Tuberville under microscope

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 10, 1999

Tommy Tuberville said there has been one big difference at Auburn than there was at Ole Miss.

&uot;When I first got to Ole Miss I was looking forward to trying to get my name in the paper and get things going,&uot; Tubervile said. &uot;Over here I’ve just been trying to keep my name out of the paper. It’s been an interesting last eight months. It’s been exciting to try to get to this season. I know our players are excited.&uot;

But it’s Tuberville who is the focus on the Plains this year. He has the tough task of taking over a team that finished 3-8 last season, the worst since 1952 (2-8).

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Tuberville was 25-20 at Ole Miss.

&uot;It was tough leaving Ole Miss,&uot; said the former Rebel coach. &uot;It would have been tough going anywhere. They were great to us and it’s a wonderful place to coach, but somewhere down the line you have to make a career decision.&uot;

Auburn returns sophomore quarterback Gabe Gross (6-3, 197), who started six of the last seven games last season. He completed 88 of197 passes for 1,222 yards.

Junior wide receiver Clifton Robinson (5-8, 180) was second on the team in catches last season (42) for 672 yards.

&uot;It’s going to be important for us to understand where we’re at offensively. We’re going to be very inexperienced no matter how many players have played in the past. We have totally changed the offense from the center to the offensive line to the tight end to wide receiver. The quarterback is going to have to change the play at the line of scrimmage probably more than half the time.&uot;

The top two tacklers from last season return – defensive end Leonardo Carson (6-3, 282, Sr.), who had 90 tackles and safety (6-3, 201, Fr.), who had 70 stops.

Senior offensive lineman Jeno James (6-4, 303) has started in all 36 games he has played at Auburn.

Senior defensive tackle Jimmy Brumbaugh (6-1, 286) played in first three games of 1998 before reinjuring his patella tendon which was initially injured against Georgiain 1997. He was granted a medical hardship to play in 1999.

Sophomore linebacker James Callier (6-0, 220) led all Tiger linebackers in tackles with 64.

&uot;Defensively, we’re going to be pretty good. We’ve got some defensive linemen that can run and make plays. But again, we’ve changed totally. We’ve changed from a three man front to an aggressive four man front. We’ve probably moved everybody on the defense that’s got experience and are playing a different position. I thought we really improved during the spring.&uot;

Tuberville said the toughest job is getting players in the right positions.

&uot;It’s not going to be he best team Auburn has ever put on the field talent-wise, but it will be a team that I think the fans and alumni will be proud of because of the way they play, their attitude and work ethic. &uot;

They will play four four quarters.&uot;


Freshman Team last year. He led all Tiger linebackers in tackles with 64, with three for losses (-16) and a sack (-8).