"Jason Bosley has done a good job," Tuberville says. "He has played some in a couple of games. He has practiced. He is a third-year guy. He knows the calls. He knows what he is doing. He just hasn't been field-tested that much."
Cope, who broke into the starting lineup last season as a junior walk-on, says he is working diligently on his rehab and predicts that he will be back later this season and also predicts that Bosley will step in and play well.
Tuberville says he has high expectations for the new starter at center. "He's excited," the coach says. "I am excited that he is excited. Sometimes you look at guys like this and they have that faraway look and he doesn't have that. He knows he is going to be our center for the future. Joe will have an opportunity to probably come back for a few games, but right now Jason is the guy. Jonathan Palmer will be his backup. JP has played some games at center.
"I am looking forward to the challenge for him," Tuberville says of the center from Huntsville's Grissom High. "Jason is probably a little more athletic than Joe. Joe has a little bit more bulk to him. It is a challenge not just for him, but it is a challenge for the two guards and tackles working with the center to make sure he is comfortable. It will be an interesting game for Jason being his first one, but it won't be his last. It will be one of many that he will have here starting at center for us."
Tuberville says he believes Bosley, who he calls a smart player, will know his assignments when the Tigers take on the Razorbacks at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
"He has gone through every game plan," the coach points out. "He played a lot and did very well in spring practice. The only thing, as I said, he is not field tested when you put 80,000 people and a national TV audience out there, but that doesn't bother you very often. It will take him a couple of plays. When somebody knocks the heck out of him he will wake up and understand that all of those people around don't make any difference. It is the guy lining up in front of you that makes more than anything else."
Auburn, which is ranked two and three in the major polls this week, is 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the SEC. Arkansas is 2-0 in the league and 3-1 overall.