scrimmage. The redshirt sophomore has been sharp in passing drills this week.

The Tigers should be in good shape physically for the scrimmage. Center Joe Cope hurt his finger on Friday and he was sent for X-Rays. His status for the scrimmage is uncertain.

Jarrod Britt's shoulder problem is not believed to be serious and the offensive guard should be back at practice next week.

Cornerback David Irons Jr., who is coming off knee surgery, won't be allowed to participate in the scrimmage that is expected to run 150 plays. Coach Tommy Tuberville said to expect the playing time will be fairly evenly divided with the first offense playing the first defense, the second offense vs. the second defense and the third offense vs. the third defense.

Tuberville said the coaches will keep a close eye on the defensive backs, running backs and the quarterbacks on Saturday and will be looking for quality depth at all positions.

"We want the first group to get around 40-50 plays, the second group to get 40-50 plays and the third group about the same," said Tuberville, who noted that the quarterbacks cannot be tackled in the scrimmage as is normally the case with his practices. The coach said if a punt situation arises, a new series will start if the group on the field has not been out there for 10 plays. Field goals and extra points will be kicked.

In other news:

*With the stadium field not available until A-Day due to the drainage construction project, the scrimmage will be on the artificial turf field at the football complex. Fans wanting to attend should enter at field level from the coliseum side and go to the west side of the field.

*AU is expected to have more than 100 junior prospects/suspects attend the scrimmage along with high school coaches still in town from AU's annual coaching clinic.

Courtney Taylor catches a pass vs. Montae Pitts on Friday.

*Junior cornerback Montae Pitts had a rough day in tackling drills going one on one against a variety of players. Defensive coordinator David Gibbs kept Pitts running the drill again and again and told him if he isn't a good tackler he will be watching from the sidelines this fall.

*Offensive tackle Troy Reddick had a strong performance for a second straight day in one on one drills.

*Linebacker Kevin Sears made an impressive interception vs. backup quarterback Calvin Booker, who has not been consistent in drills vs. the defensive backs and linebackers.

*Defensive end Quentin Groves had another strong day in pass rush drills.

*Working with the second offense, redshirt freshman guard William Sullivan had a solid day in one on one drills vs. the defensive linemen.

*Another redshirt freshman, noseguard Tyronne Green, had a good day in one-on-ones as did center Leon Hart and noseguard Josh Thompson.

*Tuberville said that following Saturday's scrimmage, there may be some position changes in the secondary.


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