Tuberville "Lays Down the Law" in Big D

Comments from Auburn's head football coach are featured as his football team prepares to start practice in Dallas.

Dallas, Tex.--Coach Tommy Tuberville said Tuesday night he set down the ground rules for his players as they arrived for their New Year's Day Cotton Bowl Game vs. the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

"For the first night, I wanted to lay down the law so the players know what to do and what not to do this week," Tuberville said. "We have some young players who have never been to a bowl so I wanted everyone to know what I expect this week, but we have a mature team so I don't expect there will be any problems."

"I told them to remember two things about their behavior this week," Tuberville added. "One, to stay focused on the game and two, to be respectful of the people who invited us here."

Tommy Tuberville addresses his team in Dallas.

Auburn officials said Wednesday night that everybody arrived as scheduled except for five of the 111 players. The stragglers were caught in traffic jams on the the way to the team hotel in Dallas. The players were on their own to reach the bowl destination. Nebraska players and coaches arrived by charter flight earlier in the day although some drove to Dallas themselves.

The Tigers will hit the practice field for the first time on Wednesday with a 10:30 a.m. workout at SMU, an hour earlier than previously scheduled.

"Tomorrow we will get our nose to the grindstone," Tuberville said. "Tomorrow will be a longer practice for us and we want to get started on the right foot as we get ready for Nebraska."

Junior quarterback Brandon Cox said, "It's good to get away from football for a few days. I think we've come back refreshed and we're ready to get after it."

Monday's game will be the fourth time the Tigers and Cornhuskers have met in football. Nebraska holds a 3-0 edge in the series. Kickoff is set for 10:40 a.m. with television coverage by FOX Sports.

Nebraska coach Bill Callahan said Tuesday night his team is excited to be at the Cotton Bowl. "It's the highlight of our year, and our players are excited to be a part of it. That's the great thing about playing here in Texas. We recruit this area heavily. We have a number of players on our roster from Texas.

Bill Callahan (left) shakes hands with Tuberville on Tuesday in Dallas.

"It's been a focus of concentration in our recruiting efforts this year," Callahan added. "We got a number of commitments already this year from the state of Texas, and I don't think there's any place in the country that does a better job than the high school coaches here in the state of Texas. They're fantastic, and the emphasis that they put upon football and their respect for the game is second to none so we're excited about having the coaches out on Thursday.

"We'll have an open practice for the coaches from the Dallas area, or from any place in the state of Texas, to come watch us practice, be a part of what we're doing at Texas Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

"I thought we had pretty intense practices last week," Callahan noted. "We had six of them and spread them out over a period of seven days. We gave the kids a break after three and then resumed again. But we're anxious, we're looking forward to this game. I think our players are well prepared. They've worked extremely hard, and coming off the championship game we gave them about a week or so and then we reconvened and started placing emphasis on getting ready for Auburn."

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