Tigers Get Game Week Off To Good Start

Coach Tommy Tuberville talked about Sunday's practice and gave an injury update following the two-plus hour workout.

Auburn got back to work on Sunday with a long practice in full gear after taking Saturday off. Coach Tommy Tuberville said he could see the difference in his team after getting some much needed rest. Tuberville said in particular he was proud of his team for going to visit the children with cancer at Story Book Farms on Saturday.

"They had smiles on their faces today," Tuberville said. "They had their first senior meeting today after we started going. This starts an 11-week period of trying to get in the same routine. We kind of did everything today that we'll do next week, although next week we'll work on Monday as we do every Labor Day. It's trying to get into some kind of routine with practice, study halls and classes and trying to let the younger guys know how it's going to be."

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Good news for the Tigers on the injury front as fullback Carl Stewart was again practicing and looked much closer to full speed after getting a day off on Saturday. Offensive linemen King Dunlap and Leon Hart both worked on the sidelines early in the practice with Dunlap getting some work in at tackle. He should be ready to go full time by Tuesday but without him Antwoin Daniels and Andrew McCain worked at the position. Wide receiver Montez Billings did not practice and Tuberville said he's still a few days away.

"Carl Stewart really looked good," Tuberville said. "He's back close to 100 percent. I'm really excited about him. He's excited. You can tell his legs are fresh. He's moving around pretty good.

"Leon Hart went a little bit and he'll go full speed Tuesday," he added. "We just held him out another day, him and King Dunlap. Their ankles were just a little sore. He could have gone but Hugh (Hugh Nall) wanted to get a look at the left tackle that is his back up. We felt like it would be good to do that."

Back up center Ryan Pugh and Lee Ziemba push the sled in Sunday's practice.

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Nall wasn't too happy with the performance of his offensive line in Sunday's practice saying that he could tell they had a day off. While he admits they've still got work to do, he said he was very pleased with the effort they gave but there were too many assignment errors for his liking.

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With Stewart back on the field and Mario Fannin back to full speed after missing a day last week with a sore hamstring, the Tigers are now closer to being healthy in the backfield. Tuberville said because of that they'll sit down and try to see how things will work in the opener Saturday night and release a depth chart on Tuesday.

"That's what we're going to do tomorrow is see who will go 1-4 on those guys," Tuberville said. "We wanted to get a good look at Carl to see where he stood. He's going to be up there pretty high too. It was good that we got a good look at him today. Eddie (Eddie Gran) was fired up about him after practice. We'll have some options there."

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Just because it's game week on the Plains doesn't mean things got easy for the Tigers on Sunday. Practicing just over two hours in full pads, the team worked on every phase of the game and had several physical sessions for likely the last time this week. Tuberville said the coaches felt it was important to have another hitting day before they begin to cut back to get ready for Saturday.

"Today we had a very physical practice," Tuberville said. "It was about two hours and 15 minutes. We felt like we needed to go against each other another day and also do scout team. We basically jammed two practices into one. It went good."

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The line of the day came from Tuberville on Sunday. While we were talking a little bit about Kansas State before practice started, we began to hear a squeaking sound while the running backs were jogging our way. As they got closer the sound appeared to come from senior fullback Carl Stewart. That prompted Tuberville to say "Carl, you haven't been out here in so long that you've started squeaking" which brought laughter from Carl and his teammates.

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Guard Tyronne Green wears the new jersey complete with the 75-year SEC patch on the right shoulder.

Auburn's offensive players wore their blue game jerseys on Sunday to make sure the fit was correct for the guys that will see action in this Saturday's game. The look is a little bit different for the team this year as the Under Armour jerseys feature a tackle twill number instead of the traditional screened numbers of the past. The numbers are now sewn on and are much more visible, which should make it easier for fans to distinguish the players on the field.

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The Tigers will take Monday off before returning to the practice field Tuesday morning as they continue to work on the Kansas State Wildcats. Kickoff for Saturday's game is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN.


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