AUBURN CONTINUES OUTBACK BOWL PREPARATIONS, VISITS BUSCH GARDENS - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

AUBURN CONTINUES OUTBACK BOWL PREPARATIONS, VISITS BUSCH GARDENS

TAMPA—The Auburn football team conducted its second workout in Tampa Monday morning and followed with an afternoon visit to Busch Gardens theme park. Warmer temperatures and clear skies greeted the Tigers after working in cool, overcast conditions 24 hours earlier

The Tigers practice, which was similar to a regular season Tuesday session, lasted just over 90 minutes at the University of Tampa.  Auburn worked out in full pads and spent a majority of the practice working against the scout team.

Following practice, head coach Gene Chizik participated in a press conference with Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald. Chizik, who described Sunday's practice as "rusty", was pleased with the focus of his club during Monday's work.

"I thought the tempo today was much better and I think the focus was much better. They got the message,'' said Chizik. "The effort was good yesterday. With our guys, it's never about effort. It's usually focus."

The entire team visited Busch Gardens during the afternoon to take in the sights of the Tampa Bay area's No. 1 tourist destination. Busch Gardens is a park where wildlife and rides come together in an unparalleled combination of Broadway-style shows, a world-class zoo with more than 2,500 exotic and endangered animals and more record-breaking roller coasters than any destination in Florida.

"We had a lot of fun," said junior linebacker Craig Stevens. "A lot of the guys were able to get on some of the biggest roller coasters they have and we had a good time. It was good to see everyone get together and have a good laugh when they saw someone screaming on one of the rides, and I feel like that brings us together as a team."

A few of the players had an opportunity to interact with several animals, including a Southern ground-hornbill, a rock hyrax, which they had a chance to feed, and a serval.

"It was wild seeing some animals that you don't often get a chance to see and get close to like that," said senior tight end Tommy Trott.

"Usually if you see an animal like that it's on television, and we were just a foot away from them. It was a lot of fun and it was real neat."

The 2010 Outback Bowl will kick off at 10 a.m. CT on New Year's Day in Raymond James Stadium and be nationally televised by ESPN.

Tuesday the Tigers will return to the practice fields at 9:15 a.m.

followed by the Debartolo Team Luncheon at the Tampa Convention Center.

Tuesday evening players from both teams will enjoy Team Night at Gameworks in Ybor City.

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