Tigers Finish Preparations for Road Trip

A report on Auburn's Thursday practice features comments from one of the team's hottest players.

Auburn, Ala.--In the final tune-up for its first SEC road test, Coach Gene Chizik's Auburn football team worked out in shorts and helmets on Thursday evening polishing the game plan for a trip to Tennessee.

The Tigers, who are 4-0, practiced for slightly less than two hours preparing for the 2-2 Volunteers. This will be Auburn's first game away from Jordan-Hare Stadium this season.

"We have prepared with some things that we think are important when dealing with crowd noise and some other things," Chizik said. "We have prepared for issues on the road, but we have a lot of young guys so it should be interesting."

Sophomore wide receiver Darvin Adams said the Tigers are looking forward to their first road trip and their second SEC game. Adams, who is third in the SEC in receiving yards and catches per game, said Gus Malzahn's offense has been a joy to play in this season. "We are all having fun, all of the receivers are," he said. "Terrell Zachery is stepping up and the last game Travante Stallworth stepped up. Tommy Trott caught a touchdown so everybody is having a good time."

Darvin Adams is off to a strong start.

Looking at the offense as a whole, Adams said, "I don't think we have reached our peak yet. We are still going through a lot of wrinkles, getting stuff together and Coach Malzahn is getting on us every day about it. I think once we really start clicking we will be a really good offense."

The Tigers are currently averaging 526.3 yards per game and 45.3 points per contest. They are rushing for 261.3 per contest and are passing for 265. Adams is averaging 83.5 yards per game this season and has 20 catches with five going for touchdowns. Last season he caught three passes for 18 yards, all coming in the Homecoming victory over Tennessee-Martin.

Commenting on why he has improved so much from his freshman season to his sophomore year, Adams said, "I think it is the trust, the knowledge, watching film a lot more, staying after practice and working with (cornerback) Neiko Thorpe and just working with Chris Todd."

In other news and notes:

*Chizik said that freshman running back Onterio McCalebb, who injured his ankle in the win over Ball State, should be ready to play vs. the Vols. "He is doing fine, he is practicing, he's good to go."

*Auburn has struggled with its punt return game. Freshman Anthony Gulley, who fumbled twice in that role last week, will likely get another shot at that assignment this week. Chizik said Gulley has been catching the football well in practice. "I think he will be better at it," Chizik noted.

*Chizik said that another player who has worked at punt returner, redshirt freshman Philip Pierre-Louis, has been working hard in practice to get back in the good graces of the coaching staff. Pierre-Louis, who is coming back from knee surgery, was suspended from the team over the summer, but was allowed to return when classes began on August 17th. However, he has not played in a game yet this season. Chizik has not said when wide receiver/returner will play in a game.

*Fans attending the game at Neyland Stadium should be able to listen to the ISP Auburn Network's radio broadcast of the game on channel 87.9 FM or 92.5 FM.

*Kickoff for the game is set by 6:45 pm. CDT with television coverage on ESPN.

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