AU Ready For Break After Friday Football Drills

A football practice report is featured with comments from one of Auburn's star players.

Auburn, Ala.--Like sailors exiting ship for shore leave on a Friday evening, the Auburn Tigers finished an upbeat practice with cheers at the news they have nearly 48 hours off before returning to the practice field on Sunday evening.

In one of the lightest workouts in a longer than normal preseason, Tommy Tuberville and his staff worked the Tigers for less than two hours in shorts and helmets on Friday as the team spent a second straight day rehearsing the offensive and defensive game plans vs. the scout teams.

Tre Smith follows fullback Jake Slaughter into a hole during a drill vs. the scout team defense at Friday's practice.

Senior All-SEC linebacker Travis Williams says the break should be good for the Tigers. "We have been banging and running around a lot throughout the preseason camp trying to separate the strong from the weak," he says. "I think we have done that with Coach Gibbs (defensive coordinator David Gibbs ) trying to figure who can play and who can't play.

"He can hear about who played well last year from what he has heard and from watching film from last year's games, but he has to go by what he sees in practice so we have been doing a lot of full group stuff (11 vs. 11) and have been beating up on each other a lot," Williams adds. "It is important for us to get our legs back and not beat up on each other any more and get ready for Georgia Tech."

Auburn fans Don Harrison and Ginny Harrison of Birmingham were Coach Tommy Tuberville's (center) guest at practice on Friday after winning a contest that raises funds for a charity in Birmingham.

Coach Tommy Tuberville said, "It was a good day. We are little tired. We need the time off to get our legs back. We will come back Sunday and have probably the only hard practice we will have left for this game and then we will take Monday off, which is our normal day off, and come back Tuesday and put everything else in that we haven't worked on."

In other news:

*Joe Cope continued to work as the first team center.

*Newcomer wide receivers Prechae Rodriguez and Robert Dunn may or may not play in the opener, according to their coach, Greg Knox. "Prechae is taking some baby steps, but he needs to have a good week of practice if he is going to play vs. Georgia Tech," Knox says. "He and Robert Dunn have a lot of little things they need to learn and get better at, but they are taking steps forward."

*True freshman Jerraud Powers will have a screw inserted into his fractured bone in his foot. Tuberville says he will be out for approximately four weeks.

*Number one QB Brandon Cox continued to throw the football after missing a significant portion of the previous week's passing drills with a sore arm and shoulder.

*First-team defensive tackle Wayne Dickens was sidelined on Friday with a strained hamstring. He is scheduled to practice on Sunday.

*Kickoff for the opener is 7:45 p.m. vs. Georgia Tech on Sept. 3 at soldout Jordan-Hare Stadium.

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