AU Coach Has High Praise for Florida

A preview of Auburn's SEC showdown vs. Florida is featured with comments from the head coach of the Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville has high praise for this week's opponent.

Saturday at 6:45 p.m. his Tigers will entertain the Florida Gators, who are ranked second and third in the major polls this week. Coach Urban Meyer's team has a 6-0 record and is looking for its ninth straight victory.

"We are playing a very good football team in Florida, which is playing as good as anyone, not just in the conference, but in the country," Tuberville says. "The Gators have moved up very high in the polls. They are playing very well and are very opportunistic. People are making mistakes and they are taking advantage of them.

"They are very athletic," Tuberville points out. "They have had top recruiting classes--I would say at least in the top three in the last four or five years and it shows. They have players at every position."

Auburn needs a victory vs. the Gators to stay in range of Arkansas in the SEC West race. Auburn is 3-1 in the conference while the Razorbacks are 3-0 after upsetting the Tigers last week by a 27-10 score in Auburn.

The Gators will offer a different challenge, Auburn's coach says. "They do run a not very conventional offense. It's a little different from what you normally see so it takes preparation and time.

"Defensively, they are very aggressive. They make things happen. They challenge you in special teams. Their special teams are a little bit different from what you normally see so preparation time is going to be a little bit longer this week.

Senior wide receiver Courtney Taylor fights for yardage in Auburn's disappointing loss to Arkansas last Saturday.

"The coaches have spent a lot of time preparing through the summer and also starting Sunday," says Tuberville, whose team worked on Florida's schemes in Tuesday's practice. "We have had to get back to fundamentals and basics. We needed to do that, and we still have a lot of guys who are making mistakes that we don't need to make.

"Again, it's one of those things where we just have to keep practicing hard, try to push them as much as we can. It will be a great atmosphere here this week, a lot of attention on this game, two Top 10 teams playing each other in this conference. Our guys usually thrive on that."

Auburn leads its overall series with Florida by a 40-38-2 margin. The Tigers are 24-8-1 vs. the Gators in games played in Auburn.

"They are looking forward to hopefully playing better than what they played last week," Tuberville says of his team." We are looking forward to hopefully coaching better than what we coached last week so there are a lot of challenges."


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