Tigers Get Physical at Tuesday Practice

Comments from senior Eric Brock, freshman Chaz Ramsey and Coach Tommy Tuberville are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--The Tigers had a physical two hour practice in full pads on Tuesday as Tommy Tuberville's team prepares for its second road trip of the season, a Saturday night test at Arkansas.

The Auburn coach says that it was a good practice, something fifth-year senior Eric Brock agrees was the case. "A lot of guys stepped up in practice and a lot of guys were vocal," Brock says. "We picked up the tempo. I think it was a good Tuesday practice for us. We did a lot of hitting.

"Arkansas is a physical team," Brock adds. "You have to be ready to be physical, too, and be prepared for anything."

Offensive guard Chaz Ramsey says he thought the offense had a good Tuesday practice, too. "We're getting better and better every practice," the freshman says. "Coach (Hugh) Nall is working with us. He just tells us to keep hitting somebody. We're working on that."

Ramsey lined up next to fellow true freshman Ryan Pugh at practice on Tuesday. Pugh, the starting left tackle, worked with the ones at center while first-stringer Jason Bosley worked on the side as he rehabs a swollen knee he injured on Saturday. King Dunlap took Pugh's left tackle spot.

"He (Pugh) did real good at practice today," Ramsey says. "We had a really good practice. We had good tempo in practice."

"I think Bosley worked for about 30 minutes just doing some pass sets and seeing what he could do," Pugh adds. "I talked to him in the meeting room this morning and he said if it feels a little bit better than it does today he'll probably be back out there tomorrow."

The physical shape of the Tigers, particularly on defense, is a concern for Tuberville. End Quentin Groves was able to only go through half the practice, the head coach says. The same is true of linebacker Tray Blackmon. Both starters missed Auburn's 35-7 victory over Vandy as did safety Aairon Savage (knee), who returned to practice on Sunday but was held out of Tuesday's workout. Earlier in the week Tuberville said he expected starting linebacker Merrill Johnson (shoulder injury) to be back this week for the Razorbacks, but the junior didn't practice on Tuesday, the coach says

"I thought it was one of our better practices," Tuberville says of the Tuesday session. "We had a lot of enthusiasm. I think that winning also encourages guys to understand that they are doing better and they are doing better because they are working hard and they are keeping their consistency.

"Poise and consistency is what it takes to win on the road and we have got to get to back to that. Our players have to understand what they are getting into this week. Arkansas is a very good football team, the number one offensive team in the conference. A couple of their players are about as good as you will see in college football and they use them in a lot of different ways offensively.

"It will be a big challenge for a good defense," Tuberville adds. "We are becoming a good defense although we still don't have a lot of our guys out on the field. It is one of those things where we need to get as many people back as we can, but we will have to wait and see Saturday how that is going to happen."

Kickoff time is set for shortly after 6:45 p.m. from Razorback Stadium as the Tigers shoot for their fourth straight victory.

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