Tuberville: AU Healthy And Ready To Go

Auburn's Tommy Tuberville talks about Wednesday's practice and updates the status of running back Brad Lester.

Auburn, Ala.--While the LSU game week didn't officially begin until Sunday morning, make no mistake about it, this is a game that both teams have been preparing for since last year. For Auburn's coaching staff much of the preparation is done during the summer months and coach Tommy Tuberville said this week they've added and taken away to try to make the plan as perfect as possible heading into Saturday night's game and so far he likes the response from the team.

"We've got a lot of work to do but if we work hard like we worked today we're going to keep getting better," Tuberville said. "That's what it's all about. I'm excited about their enthusiasm and intensity. I'm really excited about the gameplan. I think the coaches have worked really hard. We put a lot of work in during the summer and now we've tweaked it to what we think this team can do on both sides of the ball."

The big news from Wednesday's two-hour practice was the update on senior running back Brad Lester. Taken from the field Saturday night with a sprained neck, Tuberville said Lester practiced with the team and while there was no contact with the team wearing shells, he noted that Lester should be ready to play against LSU.

"Brad looked good," Tuberville said. "He was much better. He ran the ball hard and his range of motion was good. Barring any setback if he continues what he's doing he'll be ready to go.

"If we were playing today he could play," he added. "Like I said, the next couple of days it could flare up on him. I think he's ready go."

Focusing on polishing up the gameplan for Saturday's 6:45 p.m. start against the Bengal Tigers on ESPN, Tuberville said the team has been very focused this week in practice. Finishing up things with a morning workout on Thursday, Tuberville said that right now he likes the attitude of the team despite the recent struggles scoring points.

"What a little change in the weather will do," Tuberville said. "The guys are enthusiastic, of course if you don't get ready to play this game something is wrong with you. We've had two good practices. We've obviously worked on mistakes and trying to improve and work on our consistency on offense. We've made a few changes, not personnel but what we're doing and how we're doing it.

"Hopefully the communication will be a lot better. We've got a good gameplan. We've worked hard on that. Everybody is on board. That's what it takes when you go into a game like this. We just need to get our confidence on offense. That's the big key."

Tuberville said this is about as healthy as the team has been since the start of preseason practice with only John Douglas out this week because of an injury in addition to the players out for the season. Starting wide receiver Chris Slaughter is still out as is fellow sophomore, defensive back Ryan Williams. Tuberville said both are still in the dog house.

One concern on Saturday night was the health of wide receiver and punt returner Robert Dunn after falling on his shoulder hard attempting to make a catch. Tuberville said Dunn is fine and has been getting treatment all week. He practiced both Tuesday and Wednesday.

In addition to the big game this weekend against LSU, Auburn will have a big recruiting weekend with official and unofficial visitors in town for the festivities. Tuberville said while it's not an ideal weekend, it's a good time to show players what Auburn is all about. They are expecting six officials with as many as 300 unofficial visitors for Saturday night's game.

"This is a great time to bring players in," Tuberville said. "The only negative of bringing players in is that I don't get to spend a lot of time with them. Obviously we're a little busy. If they want to see what it's actually about this is a good time to come."


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