AUBURN - The Auburn football team began preparations for Saturday's Southeastern Conference Championship Game with a brisk one-hour practice in shorts Sunday evening at the Athletics Complex practice fields.
The Tigers opened with special teams followed by individual and position drills. The squad then began working on the scout teams to prepare for Saturday's rematch against No. 18 South Carolina.
Auburn defeated South Carolina on Sept. 25 in Jordan-Hare Stadium, 35-27. The Gamecocks led 27-21 entering the fourth quarter, but the Tigers scored twice in the fourth quarter while forcing four fourth-quarter turnovers to earn the win.
Following practice, Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof said that after watching film of South Carolina over the past couple of days that the Gamecocks have been playing well while winning three straight games.
"South Carolina has really improved," said Roof. "They're a much better team than they were at that point (when the teams first met). We've got our work cut out for us."
Roof also noted that the Tigers can't be too concerned with having already beaten South Carolina once and must focus on the task at hand.
"The excitement of having the opportunity to play for a championship is what we're focused on," said Roof. "We have to pick up where we left off. We can't play another first half like we did (against Alabama) because we might not be able to overcome it. We're going to have to play a 60-minute football game on Saturday."
Auburn (12-0, 8-0 SEC), which is ranked No. 2 in the polls but No. 1 in the latest BCS standings, will be making its fourth appearance in the SEC Championship game, while South Carolina (9-3, 5-3 SEC) will be playing in the conference title game for the first time.
Saturday's game between Auburn and South Carolina will kick off at 3 p.m. CT from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and will be televised by CBS. Auburn fans are encouraged to wear orange to the game.