Tempo The Focus Of Thursday Practice

Auburn's Tommy Tuberville talks about Thursday's practice and updates the status of quarterback Kodi Burns.

Auburn, Ala.--Practicing for an hour and a half on Thursday, the Auburn Tigers finished up preparations for Southern Miss by continuing to work on tempo in practice against the scout teams. Coach Tommy Tuberville said it was important for them to work on the little things in practice that scout team work gives them.

"It was a very fast tempo today and that's what it will be in a game," Tuberville said. "We spent the first half on the kicking game and the second half just working on game management and how things are going to go. We didn't work against each other at all. This has been a week of trying to work for ourselves and work on the little things, trying to have a sense of urgency."

While Chris Todd remains the starting quarterback for Saturday, Tuberville said that sophomore Kodi Burns continues to make progress on the field after suffering a cut on his leg against ULM. Tuberville said if they played today that Burns would be limited but with 48 hours left until kickoff he's hoping Burns will be ready to help in some capacity on Saturday.

"It was a good practice today out of everybody," Tuberville said. "Kodi went but it's going to be game time whether he's going to play our not. He's got to get better. He's not 100 percent but he did practice and went through everything. He jogged running plays but he doesn't have that burst like he normally has.

"We're going to play him if he can play," he added. "He's got to have that quickness and he's got to have his legs. Right now he's not 100 percent. He's not even close. He's got 48 hours and the doctors will look at him. Dr. (James) Andrews looked at him last night and said he's coming along good. He's still real sore. He'll have tomorrow off and then doctors will look at him when we get through Tiger Walk on Saturday."

One of the players that is back and looking good at practice is senior running back Tristan Davis. Expected to see action in the backfield, Tuberville said there's also a good chance you'll see Davis back in his customary role returning kickoffs as well.

"Tristan, Ben (Ben Tate), Robert Dunn and Swinton are back there," Tuberville said. "Eddie (Eddie Gran) will pick whoever he wants. They've all been working on it.

"He (Swinton) ran good yesterday," Tuberville added on the senior receiver. "He surprised me. I think he got tired of that bicycle. Sometimes you've just got to push through it. It was good to see him out there. He caught the ball well and ran well, him and Montez (Montez Billings)."

The return of Swinton and Billings gives Auburn two of its best big play threats back at the receiver position. Tuberville said that's important in this offense because they want to have that ability to stretch the defenses and it also helps to get some experience back on the field at the outside position.

"The thing about this offense is that you've got to get the ball vertical down the field," Tuberville said. "That's one thing we didn't do Saturday. That goes from experience and guys running out there. When you move guys out there to take up for guys that are injured it sets you back experience-wise. Now that Swinton and Montez are back I think it's going to help us. We've just got to find the right combination."

Last week freshmen defensive backs Neiko Thorpe and D'Antoine Hood both made a significant impact in Auburn's 34-0 victory and there could be some additional help on the horizon in the secondary this week from fellow freshman Harry Adams. Tuberville said that the speedster will play this season for the Tigers and it could be as early as this week.

"He's on the coverage teams and return teams," Tuberville said of Adams. "If he's not returning then he might be in some other position. Harry will play. We've already made that decision."

On the injury front Tuberville said the Tigers will be without redshirt freshman defensive end A.J. Greene and sophomore offensive lineman Darrell Roseman this week because of nagging injuries. Redshirt freshman John Douglas injured a knee against ULM and Tuberville said it will be a game time decision on his status for this weekend. Fellow redshirt freshman offensive lineman Kyle Coulahan has been bothered by a virus but Tuberville said he's expected to dress this weekend.

The Tigers will have a short walk through on Friday afternoon and that will be the final tune up before Saturday's game against Southern Miss. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and can be seen regionally on Raycom Sports.

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