Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn Tigers (7-4) put the finishing touches on the game plan for Saturday's Iron Bowl with a nearly two-hour practice in full pads on a warm Tuesday afternoon. Coach Tommy Tuberville says his team will now concentrate on polishing things up the next two days before Saturday night's 7 p.m. kickoff on ESPN.
"Everybody was out practicing today and looked good," Tuberville says. "The spirits are good. The hay is in the barn. We'll basically do walk throughs for the next couple of days. Tomorrow afternoon we'll cut the non-travel squad loose after practice. They are done until after Saturday. We need to start getting some guys' legs back and get their legs freshened up a little bit and get their minds right and get ready to lay it on the line."
With an extra week of preparation for this game, the Tigers are a couple of days ahead of their normal game week routine, something that Tuberville says will allow them extra time at the end of the week to make sure everything is ready for Saturday. He notes that is big, especially at the end of the year.
"Today was a Wednesday practice," Tuberville says. "Tomorrow and Thursday will be two Thursday practices for us, which is basically when you walk through and do your kicking game and work on your assignments in terms of walking through and pointing out. It's not anything physical or stressful.
"The main thing in games like this at the end of the year is you want them mentally fresh where they don't lose their focus," he adds. "Today was a grind. We hit them pretty good and practiced hard. It was hot. It was 85 degrees on that turf. It was a little rough. This time of year these guys know their assignments. We're doing a few things different. What you want to do is make sure you cover all bases. In a game like this you don't want to make any mental mistakes in terms of alignment or assignment or substitutions. Any of the things you can do out here. That's what we'll do for the next couple of days."
Tailback Tristan Davis is back practicing and could play this weekend according to Tuberville.
Coming into Saturday's game the Tigers are a pretty healthy football team as running back Tristan Davis is practicing well and could see some action this weekend. On defense linebacker Craig Stevens is working with the first team at strongside linebacker according to Tuberville and has a chance to be back in the starting lineup this weekend. Defensive lineman Zach Clayton is also back practicing after missing the Georgia game with a sprained ankle.
"Everybody went," Tuberville says. "He (Davis) went good. I don't know (if he'll return kickoffs). If he's 100 percent we're going to give him a chance just like we did at Florida. He caught them today, but I didn't let him run. He ran some offense today. It would probably have to be a disaster in terms of injuries. Hopefully that doesn't happen."
This week Auburn may catch a break on special teams with Alabama standout return man Javier Arenas banged up with a high ankle sprain. Tuberville says despite the news that he may not play this weekend, the Tigers will still prepare for him in the event he's ready to go on Saturday.
"You always plan for anybody to be back there," Tuberville says. "It doesn't make a lot of difference. You make adjustments as you go, but you plan on what they started in the previous games and you work from there."
The Tigers will practice Wednesday and Thursday before heading out of town on Friday. Saturday's game will be the 72nd meeting between Auburn and Alabama with the Crimson Tide holding a 38-32-1 advantage. Auburn has won five in a row in the series and six of the last seven.