“I think we are progressing right along like we should be,” says tailback Tre Smith, who will be a redshirt junior this fall. “We started off a bit slow, but every day we are getting better.”
The Tigers will return to the practice field on Wednesday afternoon for their 11th of the 15 allowed spring practice dates. Coach Tommy Tuberville’s team will practice again on Thursday and take Friday off before playing the annual spring football game on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Tickets for the game are $5 for the general public and free for Auburn University students. Tickets are on sale at the Athletic Ticket Office at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum and Auburn area bookstores.
A-Day will feature the third major scrimmage of the spring for the Tigers, who will practice two more times after Saturday’s game.
Smith says he is encouraged by the improvement from scrimmage one to scrimmage two.
“The first couple of days, we had just put in basic running plays and basic passing plays so they knew what was coming,” the tailback notes.
“Now that we are putting in more plays for our offense, it is confusing the defense a little more. The defensive players can’t just pin back their ears and go now. They have to watch for a screen so it changes the way the defense plays and makes it a little more realistic.”
Tre Smith scores one of his two touchdowns in last Saturday's scrimmage.
With star runners Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown graduating, the tailback spot is open for the 2005 season. Smith went into spring drills No. 1 on the depth chart at that position and has looked good holding on to that spot.
Smith says the competition for playing time at tailback this fall should be tough based on the way that Kenny Irons and Carl Stewart have performed.
“They have both been real good,” Smith says. “Kenny is so explosive. He has been breaking tackles and making long runs. Carl has been real good, too. He has been a 100 times better than he was last year. He is starting to throw people off of him, lift people up and break tackles. Carl looks real fast, too. Both of them look real good to me.”
Smith says he plans to work as hard as ever to be the starting tailback. “I am just going to compete until the end of spring practice and see what happens,” he adds.
Tuberville has singled out Smith for praise this spring. The head coach says he enjoys watching the tailback’s running style, a combination of power and elusiveness. “I just get the ball, give 110 percent, and whatever happens, happens,” Smith says.
Fans coming to the A-Day game should enter the west side of Jordan-Hare Stadium because a construction project at the stadium has closed the east side of the stadium this spring.
*RV parking will be available in the X1, X2 and AU Credit Union lots. The lots will open at 4 p.m. Friday. All roads around the stadium will be barricaded as they normally are during a regular-season game.
Smith and the other Tigers will be on display during a busy weekend for on-campus activities. The players will sign autographs after the A-Day Game. Other events include:
*The Auburn Football Lettermen’s Club will hold its annual A-Day Race on Saturday with the 5K race beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the 1-mile fun run at 9:10 a.m. Both races will finish on the 50-yard line of Jordan-Hare Stadium. For more information or to request an entry form, please contact Yann Cowart at email@example.com.
*The Auburn Chamber of Commerce will put on a street dance at Toomer’s Corner at 8 p.m. Saturday with the band, Kidd Blue. There is no admission charge to the event.
*The AU Athletic Department will hold a reunion for all alumni athletes, coaches and support personnel during the weekend. Activities will include a reception on Friday evening at the football complex and a tailgate party prior to A-Day on Saturday. Former athletes who are interested in attending should contact Hub Waldrop at (334) 844-9780 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Baseball fans can check out the 15-5 Tigers as they open SEC play with games vs. Tennessee on Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. Tickets, which are $10 per game or $30 for the series, can be ordered at auburntigers.com or by calling 1-800-AUB-1957 (ext. 1).
*There will be a fireworks show at 10 p.m. on Friday following the baseball game.
The men’s tennis team will face Arizona St. at 9:30 a.m. on Friday and the women’s team will play South Alabama at 2 p.m. on Friday at the Luther Young Tennis Center.
*The Tiger Team Village will open at 11 a.m. on Saturday on the north side of the coliseum.