Energetic Sunday Practice, Tuberville Says

Coach Tommy Tuberville talks about Sunday's practice and updates the status of wide receiver Terrell Zachery and new linebacker Deshaun Barnes.

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn Tigers continued working towards a date with Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve in Atlanta. Coach Tommy Tuberville says that Sunday's two hour practice went well as his team continues to blend in as much of Tony Franklin's offense as possible while also working on the game plan.

"We came back and had some long meetings and about a two hour practice," Tuberville says. "It was a little cool. Today we worked more on Clemson on both sides. I thought the guys had a lot of energy today considering we went pretty hard for three-straight days. We'll basically go two-a-days tomorrow with one of them basically being a walk-through on mental stuff.

"The kicking game is looking pretty good," he adds. "Today we gave the kickers off and did a little punting. They were a little rusty a couple of days ago, but did a lot better today."

Auburn continues to work on implementing a portion of the spread offense in practices with the third day of bowl practices in the books. Tuberville says that things are going well, but he's not sure exactly how much they'll be able to use in the upcoming game because of the time limitations.

"We've got as much of that as we're going to put in after yesterday," Tuberville says. "We went back to some of our other stuff today to make sure we get a good balance. It has gone good. I think the newness of some of the things we put in kept everybody's attention. Everybody was enthused and now we're back to some of the other stuff. We've got to find a happy medium to combine it all. We'll do that for the next couple of days.

"You can't do much in just a couple of days of putting it in," he adds. "When you hit the wall you're just like ‘okay, that's enough'. We want to find out now how much we want to run of what we've been doing."

On the injury front the Tigers were without two players on offense as senior tackle King Dunlap (twisted knee) and quarterback Blake Field (muscle spasms in neck) were held out of Sunday's practice. Tuberville says that Field watched and could be back as early as Monday, but it's still up in the air at this moment.

Wide receiver Terrell Zachery could see action in Auburn's bowl game against Clemson.

A positive on offense is the return to good graces of redshirt freshman wide receiver Terrell Zachery. Out for the entire regular season and in Tuberville's "dog house" along with safety Lorenzo Ferguson, Tuberville says the Wadley native is back working and could see action against Clemson while Ferguson remains out of commission.

"He is out of the dog house," Tuberville says. "He will play. He's done good. He's a little rusty, but he always has a smile on his face. He reminds me so much of Jeris McIntyre that I keep thinking that's who he is. He's got the same number on and running down the field he looks the same. He'll be a good addition to this offense.

The Tigers added a player to the team on Sunday as linebacker Deshaun Barnes from Lincoln High in Tallahassee, Fla. joined the team. Tuberville says he hasn't practiced ot this point and he's not sure if he will before the bowl game, but it's good to have him on board.

"We got into school Deshaun Barnes," Tuberville says. "He didn't practice. He's got to pass all his physicals. He can't go to the bowl. They passed a rule a few years ago that you can't take anybody that didn't play in the season. We'll just have to wait and see (if he practices on Monday or Tuesday), I'm not far enough along on that."

Auburn will return to the practice field on Monday for a morning workout and an afternoon walk through. They will finish up on-campus practices with a Tuesday morning session after which the players will be released until Christmas night.

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