Tigers Work On Game Plan for Bama Contest

An Auburn football practice report features comments from players and head coach Tommy Tuberville.

Auburn, Ala.--Cornerback Jerraud Powers, noseguard Tez Doolittle and linebacker Chris Evans say it is encouraging to see their Auburn defense get healthier as the Tigers prepare for their in-state football rivalry game vs. Alabama.

The Tigers practiced for one hour and 45 minutes in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts/sweat pants on Monday at Jordan-Hare Stadium and were able to avoid the heavy rain that fell later in the evening. The focus was on installing the game plans on both offense and defense.

"You can see we are making progress because more of the guys on defense are closer to full speed," says Evans, who is hoping that Saturday's 2:30 p.m. nationally televised game on CBS isn't his last.

Auburn must defeat No. 1 ranked Alabama to become bowl eligible and continue the season for Evans and the rest of the seniors. "I have had a really good career at Auburn and I would like to go out with a win," he adds.

Powers says it is a high priority for him and the other Tigers to send Evans and the rest of the seniors out as winners. The redshirt junior cornerback, who was sidelined by hamstring problems earlier this year, says he is excited about the challenge of playing the Tide as an underdog for the first time in his career.

Doolittle notes that he is looking forward to just playing in the rivalry game after being sidelined by injuries in earlier contests, including a ruptured Achilles tendon injury last year that looked like it would end his career. "I have never played in the game," he points out.

"They are an all-around great team," Doolittle says of the 11-0 Tide team that also has an extra week to prepare for the game. "We have just got to go out and play hard."

Doolittle, who has been recovering from a groin injury, appreciates the extra week of preparation time for this game. "It allows you to get your feet back up under you and your injuries healed," he says.

Commenting on what it will take to pull off the upset, he says, "We have to be all in--everybody on the same page, no mistakes, go all out."

Coach Tommy Tuberville says the Tigers haven't played a great game this year and Doolittle agrees. "You always have somebody make a mistake here and there and that stuff adds up," the defensive lineman says. "We haven't put a complete game together in I don't know how long. I guess we are past due."

With no classes this week due to the Thanksgiving holidays, the Tigers will practice at noon on Tuesday.

"We have had good practices," Tuberville says. "Everything has been going well. We've had a few more guys practicing every day, and by the time we get to the end of the week, we should be in pretty good shape."

The Tigers are scheduled to practice on campus through Friday before traveling across the state in search of a seventh straight win vs. their rival. "They're all intense," Tuberville says of his Tigers. "The players have different looks on their faces and they're into it. They're into every snap and every practice."

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