Tigers Likely To Try Another Dress Rehearsal

A report on Sunday evening's Auburn football practice is featured with news and notes.

Auburn, Ala.--After having what amounted to a dress rehearsal on Saturday during Auburn's third preseason scrimmage, Gene Chizik said on Sunday night that another one will likely happen.

The head football coach made the comment following Sunday's two-hour practice in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts during which the Tigers worked on correcting mistakes on offense, defense and in the kicking game that showed up at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday.

"We can't get enough of the procedural issues that pop up in terms of who is on the field, who is off the field, the communication, the substitution of personnel, things of that nature," Chizik said. "We really can't get enough of that, but you have got to find a fine line. You can't spend all of your time doing that and not practicing the X's and O's part of football.

"We do need another one of those," Chizik stated. "I anticipate getting one more, at least. This week would be a good week."

Sunday's night practice was the 20th of the preseason for the Tigers as they prepare for their Sept. 5th opener vs. Louisiana Tech.

"I thought we practiced well today," Chizik said. "The weather certainly helped, but I thought we had a really focused practice on both sides of the ball and on special teams.

"We got a lot of things corrected that we needed to get corrected over the last couple of days, especially yesterday after looking at the tape after our situational scrimmage so it was a good day today."

The coach notes that the Tigers have "inched into a good bit" of putting in the game plan for opening night. He adds, "We still have got to work on Auburn. I think there is some time left for us to be able to really prepare for our opponent by preparing Auburn. That is our main focus now--us."

In other football news:

*Chizik says that he is pleased with how likely first-time offensive tackle starter Andrew McCain is doing this preseason. The fifth-year senior is the only projected starting offensive lineman who has not started a college game on the offensive line. "I am really proud of Andrew," Chizik says. "I am really proud of the fact that he has finally reached the point in his career where he has got a chance to really contribute to Auburn football."

Andrew McCain came to Auburn as a tight, moved to the defensive line and then to offensive tackle.

*The other starting offensive tackle, Lee Ziemba, says the McCain is playing his best football and looks like he will fit in nicely with the starting five on the OL.

*Chizik says that senior tight end Gabe McKenzie is a "little behind" because he missed spring practice, but adds, "he is coming along. He just needs to continue to get reps. We are hoping he can help our football team."

*The head coach says that freshman safety Daren Bates continues to make progress and is in the competition for playing time with Mike Slade and Drew Cole. "We have got a situation there where we are really looking at a few different guys. All of them have an equal opportunity to win the job."

*Wide receiver Terrell Zachery says he believes he is playing his best football and he is looking forward to catching some deep passes in Gus Malzahn's attack. "I love his offense," Zachery says.

*Wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor notes that all of the freshmen wideouts continue to do well and points out that Emory Blake is a guy who has made as much progress as anybody because he has such a good knowledge of the game."

*Taylor says he isn't certain when Tim Hawthorne (broken bone in his foot) will be cleared to play, but says the junior receiver is showing a good work ethic as is the team's newest wide receiver, Kodi Burns, who is splitting his time between quarterback and receiver.

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories