Wednesday, December 27th, 2006


DALLAS – The No. 10 Auburn Tigers began its preparations for the 71st AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic with a two-hour practice under ideal conditions at SMU’s Ford Stadium. The Tigers will face the No. 22 Nebraska Cornhuskers on New Year’s Day.

Coach Tommy Tuberville put his squad through a physical workout in full pads. This was the first practice for his team since Dec. 21, when the Tigers took a break for the Christmas holiday.

“When you start Aug. 1, you don’t have any days off until you get through with your season,” Tuberville said. “You send them home for a few days, and they recharge their batteries. It’s amazing once these young guys go home and see their parents and have a chance to mentally relax as well as physically relax.”

Coach Tuberville was happy with how his team looked following its first workout in Dallas.

“We had a good practice today. We’ve got a group that loves to practice, and that’s very unusual in this day and time. But we push them very hard. They know what to expect in practice.

“We put in 50 percent of our game plan in before we left Auburn six days ago,” Tuberville continued. “We’re going to put in the rest of the game plan in the next couple of days. We’re going to try to keep the intensity up this week.”

All of Auburn’s 111 players were at practice today and no players are injured.

This will be the Tigers second appearance in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and its fifth bowl game in the state of Texas. Auburn fell to Texas A&M in the 1986 Classic, 36-16, despite Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson rushing for 129 yards and a touchdown. The Tigers are 1-3 in their five bowl games in the Lone Star State, defeating Arizona 34-10 in the 1968 Sun Bowl.

“We’re just thrilled about the weather and the hospitality here at the AT&T Cotton Bowl,” Tuberville said. “Being in a great city like Dallas is going to be fun for us all.”

Auburn will practice tomorrow from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Ford Stadium. The first 15 minutes of practice is open to the media to obtain video footage, then closed for the rest of practice. Coach Tuberville and requested players will be available following practice.

Kickoff for the 71st AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic is slated for 10:40 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 1. The game will be televised nationally on FOX Sports and broadcasted nationally on radio by Westwood One.