Oct. 1, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn football team held its final practice prior to Saturday's game at Tennessee, practicing for a little less than two hours at the practice fields behind the Athletics Complex.
Thursday's workout was a situational practice in shorts and helmets with no contact, as the Tigers went over final preparations for Saturday's game. The squad went through every aspect of special teams and worked against the scout teams as well.
Auburn will leave for Knoxville on Friday afternoon for the Tigers' first road trip of the season.
Auburn leads the all-time series against Tennessee, 26-21-3, and has won the last four meetings in the series. Tennessee owns a 14-8-1 advantage all-time in games played in Knoxville, although Auburn won on its last trip to Neyland Stadium in 2004 by a score of 34-10.
Earlier this week during his Tuesday press conference, head coach Gene Chizik talked about the challenge of taking a young team on the road for the first time.
"It will be new for us because there will be so many guys on the team that haven't traveled before," said Chizik. "I don't think that there is anybody on this football team that has played at Tennessee so it will be a new experience all the way around for our whole team. But, we aren't going to change anything. We aren't going to change the way we prepare.
"We just know that communication will be the issue. We just have to make sure that everybody is on the same page because we know how loud it gets. But our guys are used to that. It will be fun for them because they haven't played at Tennessee before. But we're not going to change anything, we are just going to do business as usual, and again we are going to make sure that out communication is sound."
Tennessee enters the game with a 2-2 record, including an 0-1 mark in the SEC. Senior Montario Hardesty leads the Volunteer offense, averaging an SEC-best 121.3 yards rushing per game and 5.8 yards per carry. Tennessee is averaging 31.3 points and 368.5 yards per game.
The Tigers will have their hands full with the Volunteer defense that is ranked eighth nationally in total defense, allowing just 233.0 yards per game. The Vols are 11th nationally in pass defense (146.0 yards per game) and 15th in rushing defense (87.0). All-American safety Eric Berry is tied for the active career lead in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision with 13 career interceptions.
Saturday's game will kick off at 6:45 p.m. CT from Neyland Stadium. The game will be televised by ESPN.