AU Tuesday Practice Gets Mixed Reviews

A report on Auburn's preparations for the Ole Miss Rebels is featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Cornerback Patrick Lee said he and his fellow seniors will be doing their best this week to get the Auburn football team ready to bounce back from their last-second loss to LSU.

Lee admits it isn't an easy assignment and notes he sees no silver lining to the dark cloud of the heartbreaking loss to LSU despite the fact Auburn came a second away from beating a team who many say is the most talented squad in the nation. "I don't think like that," Lee said. "I just wanted to win. We all wanted to win."

LSU's 30-24 victory over Auburn on Saturday night all but knocked Auburn out of the race for the SEC West title with AU now 3-2 in the conference. "You just got to get over it," Lee said. "We have another one coming up."

At Tuesday's practice the Tigers began installing the game plan for Saturday's 5 p.m. home game vs. Ole Miss. The Rebels are still looking for their first SEC victory after losing their first five. Last week's game was particularly ugly, falling 44-8 at home to Arkansas.

Lee said the tempo from the defense wasn't anything special at Tuesday's practice. "It was alright, just alright" he said. "The coaches were getting after us."

Quarterback Brandon Cox and several other offensive players said the Tuesday session was better on their side of the football. Cox, who had his six stitches removed from his chin on Monday from a blow he took at Arkansas, said there was "high intensity" from the offense that is working on improving its consistency before the Rebels get to town.

Redshirt freshman tailback Mario Fannin agreed with Cox that the offense practiced with a lot of energy. "Everybody was flying around out there and getting after it," Fannin said. "Everybody knows what we have to do this week. We can't take Ole Miss lightly."

Coach Tommy Tuberville said he liked what he saw. "I was really proud of the players today coming out and practicing. We had a very physical practice. It was one in which our players understand that they have got to get better. We are not to the point where we want to hear people say, 'Man, you are close.' We want to get past that. We want to get better in all areas."

The Tigers got their practice in on Tuesday before the heavy rains came. They are scheduled to work out again on Wednesday evening and finish up under the lights.

In other news:

*Wide receiver Robert Dunn, who was left home from the LSU game after having a disagreement with position coach Greg Knox over a running assignment, could see action this week vs. Ole Miss. Tuberville said that Dunn apologized to the team and it is up to Knox to decide when the junior will be allowed to play again.

*Freshman Ryan Pugh, who was held out of the LSU game, is expected to be available this week, Tuberville said. The first team offensive tackle is also the No. 2 center.

*Tailback and kickoff returner Tristan Davis may be able to play a week from Saturday for the homecoming game vs. Tennessee Tech now that a protective boot has been moved from his injured foot. Davis originally injured his foot in preseason and had surgery. He suffered another injury to a different part of the same foot on his return game vs. Florida on Sept. 29th.

*Lee, who suffered a jammed neck in the LSU game, said he was in the twilight zone for a while on Saturday night, but has not had lasting problems from his collision.

*Junior Merrill Johnson, who has been limited to special teams duties the past two games, could see action at linebacker this week, Tuberville said. Johnson has been rehabbing a shoulder injury. He also noted that safety Aairon Savage looked good enough in practice to be in line for playing time vs. the Rebels. Savage began the season as a starter, but has missed half of the season with injuries. He is currently recovering from a knee problem.


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