Weary Auburn gets first open date

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - The Auburn Tigers have an extra six days to rest and recuperate before facing rival Alabama.

The Tigers completed their 11-game marathon with Saturday's 31-24 loss at Georgia. They are taking Monday and Tuesday off before beginning preparations for the Iron Bowl, held the day after Thanksgiving.

Auburn coach Gene Chizik knows the pros and cons for having an open date earlier in the season. But he's glad his weary team has one before playing the second-ranked Crimson Tide.

The open date gives more time for injured players like linebacker Eltoro Freeman (concussion) and tailback Onterio McCalebb (ankle) to recover.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)