Wednesday Auburn Football Practice Notes

News and notes from Auburn's Wednesday evening football practice are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--As he prepares for his first game as Auburn's defensive coordinator on Saturday night, Paul Rhoads says he sees areas of strength and areas for concern as the Tigers prepare to face Louisiana-Monroe.

"I think we are right where we thought we would be up front," Rhoads says of the defensive ends, tackles and noseguards. "We have good, quality depth there. I think we are the same at linebacker and we are thin on the back end."

Commenting on his team's lack of depth in the secondary, the former Pitt defensive coordinator says, "We have got a very good group of starters and veteran players, and then we have got a young, green group behind them that is very eager and is learning every day. It is going to be important for them to continue to come on. It is going to take the starters, and the front seven, taking some of the pressure off of them and carrying the load."

Three true freshmen are expected to make their college debuts in the secondary on Saturday night as the Tigers played ULM. at 6 p.m. in Jordan-Hare Stadium. That group includes cornerbacks D'Antoine Hood and Neiko Thorpe along with safety Christian Thompson along with redshirt freshman safety Mike Slade.

In other news and notes:

* *The Tigers split their Wednesday evening practice into two sessions with the first part at the football complex before moving it to Jordan-Hare Stadium for approximately 45 minutes of the two hours. The Tiger worked on substitutions on offense, defense and the kicking game.

*Tommy Tuberville said that there is a possibility that true freshmen linebacker Spencer Pybus and true freshman safety Drew Cole could see action on special teams in the opener.

*Another freshman, defensive end, Jomarcus Savage looked "pretty good" and will be ready if needed on Saturday night. Another strongside defensive end, A.J. Greene, is bothered by a hamstring and won't play.

*Tuberville said running back Tristan Davis, who has been bothered by nagging injuries, looked good on Wednesday and could be ready for action.

*Another Tiger with a hamstring problem, Montez Billings, won't play. The receiver could be back for game two, Tuberville said.

*With Monday being the Labor Day holiday, the Tigers will take advantage of what is normally an offday and practice on Monday while using Sunday as their mandatory off-day next week.

*Tommy Tuberville says he is hoping to see a more productive offense when his team takes the field on Saturday night. The coach was so unhappy with his team's scoring production last year it prompted him to replace Al Borges as offensive coordinator with Tony Franklin prior to the start of bowl practice.

In the 73 games in which Tuberville's Tigers have scored 20 or more more points since he took over the program for the 1999 season, Auburn has won 66 of those contests. When the Tigers have scored 30 or more points under Tuberville, their record is 44-0.


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