War Eagle Extra has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 4 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Notes from Wednesday

Looks like these notes didn't make it up on our newspaper Web site from yesterday, so I'll just post them here:

By Andy Bitter

AUBURN, Ala. – The plan for Saturday is to get backup quarterback Kodi Burns some snaps against Tennessee.

Of course, that’s been Auburn’s plan the last few weeks. It just hasn’t worked out that way.

Burns, who was neck-and-neck throughout preseason camp with Chris Todd, hasn’t taken a snap since the Southern Mississippi game, watching both the Mississippi State and LSU games from the sidelines.

“We feel good about Kodi going in, but it’s just hard to pull the trigger as the head coach, knowing that the (starter) is doing pretty good, especially last week,” Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville said.

Todd went 17-for-32 for 250 yards against LSU, with a touchdown and two interceptions.

Tuberville has wanted to get Burns some action but hasn’t found a window of opportunity. Auburn squeaked by Mississippi State 3-2 and lost to LSU 26-21 in a contest that wasn’t decided until the final minute.

“In games like we’ve had the last two games, every snap could mean the difference between winning and losing,” Tuberville said.

Tuberville hopes he’ll find that moment against the Volunteers this Saturday.

“Sooner or later he’s going to go in the game and there’s going to be a standing ovation and the pressure is going to be off him,” Tuberville said. “Then I think he’ll continue to get more and more reps.”

Healing up

Auburn’s injury report was still lengthy but looking better as of Wednesday:

* Defensive end Michael Goggans (ankle) was running around at practice and should play Saturday. Sophomore Zach Clayton moved from tackle to end earlier in the week to give Auburn more depth on the outside.

* Running back Brad Lester (knee) didn’t practice much but participated in some plays.

* Punter Clinton Durst is a little weak after having the flu last week, but he punted Wednesday with what Tuberville termed “a fresher leg.”

* Linebacker Tray Blackmon has a crack in his wrist and will wear a restrictive wrist brace. Both he and outside linebacker Craig Stevens returned to practice Wednesday after being nicked up.

* Free safety Zac Etheridge (shoulder) practiced after taking no contact Tuesday.

* Freshman defensive lineman Jomarcus Savage had season-ending surgery last Thursday on the shoulder he injured near the end of two-a-days. Tuberville said the team will seek a medical redshirt.

Thinking inside the box

Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin chose to go to the coaches’ box against LSU and will remain there for the rest of the season.

“It's easier to call plays from there,” said Franklin, whose offense showed some improvement, scoring 14 points and gaining 320 yards against a stout LSU defense.

Franklin, who has coached both on the sideline and in the box during his career, called plays from the sideline during Auburn’s first three games, wanting to communicate face-to-face with the players as they implemented his new spread offense.

But Franklin felt his play-calling suffered from the field level, so he went to the box and tight ends coach Steve Ensminger came down to handle his duties on the field.

“He had to see the play and make a quick decision in terms of down and distance and personnel on the field,” Tuberville said. “I think it helped us. The communication was a lot better. The guys looked a little bit more confident getting the play in a lot earlier, having a little bit more time to settle down. I think it was a good move.”

No comments: