Jan. 7, 2011
Chizik Press Conference | Newton Press Conference
Team Media Day: Chizik, Dyer, Fairley
CBSSports.com's Mark Morgan and Dennis Dodd take a look at the preparations and adjustments both are making leading up to their National Championship showdown. Watch Here
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - The top-ranked Auburn football team practiced for the fourth time in as many days in Arizona, working out for close to two hours early Friday afternoon at Scottsdale Community College.
The Tigers practiced in shoulder pads and shorts for the second day in a row as the team continues to prepare for next Monday's Tostitos BCS National Championship Game against No. 2 Oregon.
The practice began with special teams drills before the squad moved on to individual and position drills. After more special teams, the offense and defense worked against the scout teams for much of the latter half of the practice before the first two offensive and defensive units worked against each other to close the workout.
Prior to practice, the entire team along with head coach Gene Chizik was transported to the J.W. Marriott Camelback Inn to conduct interviews during the team's media day. Several hundred media members were in attendance to speak with the Tigers about the upcoming title game.
During the session, Chizik noted that he is pleased with the team's preparation for next Monday's game.
"I'm really proud of our football team," said Chizik. "I'm really proud of our players and the way they've focused and done the things they've needed to do to win the game. So it will be a great game."
Chizik also stated that he thinks the battle between the top two teams in the country will be an exciting one.
"I think it will be a game of the ages," said Chizik. "I have been blessed to be a part of another national championship game that was exciting and fun and all those things for fans. I think this one will be very similar in nature, and it will be a great game.
"We are looking forward to playing on the 10th, and we'll be ready to go."
The Tigers will have their last full practice prior to the championship game Saturday at 12 p.m. MT. All practices are closed to the public.
Auburn (13-0) will play Oregon (12-0) in the BCS National Championship Game on Monday, Jan. 10, at 7:30 p.m. CT. The game will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and will be televised nationally by ESPN and ESPN3D.
Q: There is a winter weather advisory for Alabama beginning Sunday. The weather in Scottsdale calls for temperatures in the 60s and sunny skies. What are your thoughts about that?
BE: "I've been working on my tan since we got here. I had a few tan lines from the fall so I've worked on getting a good base to even it out."
Q: Friday morning was Media Day with several hundred media members attending. How was that experience?
BE: "It was great. I've never really been a part of something like that, with so many people. It was a great experience and pretty neat to watch."
Q: A little more than 72 hours from kickoff are you staring to get in "game mode"?
BE: "Definitely. Once you start cutting back on things in practice, you really start to get in that frame of mind and lock in."
Mike "Bones" Boniol - Assistant Equipment Manager
Q: How has everything gone for you since you arrived in Arizona?
MB: "Relatively well, except Nick Fairley is standing over my shoulder right now breathing on me which is, um, interesting. Aside from that, everything has been great. The equipment manager for Scottsdale Community College, Jim DeNola, has done a great job helping us. The facilities are great for what we need.
Q: Scottsdale Community College's athletics nickname is the "Artichokes", have you seen their mascot lurking about?
MB: "I have not seen the artichoke but they do have `Chokes' on the goal post pads."
Q: What time has your day typically begun on this trip?
MB: "Depending on what time practice begins, we've started reporting to the equipment room in the hotel around 7:30 a.m. We started earlier the first day just so we had time to ensure everything was in order before the team arrived."
Q: What has been the most enjoyable part of the trip for you?
MB: "Once we finish our workday, which usually is around 4:30 or 5 p.m., having some down time and being able to relax and not have to plan for next week's game like we do during the regular season. We still have plenty of work to do when we get back, but not like during the season. I think everybody appreciates that."