Auburn, Ala.--Looking to get back on the winning track against non-conference foe New Mexico State after dropping two consecutive games, the Auburn Tigers practiced for two hours in full pads Tuesday morning. Coach Tommy Tuberville said the day was a good one for his team and showed him something about the makeup of his club.
"We had a good practice today," Tuberville said. "We needed one. We need to get a lot better in a lot of areas. We can point at a lot of different things as to why we've won one game and lost two but the number one reason is because we have been beating ourselves.
"That's what hurts the most is knowing that going into all those games we felt like we could win them and pretty much control them if we play within ourselves and not make mistakes in coaching and playing. That's one thing we've done. We've turned the ball over. That's the area where we've got to start getting better but there are some other areas."
Last week the Tigers put true freshman Kodi Burns into the game at quarterback to give the Tigers some life on offense. This week Tuberville said they'll play both Burns and Brandon Cox but they still haven't decided who will start the game. He also noted it won't be the only personnel difference on the field this week.
We'll make some changes this week," Tuberville said. "We're not really satisfied in a lot of areas of where we want to be. We've got a lot of work to do. This team can be much better, not even counting the turnovers. It was a very enthusiastic practice and that's what you look for when you're coaching a team…I like the attitude. If we can keep the same attitude and work ethic we're going to win games this year. We've got to get better and get better in a hurry."
One of the bright spots in Saturday's game was the play up front of much of the offensive line. Rushing for a season-high 216 yards, the Tigers moved the football pretty well after Kodi Burns was inserted into the game but turnovers killed several drives. When Brandon Cox came back on to direct a late drive the offense continued to move the football before coming up just short. Center Jason Bosley said the offense built on that positive energy with a good practice on Tuesday.
"I think it was our best practice of the year," Bosley said. "The offensive line, we had a really good day with good tempo. The whole offense had a great tempo. I think we only had to re-run one or two plays the whole practice."
Perhaps the biggest question marks up front are just who is going to be playing this week. Andrew McCain came on in place of King Dunlap last week at left tackle and closed the game well. At right guard Leon Hart is out with a separated shoulder and Mike Berry is banged up as well. Bosley said both Berry and Antwoin Daniels were getting work with the first team in Tuesday's practice as well as plenty of the younger guys.
"We had Mike Berry and Antwoin (Antwoin Daniels) out there," Bosley said. "Pugh (Ryan Pugh) was working some at center. Just about all of the young guys were working with the second team."
At Tuesday's practice were a large group of scouts from NFL teams checking out the Tigers. Making the rounds in the Southeast, several scouts were on hand to see not only Auburn seniors such as Quentin Groves, Carl Stewart and Cole Bennett but also underclassmen that they'll keep an eye on in the coming years. The scouts look at seniors not only for draft purposes but also for the possibility of free agent signings in the future.
Kickoff for Saturday's game against New Mexico State is scheduled for 6 p.m. and can be seen on a pay-per-view basis only. To order the game contact your local cable provider. DirectTV or Dish Network customers in Alabama may order through their satellite provider. C-band dish owners in Alabama may call 1-800-TV-STARS to order the game.