Peach Bowl Insider: Day Two

The latest on the Tigers' preparations for the Tennessee Volunteers, including a Sunday practice report, an update on several players who apparently have come down with the "flu bug," and much more are contained in this report.

Oh No, Not the Flu
Head coach Tommy Bowden said after practice Sunday afternoon that some of the team had come down with a mild case of flu.

"We had a couple of guys sick to their stomach today. Travis Pugh and Curtis Baham both have it," said Bowden. "But both of them practiced full speed today. They didn't run the conditioning drills after practice, but they practiced full strength otherwise."

Some of the players made an extra effort walking out of the locker room to avoid any contact with Pugh and Baham.

Full Pads No More
The Tigers practiced in full pads for a full two hours Sunday afternoon from around 12:15-2:15.

"We practiced in full pads today and did some first team offense versus first team defense, that sort of thing," said Bowden. "They've done pretty good I'd say."

This will be the last day the Tigers practice in full pads. "We'll go in shells and shorts the rest of the week. We've been talking about Tennessee for three weeks, so now you've got to be creative in finding ways to keep their attention."

Turf Issues?
Much has been made of the whole idea of the Tigers playing on turf in the Georgia Dome for the bowl game, so the team has been gearing up for the change by practicing on a surface similar to what they'll see on Friday.

The turf on the practice fields at Georgia Tech is a little shorter however. "That's what I've been told, but it's pretty close to what we'll play on," said Bowden. "It's a little more compacted here than what we'll see on Friday."

Freshman placekicker Jad Dean commented several times that the surface was a little more difficult to kick off of because the turf seemed to catch his foot on the follow through.

Who's Who?
Walk on quarterback Rush Lowther was wearing the #7 jersey on the practice fields Sunday, simulating the play of Tennessee quarterback Casey Clausen.

Forget About It
Coach Bowden also said that he's made no mention of the Texas Tech game last year.

"We haven't talked that much about it other than the fact that we were embarrassed last year, but all of that has been written about by now. Most of the players remember it," said Bowden.

"It's not something we are talking because that was a year ago now."

Several of the players, including Charlie Whitehurst, said coming out of the locker room that the senior leadership this year has really made a difference in how the team is responding to the postseason.

"It's been much more of a business like approach this go around," said Whitehurst. "They've done a good job and I think guys are taking this game much more seriously."

Parting Shots
* Former Clemson quarterback Patrick Sapp was on hand a good bit of the day on Sunday watching the Tigers practice.

* Sunday was also Todd McClinton's birthday.

* There were no injuries today and no players have missed curfew thus far.

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