Tigers Shift Gears For Bulldogs

Offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino talks about Saturday's win over Louisiana-Monroe and the upcoming game with the Georgia Bulldogs.

Auburn, Ala.--Following a tuneup game against Louisiana-Monroe for Homecoming on Saturday on the Plains, the Auburn Tigers (7-3, 4-2) turned their attention to the Georgia Bulldogs (8-1, 6-1) Sunday in a short but intense practice.

Focusing on special teams work and introducing the game plan for the Bulldogs, the Tigers practiced for just over an hour before moving inside to watch film on the Bulldogs.

Back on the practice field but not participating in drills was linebacker Karlos Dansby. The junior from Birmingham injured an ankle against the Ole Miss Rebels last week and was held out of Saturday's game. The same is true of tight end Lorenzo Diamond, who was side-by-side with Dansby Sunday working with Auburn's trainers on a side practice field. Center Ben Nowland practiced Sunday and should be ready for the Georgia game as should defensive ends Reggie Torbor and Jay Ratliff, who were both held out as well Saturday to rest sore knees.

Linebacker Karlos Dansby could be a key figure in Saturday's game against the wide open Georgia Bulldogs.

The Tigers weren't able to escape Saturday's game without some injury woes as tight ends Cooper Wallace and Robert Johnson were both banged up. While Johnson continued to play and play well after bruising his ribs on the first play of the game, Wallace wasn't as fortunate. Re-injuring the same shoulder he hurt against Florida, he didn't practice Sunday and is questionable for this weekend's game.

Because of that wide receiver Anthony Mix made the move to tight end during Sunday's practice. After working at tight end during two-a-days in addition to his duties at wide receiver, the 6-5, 233 Mix will provide depth for the Georgia game and could be used in passing situations as well as two tight end sets. On the season he has 12 catches for 147 yards and one touchdown.

Linebacker Derrick Graves was also injured during Saturday's game but should be fine for Saturday. Practicing Sunday without a helmet because of a sprained neck, the sophomore looked to be moving fine and without pain.

Offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino said that after watching the video from Saturday's 52-14 victory he was pleased with the way his unit played for the most part. Breaking down video of Georgia's defense, Petrino noted that this would be a big challenge for the offense, particularly up front.

"I thought our first unit came out and played well," Petrino said. "They executed what we asked them to do. Ronnie (Brown) got not as many touches as you would like him to see him get, but it was good to get him fresh for this week. Then we went right on to Georgia.

"They are a very good defensive team. They actually play eight guys up front. Their front eight down linemen are good players, quick, they'll challenge our pass protection and then they have linebackers that are good against the run. We're looking forward to it. It should be a good matchup."

Quarterback Jason Campbell is 62-91 this season for 835 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception.

Playing just a little over a quarter before taking the rest of the day off, sophomore quarterback Jason Campbell had a solid day under center Saturday. Finishing 8-10 for 184 yards and two touchdowns through the air, Petrino said the quarterback continues to grow and had a good performance Saturday.

"He did a nice job," Petrino said of Campbell. "He was real accurate with his throws. He put the ball where it was supposed to be with the exception of the one fade down on the goal line and that ball ended up out of bounds. He actually took too many steps to throw a fade that close to the goal line. Other than that he did a nice job. He moved in the pocket real well. The thing that I was happy about is that when he was moving in the pocket he kept both hands on the ball, which is something we try to work hard at."

Expecting a battle that goes down to the wire, the Tigers were noticeably more focused on Sunday on the practice field as the Bulldogs await this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in a game that will be televised by CBS. Last season it took 41 carries out of Carnell Williams to get a win for Auburn in Athens and Petrino said he wouldn't mind seeing that again with Ronnie Brown, but he doesn't expect that type of game this year.

"It would be nice if Ronnie could carry it 41 times for about three bills," Petrino said with a smile. "I don't think that's going to happen. They are physical. They are good. We're going to have to try to keep them off balance a little bit. We're going to have to mix it up and get everyone involved and give our players an opportunity to make plays."

The Tigers will follow their normal routine of taking Monday off before returning to practice on Tuesday. Tiger Walk for the Georgia game Saturday is scheduled to begin at 12:20 with Terry Beasley the guest of honor.

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