Chizik Likes Auburn's Wednesday Workout

An update on a variety of players is featured along with comments from Gene Chizik and a key member of the Auburn offense.

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn Tigers worked out for more than two hours on Wednesday evening preparing for their first road test of the football season and head coach Gene Chizik gave the session a thumbs up.

The Tigers, who are 4-0 heading into their second conference game of the season on Saturday at Tennessee, practiced in shorts, helmets and shoulder pads on a cool, brisk evening.

"I thought the focus was there and we are done with our plan," Chizik said. "We just need to execute it, but it was a good day. Obviously, the energy was up. It was a great day. The weather was great. I was pleased with the way the day ended."

Chizik said the combination of an SEC road game and beautiful autumn-like weather had his team excited about Wednesday's practice. "It is a huge game for us in terms of where we go from here," he said.

Junior center Ryan Pugh, who had a dozen knockdown blocks last week vs. Ball State, said that he can tell the Tigers are excited about this week's opponent, a team that he said looks good on video.

Pugh points out that he is impressed with Tennessee's All-American safety and the defense as a whole. "They probably have the best player on defense in college football in Eric Berry," Pugh said. "They play assignment football and they are good at what they do. They don't do a whole of different things, but what they do do, they are good at.

"I think it is going to hurt them a little bit to have their middle linebacker out," Pugh said about Nick Reveiz, who was lost for the season due to an injury he suffered last week. "He got them lined up and he was really the leader over there. I am sure they have another over there who is probably as good as him."

The Tigers will practice again on Thursday and will travel to Knoxville on Friday, but will not work out or have a walk-through at Neyland Stadium the day before the game. Chizik said that is the way he will approach all road games.

Redshirt freshman wide receiver Philip Pierre-Louis, who was suspended from the team over the summer, has still not played this season. Chizik would not say on Wednesday evening when, or if, Pierre-Louis will see game action. He has bee working out with the team since fall semester classes started.

The receiver was a sensation last preseason, but was injured on the opening kickoff of the opening game and had to have knee surgery that caused him to miss the rest of the season.

Spencer Pybus

Sophomore linebacker Spencer Pybus has been sidelined all of this season with a concussion. Chizik did not rule out the possibility of a redshirt for Pybus, who was a Freshman All-SEC pick last season. Mo<' "Spencer has had some health problems," the coach said. "We don't where that is at right know. He is trying to get back, he is trying to get healthy. He is just in a situation where time is the only thing that is going to be the great healer for him so with him we will just play it by ear."

Pybus was expected to push for a starting job this year based on his play in spring training.

In other news:

*With a victory on Saturday the Tigers would be off to a 5-0 start for the third time in the last six seasons. Auburn last won its first five games three seasons ago.

*The Auburn-Tennessee game will be televised on ESPN at 6:45 p.m. CDT. Brad Nessler will do the play by play, Todd Blackledge will be the analyst and Erin Andrews will be the sideline reporter.

*The game will also be available on satellite radio on XM channel 141.

*The Vols are ranked third in the SEC and eighth nationally in total defense and have allowed just three points in the fourth quarter this season.

*Jay Boulware and Trooper Taylor said the coaching staff is still trying to decide on who will be the punt returner this week. Anthony Gulley, Quindarius Carr, Demond Washington and Mario Fannin worked there on Wednesday.

*Kodi Burns is looking good in practice, said Taylor, who added the junior should be full speed for Saturday's game in Knoxville.

*Offensive line coach Jeff Grimes isn't saying whether or not Byron Isom will be back in the starting lineup this week. He was suspended for the Ball State game and has been practicing with the team this week.

*The Tigers can take 70 players to SEC road games. All of the freshmen wide receivers are expected to make the team as is freshman QB Tyrik Rollison. The plan is still to redshirt Rollison.

*Freshman offensive lineman Andre Harris, who was listed on the official participation chart in the Ball State game, did not play and is being redshirt, OL coach Jeff Grimes said.


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