Nov. 23, 2008
- The Auburn football team began Iron Bowl week
preparations Sunday with a two-hour practice inside Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Returning from a pair of off days, the squad worked in shells while
spending 90 minutes of the session on the game plan for Alabama.
"We started to put our game plan in today," Auburn head
coach Tommy Tuberville said after practice. "We still worked on a lot
of fundamentals, but spent about an hour and a half with the game plan.
The guys are excited about being back, but know it's going to be a
long week of preparation. We're going to get a lot of practice time,
meeting time and enjoy Thanksgiving together."
Playing the top-ranked team in the country, the Auburn offense
will match up against an Alabama defense ranked first in the
Southeastern Conference and third nationally in total defense allowing
just 255.6 yards per game.
"They're very good," Auburn quarterback coach Steve
Ensminger said. "They're big up front. They're hard to move. The
linebackers run well. To me, the strength of their defense is the
secondary. They play a lot of man coverage, a lot of combo coverage.
They very good, as good as we've seen.
On the other side of the ball, the Auburn defense will be faced
with the challenge of stopping the Southeastern Conference's second
leading scoring offense (31.7 ppg) and rushing offense (198.5 ypg).
"They're productive and are playing great team football,"
defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads said. "The offense is contributing
to that and they're running the ball extremely well. They are very
efficient in what they do. They throw to open receivers because they
create those gaps. You play off, they run in space and throw and catch.
They can get you out of press coverage by throwing very accurately when
they throw the deep ball. The number one thing they do is wear people
out with the run game. The offensive line is massive and physical.
They're running the ball very well."
The Tigers and Crimson Tide will square off Saturday at
Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa with a 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff. CBS
will air the game nationally.