Tigers Looking for Better Bowl Result

Auburn playing poorly in last season's bowl in Orlando, Auburn will try to make a better showing vs. its first Big 12 Conference opponent in more than a decade.

Auburn, Ala.--Tommy Tuberville says he is excited about Auburn's bowl opponent as well as the venue as his Tigers prepare for the Nebraska Cornhuskers before taking a Christmas break.

Auburn will make just its second appearance in the Cotton Bowl when the Tigers play the Cornhuskers on New Year's Day in Dallas. On Jan. 1, 1996 Coach Pat Dye's team was defeated 36-16 by a Texas A&M team that scored 15 unanswered fourth quarter points to pull away for a lopsided victory.

"There is a lot of tradition at Nebraska, a lot of national championships and a lot of bowl games," Tuberville says. "They have a very large fan base that really loves football. We are looking forward to a challenge. It will be a big challenge for us to play Nebraska.

"We are looking forward to playing a Big 12 team," he adds. "We haven't had that opportunity in a while. I think our guys are really enthusiastic about playing a Big 12 team and going to Dallas, a different part of the country, and enjoying the bowl game."

Auburn's last game against a Big 12 team was also in the state of Texas. The Tigers defeated the Texas Longhorns 14-10 at Austin back in the 1991 regular season.

"The Cotton Bowl is a special game," Tuberville says. "I can remember growing up, watching all the Cotton Bowls on television. It was one that was obviously left out of the BCS for some reason, but it has so much tradition and so many historical moments over the years that brings a lot of things back to college football that I can remember.

"It is also one of the better ones for the players and the coaches," he adds. "Our team will enjoy this trip. The hospitality is outstanding."

The Tigers will practice on campus through Thursday before taking a break for Christmas before reporting to Dallas on Dec. 26th.

In addition to practice this weekend, the Tigers will have four players in for official visits. The group includes commmitment, tight end Brent Slusher, along with defensive end Antoine Carter, defensive back Brandon Paul and athlete Jerrel Jernigan from 5A state runnerup Eufaula High.

"I told our football team, we're going to have a good time and enjoy it, but we're also going to be more focused, hopefully, than what we were mentally last year toward the bowl game," Tuberville says. "I don't know whether that will make any difference, but we're going out to try and play the best game that we have played all year."

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