Coach Tommy Tuberville says that the reason for going to the stadium was to make sure that Saturday goes smoothly before, during and after the game.
"We didn't do anything special today," Tuberville says. "We just went over our game plan. We worked a little bit more on the kicking game. We spent the last 40 minutes at the stadium and went over sideline organization, substitutions, phones, all that good stuff. We got it all in. Now it's time to do it but we've still go three days."
One of the new fan-friendly features inside Jordan-Hare Stadium are message boards that run roughly from one 20-yard line to the other 20-yard line and will have scores, stats and other interactive messages throughout the game. The West side message board is shown here and is complete. The East side is still being installed, but should be done by Saturday's 6:45 p.m. kickoff.
With much of the game plan installed and only some fine tuning left to do on the final day of practice Thursday, Tuberville says he's pleased with how things have gone this week and now he's anxious to give his players some time to rest so they'll be in top physical condition at kickoff Saturday night.
"It's real big," Tuberville says of the extended rest his team will get after Thursday's practice. "We were very fortunate today. I knew we were going to be out there a while and we were very fortunate it was cloudy and cool. We've just got to get our fluids back. Their legs are getting a lot stronger. We didn't do any leg lifting this week. We'll get back to that next week."
Injured linebacker Steve Gandy is definitely out for Saturday night's match-up with the Cougars as he continues to recover from a surgery to his leg. Also out is guard Tyronne Green, who continues to be bothered by the after-affects of a virus that came as he dehydrated at a practice. Tuberville says they still have to get him cleared through some blood work before he can get back with the team for full speed work.
"He's fine," Tuberville says. "Evidently he had a virus to go along with his dehydration. His blood work went wrong. He came back and tried it, but his blood work still wasn't very good. They finally got him normal. He will not play unless we have some major problems."
The offensive line got some additional depth on Tuesday as true freshman Byron Isom made the switch to the offensive line from his defensive tackle spot. After being given a shot to play defense and looking up the depth chart at fellow freshmen Jermarcus Ricks, Mike Blanc and Bart Eddins, Isom made the move to offense and Tuberville says it's likely the only one until the spring.
"We moved him to offense and he's working with Coach (Hugh) Nall," Tuberville says. "He's the first. I think a lot of them might stick, but we'll have to wait and see. He's the only one we'll move over there this fall because they want to get a jump on him because we're losing four guys this year. He's done a good job. We told him we would give him a shot at D-Line, but he sees the openings on the offensive line next year."
Isom is athletic enough to play any of the five positions up front for the Tigers on the offensive line, but will start at guard.
Tuesday night was Tuberville's annual senior night where he invites the senior class to his house to eat with his family and talk about the upcoming season. After eating steaks Tuberville says the group had a good discussion and he likes the leadership in this year's class as the Tigers begin the quest for a SEC Championship.
"We had a good talk," Tuberville says. "They are a very vocal group. We talked about the season, the start, their thoughts about individual players and who they need to motivate more and who they need to talk to. All of those things. We've got good leadership. Now you really find out how much leadership you have when you get out there and get hot and tired in games like the one coming up."
The Tigers will practice Thursday morning before taking the rest of the day off. They will have a short walk-through on Friday afternoon before departing for the team hotel. Saturday's kickoff is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. CDT and the game can be seen live on ESPN2.