Sept. 7, 2008
The No. 9 Auburn football team began preparations for the Southeastern Conference opener Saturday at Mississippi State with a 90-minute workout Sunday afternoon at the practice fields behind the Athletics Complex.
The Tigers practiced in shells Sunday, opening the workout with special teams work as well as individual and group drills, before working with the scout teams.
Following practice, Auburn offensive coordinator Tony Franklin talked about the decision to name junior Chris Todd the starting quarterback for the Tigers heading into the game at Mississippi State. Todd completed 21-of-31 passes for 248 yards during a 27-13 victory against Southern Miss Saturday.
"Chris will be the starter," said Franklin. "He did a good job. He's done a good job all along. The biggest thing with him was trying to figure out whether or not his arm was going to work. He's done a good job all the way through. It's not a one-game decision. It's a decision based on a cumulative amount of work and the result of that was a nice performance on Saturday."
The Auburn defense, under first year defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads, enters Saturday's game ranked tied for eighth in the nation, allowing just 6.5 points per game. The Tigers will face a Mississippi State offense that averaged 24 points during its first two contests.
"I think we're improving," said Rhoads. "We're understanding the concepts, and we're understanding the urgency we need to play with. I don't think we're in football shape yet, and I don't think we're tackling well enough yet. The learning process is ongoing and they understand that. I'm pleased with the maturity that this defensive unit is showing up to this point."
The Tigers will return to the practice fields Tuesday morning at 8:45 a.m. CT.
Auburn will play its first road game of the season Saturday when the Tigers (2-0) travel to Starkville to play Mississippi State (1-1) in the SEC opener for both schools. The game begins at 6 p.m. CT and will air on ESPN2.