Tigers Arrive In Tampa, Ready For Outback

Tampa, Fla.--With all of the players present and accounted for after making their way to Tampa to begin game week preparations for the Outback Bowl game against Northwestern, the Auburn Tigers (7-5) enjoyed a busy first night before putting the pads back on Sunday morning for the first post-Christmas practice.

Joining the Wildcats at an All-You-Can-Eat function sponsored by Outback, the Tigers put away steak, chicken and ribs before moving to the St. Pete Times Forum to take in a NHL game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Atlanta Thrashers. Coach Gene Chizik said it was a very good night for his team as it gets ready to get down to business.

"Everybody's here and having a good time tonight," Chizik said. "We're excited to get started tomorrow with practice. We're here for one reason and that's to win our eighth football game this season. There's a balance to having fun and preparing to win the game and the players know that. Outback put on a great dinner for us tonight and it was a great way to start the week. It was everything you'd expect from Outback."

Clinton Durst, Wes Byrum, and the Tigers enjoy the dinner provided by Outback Steakhouse.

There is little question that Auburn is in Tampa for business as the team has heard repeatedly about the importance of finishing the year out with a victory and getting win number eight. Senior quarterback Chris Todd said Saturday night was a welcome party and a good one, but tomorrow it's all work.

"It was an amazing dinner tonight," Todd said. "It's great to get off the plane or get off the road from traveling and have this kind of dinner the first night you're here. We're looking forward to the rest of the week. Coach Chizik made it pretty clear that he wants us to have a good time, but we are here to win a football game. So the practices are back to business, with everybody focused on winning."

Auburn will practice at 10 a.m. on Sunday before making a visit to the Children's Hospital along with players from Northwestern after lunch.

The Tigers will meet Northwestern (8-4) in the 2010 Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla. The game will kick off at 10 a.m. CT in Raymond James Stadium and be nationally televised by ESPN.

Inside The Auburn Tigers will have coverage of all the Outback Bowl festivities leading up to the game on New Year's Day so check back throughout the week for more updates.

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