Coach Looking for Good Followup Performance

A report on Thursday's Auburn football practice is featured.

Auburn, Ala.---Auburn put the finishing touches on the game plan for Saturday's homecoming game vs. the Tulane Green Wave on Thursday and Coach Tommy Tuberville says he wants to see the Tigers follow up a big win over Florida with a good performance this week.

Earlier this season, following an intensely played victory over LSU, the Tigers were sluggish the following week in beating Buffalo.

"It will be a big challenge for us," Tuberville says. "This group (Tulane) can throw the ball. They run a fast-paced offense. They try to get you in a tempo you are not used to.

"They have a good quarterback (Lester Ricard) and he is disciplined and he can throw the ball," Tuberville says. "They have got good receivers and a good scheme. It is about what we saw against South Carolina. It's a little different than Buffalo. They came in and ran the ball most of the time. It will be a good challenge for our defense. Offensively, we need to just try to continue to improve and get some people well and get more consistent in the red zone."

Saturday's game against the 2-4 Green Wave is the third non-conference contest this season. Tuberville says it is a game his team needs to win without being on an emotional high, but he also notes that his team needs to play with intensity.

"We have had three big games in a row," he says. "South Carolina was an atmosphere on South Carolina's part, but our guys had to play hard. Arkansas was one of those games where nothing went right. We can't take anything from them. They are a good team that hit us in the mouth and we couldn't respond.

"Last week, at least we came back and responded because we got hit pretty good in the mouth in the first half. We have got to have some carryover, it doesn't make any difference who you play, you have got to go out and play with enthusiasm and a sense of urgency, and that's what we talk to our players about this week.

"Next week (at Ole Miss), we get back in the conference race and then we come back and play a non-conference team and then finish up with two conference games. We can't drop our guard. That (the Florida game) was a good win for our program, but it doesn't count any more than the other ones. You have to come back. Everyone is going to be shooting at us, ranked as high as we were. Let's see if we can handle it a little better this time than we did the first time.

In other news:

*Junior Carl Stewart, who plays both fullback and tailback, did not practice may miss Saturday's game due to a foot injury. Michael McLaughlin is expected to start at fullback. Freshman tailback Ben Tate is expected to see his first action since the Buffalo game.

Tuberville says the only players out for sure are the center Joe Cope and tight end Cole Bennett. "I don't forsee anybody that we would hold out of the game because they couldn't just go other than Cole and Joe Cope. We do have some guys who are beat up and haven't practiced a lot. We will evaluate them once we get to Saturday." Jason Bosley will get his third start filling in for Cope at center.

*Junior Leon Hart, who started at right guard last year vs. Kentucky in place of Tim Duckworth, may do it again this week. Offensive coordinator Al Borges says, "We have been working with the intent to play Leon." However, Borges notes Duckworth has been playing less than full speed all year with a knee problem, but still may start against the Green Wave.

If Hart starts, Borges predicts he will be able to do a good job. Hart was SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week in his lone start last year at Kentucky. "Leon as a guard I think is his more natural position," Borges says. Hart is also the top backup at the tackle spots.

*With Aairon Savage missing practice time this week with a stinger, Tristan Davis is likely to see action in the secondary after being limited to returning kicks for most of the season. Another possibility for playing time at safety is Lorenzo Ferguson. If Savage is held out, Muschamp says, "Lorenzo and Tristan will both play. I haven't decided who will start. We will watch the film. Both have had pretty good weeks. I am looking forward to both of them playing. I have a lot of confidence in either one."

Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp says it will probably be a game-time decision on whether or not Savage, Davis or Ferguson start at free safety.

Tristan Davis practices at safety on Thursday as the Tigers wrapped up on the field preparations for Tulane.

*Davis came close to breaking a kickoff for a touchdown last week against the Gators. Tuberville says he believes that the speedy sophomore will take one all the way before the end of the season. "I think it is just a matter of time before it happens," the coach says.

*AU officials say there are still tickets available to Saturday's home game that kicks off at 1:30 p.m. There is no television coverage scheduled.

*Tuberville and his staff plan to hit the road Friday evening to check out football games and may go out on Thursday night depending on the weather.

*Auburn's seniors will be on the field before the game to be honored along with their parents. "This has been a good senior class, solid, one of our biggest. We do have a lot of walk-ons. I would say a lot of them have already graduated and the ones who haven't some will have a chance to graduate in December. It has been a well-rounded class that has had a lot of fun and won a lot of games (36) and they still have a lot to prove. This just a thank you day for their parents for what they have done now these guys are getting ready to go out in the real world."


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