Auburn Tigers able to practice outdoors

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 28, 2002

Auburn received a reprieve from the heavy rain in the area which enabled the Tigers to practice for two hours outdoors Wednesday afternoon.

Auburn spent the session working heavily on team drills as head coach Tommy Tuberville and the staff took advantage of the dry skies for a full two-field workout.

"We were fortunate today that Mother Nature allowed us to go outside," Tuberville said. "We had mostly a team practice where we worked on what they do on offense and defense. We needed to be able to go outside and use an entire football field to work on our down and distance on both sides of the ball."  

"It was a good practice. We didn't get a chance to work on special teams so we'll do that tomorrow. Hopefully we'll be able to go back outside. We're playing it day-by-day right now to see how much work we can get done with the weather."  

"We've had three good practices now and we're a little bit ahead of schedule. The players will have a little longer tonight to get their legs back. Hopefully they're fired up for this weekend. We're going to need 86,000 people there all dressed in orange and ready to go."

Auburn will continue work on the game plan for Syracuse in a Thursday practice before using Friday for a walk-through.

The Tigers, 3-1, face Syracuse, 1-2, Saturday at 8 p.m. (CT) at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The game will be televised by ESPN2.

The Tigers began preparing for Syracuse on Sunday.

The Auburn football team returned to the practice fields following Thursday evening's 42-14 win at Mississippi State with a two and a half hour session, Sunday afternoon. The team began preparations for Saturday's non-conference game against Syracuse in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Auburn offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino spoke following Sunday's practice about Syracuse's defense.

"We began preparation for Syracuse today and we're looking forward to the game. I think they are a good defensive team," Petrino said. "They blitz a lot and give you about every blitz that they can possibly draw up on a piece of paper. They change fronts and coverages and ask a lot of their players as far as different schemes. They play good defense and make lots of plays. It will be a good challenge for us."

Petrino also noted that last Thursday's win indicated that the Tigers' offense needs to continue adjusting to the increased speed of the opponents.

"Last week's game showed that we need to get ready for the speed. I thought that was the big difference for us in the first quarter," Petrino said. "We weren't used to the speed of the down lineman, the linebackers, and how quick everything happened. Therefore, our players weren't executing their technique real well. We got used to it and started performing better in the second quarter."

Auburn's offense is currently averaging 36.5 points per game, which is third in the Southeastern Conference and 23rd nationally. The Tigers, who have scored 129 points in their three wins, are averaging 417.5 yards of total offense this season.

In other news, Auburn junior defensive end Reggie Torbor was named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week following his performance against Mississippi State on Thursday night.

Torbor forced a fumble on Mississippi State quarterback Kevin Fant and recovered it on the Bulldog 17-yard line to set up Auburn's fifth touchdown of the game. He also registered four tackles, including two sacks and three quarterback hurries.

A native of Baton Rouge, La., Torbor missed the Western Carolina and Vanderbilt games with injuries. Last season, he totaled 30 tackles in 12 games.

Torbor became the second consecutive Auburn player to garner Player of the Week honors. Carnell Williams was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week following the Vanderbilt game.

Torbor is the fourth Auburn defensive player to earn Player of the Week honors in the last three seasons.