AU Sophomore Looking to Impact Iron Bowl Game

An Auburn football report features tailback Brad Lester.

Auburn, Ala.--Sophomore Brad Lester hasn't always been healthy this season, but when the sophomore has been full speed he has been an effective runner for the Auburn Tigers.

Lester is healthy this week as the Tigers close the regular season with a road trip to Alabama. His position coach, Eddie Gran, and Auburn's head coach, Tommy Tuberville, both say they are hoping the tailback can make big plays this week and they say to expect to see him get more touches vs. the Crimson Tide.

Lester says he is eager to try to make his coaches happy. He got just five carries last week vs. Georgia, but managed to net 40 yards and score a touchdown.

"I am real excited about it, especially in a big game like this," he says of the potential of having a bigger role in Auburn's game plan. "I am up to the task. I am going to give it everything I have got every time I touch the ball."

Lester is tied for sixth in the SEC scoring statistics this week with his average of 4.9 points per game. He has started twice this year while Kenny Irons was out with injuries and has rushed for eight TDs and 456 yards at 5.1 yards per carry. He also has six catches for 158 more yards.

Lester has 815 rushing yards as a Tiger with 13 touchdowns and an average of 5.1 yards per running play.

Although Lester hasn't been full speed at times this year, he was quick vs. Georgia and looked to be in top form. He notes that is the case. "I felt real comfortable out there," says Lester, who adds that having a strong running game with he and Irons carrying the ball along with the other backs is a key to taking a fifth straight victory over Alabama.

"To win this week would be big," he says. "I really wanted to win the Georgia game for the seniors, but that didn't happen and now we have to come back after having some adversity. This is the biggest game for us this year. We can send our season out on a good note by having five (consecutive) wins against these guys."

Irons has the top single-game rushing performances this year with 183 vs. Washington State, 117 vs. South Carolina and 106 vs. Ole Miss. All three were victories for the 9-2 Tigers.

Lester's top game in yards rushing came against Florida when he netted 94 yards on 17 carries, another victory for the Tigers. He has also contributed to what has been a strong kicking game. He has run back six kickoffs for an average of 26.3 per return.

Lester says he hopes to be celebrating a victory on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. "We want to win this game so we can get to a good bowl game and send these seniors out on a good note."

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