News from the Tennessee Valley Sports



AUBURN — Head coach Tommy Tuberville said he remains unsure whether receiver Robert Dunn will play against Ole Miss on Saturday.

Auburn’s starting slot receiver, Dunn did not make the trip to Baton Rouge, La., because he violated practice policy.

According to Tuberville, Dunn addressed the team Sunday, apologizing to teammates for his actions.

“He made a mistake, made a bad mistake,” Tuberville said.

Tuberville said the junior has “some extra work he has to do” with receivers coach Greg Knox, who declined to comment Sunday about the incident. There were rumblings that Knox and Dunn had a verbal argument during practice last week.

Dunn was not available to reporters Sunday or Tuesday.

Receiver Tim Hawthorne said he practiced with the first string Tuesday. He said Dunn went with the second team at practice.

“I don’t know how that’s going to play out as the week goes on,” he said. “Anything could change.”

Quarterback Brandon Cox said players forgave Dunn for his “bad decision” on the practice field.

“He’s back out there as part of the team again,” Cox said.

Suspended for six games himself, running back Brad Lester has been in a similar situation. He understood Dunn’s troubles and accepted his apology. “Everybody makes mistakes,” Lester said.

? Tuberville said he expects all of his injured starters to be healthy for Saturday’s game against Ole Miss.

The coach said Tuesday left tackle Ryan Pugh, linebacker Merrill Johnson and safety Aairon Savage should be ready to play, while running back Tristan Davis could return for the Nov. 3 game against Tennessee Tech.

Pugh, who sprained his ankle against Arkansas, will practice Wednesday for the first time since suffering the injury. Tuberville said Pugh was running Tuesday.

Johnson and Savage both practiced Tuesday. Tuberville said they both could have played in Auburn’s loss to LSU, but he held them out.

Davis fractured his foot during the Florida game. He had successful surgery to insert a pin in the foot and has been rehabbing it ever since. Tuberville said Davis got his walking boot removed recently and could return for the Tennessee Tech game.

? Following his sack and tackle for loss in Saturday’s game, defensive end Sen’Derrick Marks clinched his fist and acted as if he were pounding on a drum, swinging both arms violently by his side.

“That’s the Glenn Dorsey dance,” Marks said Tuesday.

Marks was mimicking LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, who frequently performs the act after making a big tackle or a sack.

Dorsey confronted Marks after the game. “I was like, ‘You see me dance,’ ” Marks said. “He was like, ‘Yeah, you trying to steal my dance.’ I was like, ‘Yeah.’ ”

Ross Dellenger,
Daily sports writer


TUSCALOOSA — Head coach Nick Saban said he had no information regarding the five suspensions for Alabama’s textbook situation. “It won’t do you any good to ask me anything about it,” Saban said during his Tuesday news conference. “You’ll probably know about it as soon as I do, relative to what we find out.”

As the school reviews the distribution of textbooks to athletes, the five players suspended in the matter practiced Tuesday, though not quite in their normal spots. Antoine Caldwell practiced at right guard and not with the first team. It was the same with guard Marlon Davis.

B.J. Stabler practiced at right guard with the first team, and Justin Britt was at left guard.

Glen Coffee was with the running backs, and Marquis Johnson and Chris Rogers practiced with the defensive backs.

Saban said the Tide is preparing for all scenarios regarding the situation.

“We’re working with all the players with no anticipation with what might happen,” Saban said. “We’re ready to deal with whatever happens.”

? Stabler has battled knee problems all season but got his first start of the season Saturday against Tennessee.

During the previous two seasons, Stabler, a junior, has started 18 games — nine his freshman season and nine as a sophomore — while battling various ailments.

He had been waiting his opportunity this year and finally got it Saturday at right guard.

“It was just getting the butterflies out because I hadn’t been out there in a while, but I feel like I’m a physical player,” Stabler said. “I was ready to go back out there, and after I got that initiation of a hit, I just had to continue and couldn’t let up.”

? Alabama outside linebacker Zeke Knight didn’t practice Tuesday because of a bad ankle.

Josh Cooper,
Daily Sports Writer

North Alabama

FLORENCE — With a win over then-No. 5 Delta State behind them, the North Alabama Lions will try to remain unbeaten when they travel to Valdosta, Ga., to face the No. 11 Valdosta State Blazers on Saturday at noon.

UNA (7-0, 5-0 Gulf South Conference) will try to extend a 19-game regular-season winning streak and a 13-game road winning streak against the Blazers (6-1, 4-1). UNA’s last road loss and last regular-season defeat was at Valdosta 26-23 on Oct. 20, 2005.

From staff reports

Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
AP contributed to this report.

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