Tigers Getting Ready For Rebel Raid

Coach Tommy Tuberville talks about getting ready to face Ole Miss and the health of his team.

Auburn, Ala.–-With perfect football weather in the area, the 19th-ranked Tigers continued preparations for Ole Miss with a two-hour practice in helmets and shoulder pads on Wednesday.

Coach Tommy Tuberville said his Tigers have had a good week of practice and appears to be putting the LSU loss behind them.

"It was a good practice," Tuberville said. "It wasn't quite as cold today. The guys really moved around good and bounced back from yesterday. We've had two really good practices. Everybody is pretty much healthy except for the obvious ones that have been out.

"We worked a lot on all of our short yardage stuff today. That was the main focus at the end of practice. We've been playing it good, but we made some changes. It was a good session."

Football coaches are creatures of habit, no matter if it's practice or games, but Auburn has changed some things up recently in practice. One of those involves how they practice, something Tuberville said he believes has helped his team improve its play.

"We went ones against ones and twos against twos at the beginning and the end of practice," Tuberville said. "We started doing that last week to kind of get the speed of the game in practice. I think it's really helping us."

Chris Browder is back practicing and should be ready to face Michael Spurlock and the Ole Miss offense.

Out with a strained groin, running back Brad Lester is the only Tiger who definitely won't play against Ole Miss. Tight end Tommy Trott has returned to practice after having neck problems early in the season, but Tuberville said it's doubtful he'll see any action this week. Defensive end Christopher Browder, bothered by a sprained knee, returned to practice and should be ready for the Rebels.

"Chris Browder will play," Tuberville said. "He could have played last week, he just didn't get enough practice time."

Another player banged up is offensive guard Timmy Duckworth. Auburn's best offensive lineman the last two weeks, Duckworth has been battling through a strained groin. He was held out of Wednesday's practice after going through the full day on Tuesday. Tuberville said that was just for precaution and the junior will start against Ole Miss as expected.

While the defense is in good shape, the offense will face an Ole Miss defense that has been the strength of the team this season. The Rebels enter the contest ranked sixth in scoring defense, fourth in pass defense and eighth in rushing defense in the SEC. Tuberville said that looking at what the Rebels do on defense reminds him a lot of his own team.

"They're running what they run at USC, which is what we run here," Tuberville said. "It's a four-man front, slanting fronts, and they have blitzes out of all of them. They do run some five-man fronts, but they're multiple. It's very similar to what we do and what we did at Miami. It's carry-over. Ed has been around a long time the same thing I have."

Tiger Ticket Extra: Following his statements on Monday to the Montgomery Quarterback Club and again on Wednesday while on the Dan Patrick Show on ESPN radio, Tuberville continues to state that something must be done about the state of the game of college football and ESPN. Wednesday he said that he stands by what he said and hopes change is coming in the future. "I just felt like somebody needed to start talking about it because I see the possibility happening this year what happened last year," Tuberville said. "To me it wasn't right last year and it's not right this year. The whole deal with this is I'm not against USC and Texas, they're good football teams. That's not the point. We need to wait and give everybody an opportunity. Don't have preconceived notions. We're falling in the same trap."

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