Thursday Evening AU Football Practice Notes

Notes from Mark Murphy, Jason Caldwell and Stephen Atkinson on Thursday evening's practice by the Auburn Tigers.

* Practice was cut short due to a severe thunderstorm that has flooded the intramural field. The Tigers went out a few minutes early so they got in much of what they had planned.

* Ben Tate, the junior tailback, practiced this morning after resting what the coaches said is a "tight groin."

* Offensive tackle Lee Ziemba practiced again this afternoon.

* Center Jason Bosley, who missed the morning practice, also was out this afternoon with a back strain.

* Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin had more praise today for true freshman running Eric Smith.

* On the subject of Franklin, he says that he is pleased with how Chris Todd is throwing the football, which is much better than he threw it in the spring. Franklin also notes that Kodi Burns is doing a good job.

* Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Mike Blanc says he is "very excited" about getting a chance to share time with Jake Ricks on the first team. He says that Coach Don Dunn has told him "the sky is the limit" for the young lineman.

* Blanc says that several of the freshmen on the defensive line have caught his eye this preseason. He mentioned Jomarcus Savage, Derrick Lykes and Cameron Henderson.

* The afternoon practice was cut short because of weather. When the storm hit, it hit fast with heavy rain and strong winds. Tommy Tuberville went over to talk to the media briefly and had just enough time to make a comment about how an indoor facility would be nice before the wind started gusting extremely hard and everybody ran to their cars.

* In pass rushing drills Antoine Carter looked dominant again. He went around Andrew McCain once and then pushed McCain backwards until the whistle was blown the next time. However, Carter lined up outside of Byron Isom once, and Isom shut him down.

* With Jason Bosley out for the evening practice, Ryan Pugh is at first team center. Mike Berry is at first team right tackle, Bart Eddins is at second team right tackle and Kyle Coulahan is filling in for Eddins at second team left guard. Eddins is a better run blocker than pass, but he did some good things in pass rush drills.

* Derrick Lykes hasn't been going against the first team offensive line, but he dominated some of the younger players. Lykes has some quickness and some power to his game.

* The Tigers worked on some 11 on 11 two-minute drill Thursday afternoon. Todd led the first team down the field for a touchdown. From about the 10-yard line, Todd took the snap, lofted it up to a spot on the field and Tommy Trott caught it in stride near the back of the end zone. It was another impressive toss.

* Kodi Burns and the second team offense stalled on a 3rd and 2 in the two-minute drill. Burns threw near the sideline for Gabe McKenzie, but Neiko Thorpe, who was sitting underneath in coverage, made a nice play to get back and got just enough of the ball to force the incompletion.

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