Tiger Offensive Linemen Preparing For A Test

Danny Lindsey and his coaches are getting ready for a physical opponent as the football Tigers prepare for their third SEC football game of the season.

Auburn, Ala.--Sophomore Danny Lindsey says after two solid weeks of preparation, the offensive line is ready to step up and show improvement in game six as the Tigers play the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday.

Lindsey and the Tigers wrapped up their on-the-field preparations for Saturday's 11:30 a.m. kickoff with a 90-minute workout in shorts and helmets to polish the game plan for the Razorbacks. Arkansas comes into the contest with a 2-2 overall record, but Coach Houston Nutt's team is 0-2 in the SEC.

"They are kind of like Mississippi State with some of the things they like to do on defense," Lindsey notes. "They like to throw a lot of different types of fronts at you and blitz a lot. They run more of a 3-3 alignment, what we are calling the ‘Hog Look,' with three down linemen and three stacked linebackers. They are looking for situations to blitz us and try to confuse us. We have to stay on our toes."

Position coach Hugh Nall says that his group of linemen has a long way to go before reaching a level of performance that will satisfy him. "We are not close to where we need to be as far as consistency is concerned," Nall says.

The offensive line coach did like the effort he saw from his players in practice this week and in the off week previously. Nall and head coach Tommy Tuberville allowed senior center Ben Nowland to pass out T-shirts made especially for the offensive linemen that read, "Full speed execution."

Tuberville says he wants to see the OL step up and have its strongest performance of the season. He says the Razorbacks will try to overload different areas of the defense in hopes of causing a bad play or turnover for the offense. The head coach notes that how well Auburn handles that pressure will go a long way towards determining Saturday's winner. Last season, mistakes doomed the Tigers in a 42-17 loss at Fayetteville, Ark.

Danny Lindsey

"Our coaches, especially Yox (Kevin Yoxall), remind us everyday about how they embarrassed us last year," Lindsey says. "Coach Yox reminded us all through summer workouts how they embarrassed us. We are going to try to come out, execute our assignments and come out with a victory. It got pretty loud there last year when they took control of the game. As we tried to come back it just got worse."

Auburn, 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the SEC, has not played in two weeks since nipping Syracuse in overtime. "I think the off week really helped us," Lindsey tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "We worked more on technique than we have in a while. This week, we put it all together and I think we had some pretty good practices with great effort.

"The keys are to execute our plays, don't make mistakes, don't turn the ball over and we will have a good chance to win," Lindsey says. "One of our goals every game is to not allow any sacks. The offensive line is going to try to keep the heat off Daniel (Cobb) and give him a chance to make big plays and pick the defense apart."

The offensive linemen and defensive ends arrived at practice early and worked on the game plan at a Thursday practice that Tuberville called a good one. He said with the extra week of preparation, the Tigers are ready to play and need to play a game.

Most of Thursday's session in shorts was spent on reviewing the game plan on offense and defense and the early portion of practice was devoted to the kicking game. Senior Damon Duval, for a second straight practice, was booming the football and is showing no signs of the groin pull problem that bothered him in the Syracuse game. He is likely to handle kickoff duties this week as well as field goals and punts, although his backup, Philip Yost, had another good day on kickoffs.

The Tigers and Razorbacks will kick off the action early on Saturday with the game being an 11:30 a.m. contest for regional TV on Jefferson Pilot. "I think the atmosphere of the games is better at night," Lindsey says, who ads, "we don't care what time we play as long as we come off the field with a victory.

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