Alabama/Auburn prep for away games: Auburn gets fresh legs at tailback

Brad Lester
Brad Lester

Gene Stallings was Alabama's coach the last time the Tide started a season 6-0, 1996 to be exact. Nine years later Bama is looking to make it six straight wins again.

After an off week, the Crimson Tide hits the road for Oxford to play the Ole Miss Rebels.

Coach Mike Shula's not taking the Rebels lightly," We know what we're getting into this week. At Ole Miss, a loud stadium, an early game, on the road. All the things that we need to make sure we're prepared for."

"Pancakes and Bacon" on the tail-gating menu this week and a super early kickoff time Saturday, 11 a.m. on CBS.

Auburn's also on the road Saturday. This will be the Tigers' first road trip of the season.

Despite four straight wins and outscoring their opponents 176 to 24, Auburn Coach Tommy Tuberville says the Tigers are making some changes.

"We'll look a little bit different this week in a lot of areas in this ball game. There are a lot of things we will do, try - formations, plays, defenses, blitzes, stunts, all those things, special teams. We'll look a little bit different in some areas just because we think the changes will makes us better."

One of those changes is making Brad Lester the starting tailback. The red-shirt freshman has had a real knack for the end zone, scoring six touchdowns despite carrying the ball only 35 times.

"I'm looking forward to it, especially with it being my first away game. It's something I've been looking forward to all summer and all fall. My parents told me I had to be patient and just wait for my turn."

But while Brad waited, he listened, and what he heard gave him plenty of motivation.

"Every time I looked up and they mentioned running backs, my name was always mentioned last. So, my dad and mom teased me about it saying, 'You've got to keep working hard if you want to stop hearing your name mentioned last.'"

"You also want your teammates to have confidence in you too. I don't think I had that in the fall and in the summer. One teammate said, 'You've been hurt so much, I didn't know you could run the ball. Personally, I didn't think you could play. I thought they were going to take your scholarship away from you.' They try to mess with me a little bit. I think I have their confidence a little now.

Lester currently leads the team in touchdowns and all purpose yards. It's not hard to see why they want the ball in his hands a little more.

Auburn and Arkansas play at 6 p.m.Saturday night in Fayetteville.  No "live television."