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Practice #12, Aug. 16, 2011

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The Tigers had a better day than yesterday as far as Coach Porter was concerned. After not being pleased with the intensity of the workout during the first two-a-day session on Monday, Porter had this to say about today's practice:

"Today was better than yesterday even though we had some mistakes out there," said Porter. "We scrimmaged some situational things and it was back-and-forth in terms of balance on offense and defense."

Porter also said that the quarterbacks still need to step it up a bit, but the running game got a boost today from Billy Foster. Foster is a truly versatile player for the Tigers who will make plays on the ground, via the air and on special teams. He got extensive work in the run game in the spring as the Tigers were left with only Jerrell Rhodes in the mix in the run game. Foster had nine carries for 41 yards in 2010, as well as 14 catches for 175 yards. He also rolled off 323 yards on 17 kick returns as a junior.

"Billy was back there at running back today and he did some good things," said Porter. "He is definitely going to be a spark for us back there. He continues to show us that we will be able to use him in a number of ways."

"Billy and Jerrell (Rhodes) can be a dangerous tandem for us," added Porter. "Those young guys (at running back) continue to grow and battle and get better, so that is starting to become a healthy position for us. We would like to have all of them out there together. We have saved Billy up until this point to evaluate some of these young guys, but he is starting to come into the fold and do more at that position."

During some of the live action work today, a few plays stood out on both sides of the ball. Offensively, receiver Kevin Wright pulled in a few nice catches and true freshman running back Joe Price rolled off a 25-yard run during redzone work. Defensively, true freshman Bobby McCain logged a pick, as did Mitch Huelsing. Taurean Nixon also came up with a turnover for the defense.

The Tigers will have a double session on Wednesday as they continue to prepare for the season opener against Mississippi State. That game is slated for Thursday, Sept. 1, at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. According to the marketing department, there will be a post-game fireworks show, and the first 10,000 fans through the gates will receive pom pons, posters and schedule cards. For tickets, please go to the PURCHASE TICKETS link on GoTigersGo.com, or call (901) 678-2331.

Check out the interviews below with punter Tom Hornsey and Billy Foster.

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