Tuberville Impressed With UF Offense

Comments from Auburn's head football coach are featured as the Tigers prepare to travel for the first time this season.

Auburn, Ala.--The Tigers wrapped up on the field preparations for Saturday's road game at Florida with a longer than normal workout as Coach Tommy Tuberville notes his Tigers have a major challenge on their hands.

The Auburn coach says the high-powered Gator offense, led by QB Tim Tebow, will be the best one his 2-2 Tigers have faced this year. "They are very similar to a couple of them we played. They are kind of a combination of what we saw last week and a combination of South Florida," he said of the UF offense.

"Their personnel is very fast, they have all kind of weapons, and the biggest thing is that they use them. Their offensive line is getting better every day. You can tell they are much improved. Obviously, they are the best offense we have played because of the people they have played and how many points they have scored."

Florida has demolished three opponents in home games, but struggled last week at Ole Miss. "They didn't play as well on the road as they did at home and most people don't, but it is just hard," Tuberville said.

"Ole Miss is a tough place to play. They went there just thinking they could get it done and ran into a buzzsaw. These young guys they are playing with, as we are playing with, have to learn that wherever you go, you have to be ready to play."

Auburn was the last team to beat the Gators as the Tigers took a 27-17 victory last year at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Tuberville discounts the importance of the revenge factor.

"They have got a different team, we have got a different team--a different place, a different scenario," he said. "They are playing good, we are not playing very good. Obviously, we have got a lot more to prove than they do."

The Tigers worked out for an hour and 45 minutes on Thursday. "Practice was hot and we went a little longer," Tuberville said. "They had a lot of things to go over after practice yesterday that we didn't feel we like we had down good enough yesterday, but we feel good about it now.

"It was a good practice," he added. "It has been the best week of practice that we have had. The guys, I think, are excited about going on the road. It is something different.

"Four weeks at home is too long," the coach said. "Our schedule has just been all screwed up this year. That is the way it was a few years ago. We are going to have some true tests on the road and this is going to be the first one. Our guys are excited about it. It is going to be a tough environment for this group, but they will learn very quickly how to play in this type of environment."

Tuberville said that two injured Tigers, linebacker Tray Blackmon (ankle sprain) and tailback and kickoff returner Tristan Davis (broken bone in his foot), made progress on Thursday. Blackmon hasn't played since the first half of the opener. Davis has been out all season.

LB Tray Blackmon "Tray Blackmon practiced a little bit better today--looked a little better," Tuberville said. "Tristan practiced well--we will see what happens. He is going to need another 48 hours (to see if he can return kickoffs). We are going to run him to tomorrow to get a little more work on that leg."

In other news:

*King Dunlap, who hasn't played since suffering an elbow injury in the first half of the Mississippi game, is not expected to make the trip to Florida and freshman Ryan Pugh is expected to handle left tackle with Andrew McCain the backup.

*Patrick Tatum, who missed practice this week due to a death in the family, returned to Thursday's workout. He will be the backup this week to Ryan Shoemaker, who is back to good health after suffering a dislocated elbow. "The kicking game looked good," Tuberville said. "We worked for about 45 minutes on that."

*The Tigers will take buses to Columbus on Friday afternoon to Columbus, Ga., and take a charter flight via Delta Airlines to Ocala, Fla., where the team will spend Friday night.

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