August 10, 2007

Auburn set for first scrimmage of fall

It's game time. Well, as close as you can get.

Auburn will hold its first live scrimmage of fall camp Saturday in preparation for the Sept. 1 season-opener against Kansas State.

The Tigers will scrimmage for approximately 125 plays inside Jordan-Hare Stadium. An SEC officiating crew will be there. The 25-second play clock will be in affect. Kickers will kick. Punters will punt.

Tuberville wants the scrimmage to be as "real" as possible.

"We're going to do it all," he said. "We'll have some rather long drives. We'll have two-minute drills, all those kinds of things. It won't be situational. We'll move the ball … make them adjust as we go."

During the scrimmage, Tuberville plans on matching up the starting offense against the starting defense.

"It will be ones-versus-ones. We don't do that fake stuff," he said. "We go after each other, try to make each other better."

Several true freshmen are expected to get plenty of reps. Lee Ziemba worked with the first-team at right tackle the latter part of the week. DB Mike McNeil is penciled in as the second-string safety. Kodi Burns is trying to make the cut at quarterback.

Although the scrimmage will provide plenty of opportunities for the coaches to evaluate their play, Tuberville wants to see how they handle the mental aspect.

"(I want to see) how much some of these young guys can retain. We have some freshmen trying to break in," he said. "I want to see their look inside the stadium. No matter if there's anybody in there or not, it's a little different."

Lester not No. 1?

Brad Lester is slated to be the starter against Kansas State, but Mario Fannin, Ben Tate and Tristan Davis won't be standing around on the sideline all game, according to Tuberville.

The coach said Friday Auburn didn't have a true starter at the position and probably won't until after the second scrimmage (scheduled for next week).

"We don't have a No. 1 back right now. They are all about the same," said Tuberville. "(Lester) has been out and in. All of them have been beat-up and I want to give them a fair shot in the scrimmages. There's no reason to name anybody now. It will change four or five times.

"It's going to be a running back-by-committee this year. It's kind of like Ronnie (Brown) and Carnell (Williams), Brad (Lester) and Kenny (Irons) last year. You'll have a starter, but you'll have guys that are just as good and get as many reps."

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