The 19th-ranked Auburn Tigers took to the field on Sunday evening in helmets and shorts and began game week preparations for Saturday's matchup with Utah State.
With the season opener just six days away, head coach Gene Chizik took his team inside Jordan-Hare Stadium with the goal of reducing some of the awe that will surely set in on his young squad on September 3.
"We know what is going to happen," Chizik said. "We're going to go out there and there are going to be a lot of big eyes out there for the first game. We went out there today to go through the pregame ritual and see exactly who is going to be where and how it's going to unfold and put them out there one more time.
"I think again, the more of a comfort level they have with being out there and just being used to being in that environment – the more you can do that, the better."
Chizik and his staff took the team through a session that lasted just more than two hours and focused on multiple situations they will encounter against the Aggies.
"Tonight, we had a practice where we worked a lot of situational things," Chizik said. "I thought we were a little rusty on some situations that I would like to have been a little further along on. Overall, but mostly mentally, we were pretty good most of the night. I just think we've got to keep repeating all kinds of different situations that can come up in a game – we're big on time management and things of that nature. I think we've still got a lot of work to do there."
Despite feeling his team still has space to make up between now and Saturday, the third-year head coach was still pleased with the team's effort on Sunday night.
"I thought the effort was good tonight," Chizik said. "We've got so much polishing that we've got to do in the next week as we obviously work on Utah State. The effort was good, we just need to be a little bit sharper and I have no doubt we will be better on Tuesday."
Auburn hosts Utah State to begin the 2011 season on Saturday, September 3, with kickoff scheduled for 11 a.m. CT. The game will be televised by ESPN2.