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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Early practice notes: Tigers not overconfident

We only got to talk to three players this afternoon (hopefully more tonight), so this afternoon's notes are a little light. Nevertheless, here we go:
  • RB Ben Tate on if the team is overconfident after its 3-0 start: "It's only three games into the season. You can be confident but you really can't be overconfident. You still have to be humble, because there's a lot of ball still left to play. We have to keep getting better. We haven't gotten to the thick of our schedule yet. After this week against Ball State, that's when the tough ones start rolling in, and that's when we really get to see what we're really about."
  • LB Adam Herring on not overlooking Ball State: "It's extremely important. Obviously, we have big games coming up, but the biggest game is your next game. And that's what the coaches preach to us, and we're not going to overlook anybody. Like I said, we're going to get on the practice field today and get better at the things we need to get better at, which is a lot of stuff. You can never get good enough at one thing, never satisfied with the tackling. So it's important not to overlook anything."
  • Auburn has trailed in all three of its games before. It was down 14-0, 21-10 and 27-20 to West Virginia before mounting comebacks. "As long as we're within striking distance, we always have faith," Tate said.
  • Tate could sense that West Virginia was getting a little tired near the end of the game because of Auburn's pace (although less so than Louisiana Tech and Mississippi State): "When you see their hands on their knees -- I might be a little tired, too, but I'm used to it, I can push through it -- that's definitely a time when you look to pound them and add on the yards in the second half."
  • Tate loves getting the ball at that point of the game. "As a running back, you always want the ball," he said. "If you could get the ball every play, it would be great. It doesn't bother me. I just feel like that's a compliment to me to show them that I can help close games."
  • Herring hadn't yet seen any film on Ball State. "All I've heard is that David Letterman went there," he said.
  • WR Tim Hawthorne was back in the interview room for the first time since breaking his foot in the summer, an injury that kept him out until last week. I plan to write my story on Thursday about him, so I don't want to spoil too much of the information now. Still, here's what he said about what seems to be his constant string of bad luck, especially with injuries: "That’s with anyone. You can walk outside and have something hit you in the head. I won’t say I’m unlucky, but I have had my share of ups and downs." It should be noted that Hawthorne wears No. 13. Coincidence? Well, yes. But he does have that number.
  • Hawthorne said he's working all over the place in the receiving corps, not limiting himself to one position.
  • Hawthorne on freshman wide receiver/punt returner Anthony Gulley: "He has a lot of potential. A raw athlete. The sky is the limit for Anthony Gulley. It’s just a matter of confidence. I think being back for punt returns has given him a lot on that, and as a receiver, also. He got his feet wet last week. I think his confidence will continue to grow."
  • Hawthorne was quick to point out that Gulley is a country boy to the core. "He is the most country guy I know. The most country person I’ve known in my life. Football… sunglasses … I’m talking with the bands hanging all the way down to his legs. Gulley is pretty country."


Anonymous said...

After the game I slapped Hawthorne on the helmet and yelled "TIMMY" as he walked by the student section. He smiled so big and seemed so happy to be back out there.

easyedwin said...

The former Homewood High School standout is still a favorite with AU fans from Homewood and Hoover and Vestavia Hills, AL. Good kid-bad luck. With Billings gone, # 13 should get some balls this Sat.