Friday Practice A Tune-up For Scrimmage

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn worked on its two-minute offense while adding new wrinkles on offense and defense as the Tigers tuned up for a major scrimmage planned for Saturday.

The Tigers had a 90-minute workout in shorts on Friday at the football complex. On Saturday morning, starting at 10:15 at Jordan-Hare Stadium, they are scheduled for a lengthy scrimmage, which will be the 10th of 15 spring practice dates.

The Tigers had their first scrimmage a week earlier, a 98-play session that featured 74 running plays and 24 passes thrown.

"It is going to be a lot the same," Coach Tommy Tuberville says. "I am not going to let them go over eight plays (per offensive possession). You tend to get injuries when you go more than eight plays in a row. Eight is a lot. We are going to move the ball around on the field, start a drive and go eight plays. We will also have a goal line scrimmage.

"We are going to throw the ball a little bit more," Tuberville adds. "My preference would be about 60 percent run, 40 percent pass with a little kicking game involved."

The head coach says he will be focusing on how the offensive and defensive lines perform in scrimmage two. He says the Tigers have made progress in that area and wants to see it continue.

"We are not going to hold anything back," says Tuberville, although he notes that returning All-SEC tailback Kenny Irons won't see much action because the coaches already know what he can do.

Number two tailback Brad Lester, who was injured last spring, is expected to get a lot of chances to run the football along with Tre Smith and true freshman Ben Tate. Another tailback, Carl Stewart, is questionable after suffering what Tuberville says is a rib injury that is not serious.

"It is good that Brad Lester has made it healthy to this point," Tuberville says of the redshirt sophomore. "This is his first spring. It has been good for him."

Senior wide receiver Courtney Taylor runs through a machine that simulates contact after a catch.

Safety Lorenzo Ferguson, who suffered a bruised shoulder in last week's scrimmage, is listed as questionable for scrimmage two.

"We put in a few new plays on offense and we want to look at some different formations (Saturday) and we did some things on defense," Tuberville says. "We didn't let either group know what we are running. We want it to be like a surprise in the game tomorrow and see if we can make adjustments on the field."

Tuberville says he believes having a day off on Thursday was good for the team. "It was pretty hard going eight out of nine days."

In other notes from Saturday's practice.

*With the players in shorts, there was very limited 11 on 11 work in Friday's practice. Much of the session featured individual work.

*Quarterback Brandon Cox had a good day throwing the football.

Tommy Tuberville poses with his special guests at Friday's practice, Robert and Stephanie Lansden of Hoover who won a contest for their support of Camp Smile A Mile, which assists terminally ill children.

*Tuberville had the Tigers practice last Sunday, but says that won't happen this week unless he is displeased with the performance in the scrimmage, which is open to fans who should enter at ground level on the south side of Jordan-Hare if they plan to attend.

*Redshirt freshman Gabe McKenzie was able to go the entire practice to give the Tigers three tight ends after being short at that position in previous workouts. McKenzie has had a hamstring problem, which meant plenty of extra work for fellow redshirt freshman Tommy Trott and senior Cole Bennett, the first string tight end.

*The Tigers will have their annual A-Day spring game a week from Saturday at 1 p.m.

*Looking at the recent practices, Tuberville says, "It was a good week. We made a lot of progress. (Saturday) will be a big test."

Practice Notes

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