November 21, 2007

AU's Tuberville takes cautious approach

Almost everything about Saturday's 72nd renewal of the Alabama-Auburn series sets up well for the Tigers.

  • Auburn is playing at home, where it is 6-2 against Alabama at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

  • Standout return specialist Javier Arenas, who has been field-position crutch for Alabama's offense all season, is doubtful to play with a high ankle sprain.

  • The Crimson Tide is reeling with three consecutive losses, including last weekend's 21-14 setback to Louisiana-Monroe.

    But as high as the advantages can be piled, Tigers coach Tommy Tuberville is cautious with his optimism.

    "Alabama's also looking at our Georgia game," Tuberville said when asked about Alabama's loss to Louisiana-Monroe. "We gave up 45 points. ... They lost to a non-conference team, and we've played at times very poorly against non-conference teams, and it happens."

    Still, the edges mount.

  • Rain is in the forecast, which usually means good fortune for a power running team like the Tigers.

  • Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson is mired in tough three-game stretch in which he has committed six turnovers.

  • AU holds a five-game win streak over the Crimson Tide.

    "It's great talk for the fans," Tuberville said of the streak. "But I haven't heard one word (from the players) about us winning so many games in a row. ... They could really care less about what happened last year."

    The game will start at 7 p.m. CST and broadcast on ESPN.

    If one Auburn meeting room has been running extra film this week, it's likely the secondary. Alabama's DJ Hall has a chance for his second consecutive 1,000-yard season Saturday, and Matt Caddell has enjoyed the best season of his career.

    "Their strength is probably their receivers," Tuberville said. "They have a lot of good ones. They have guys that make plays on the ball."

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