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Birmingham Bowl participants not worried about rain in Wednesday’s forecast

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson (6) celebrates a first down near the end of the third quarter of a NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015 at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. Auburn won 26-10.
Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson (6) celebrates a first down near the end of the third quarter of a NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015 at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. Auburn won 26-10. Sam Craft

A gloomy forecast for Wednesday’s Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field isn't causing panic in either team’s camp.

 “I don’t think a little bit of rain and a little bit of wind is going to keep our group from playing their best football and I don’t think it will keep Auburn from playing great football either,” Memphis interim coach Darrell Dickey said. “If it does turn out to be bad weather we will still be here.”

The forecast at kickoff calls for temperatures in the mid 50’s with a 35 percent chance of rain and light winds out of the northwest. The chance of rain goes up to 50 percent at noon then settles in at 45 percent for the rest of the afternoon.

Earlier in the week, Memphis didn’t shy away from practicing in heavy rainfall Monday at Birmingham Southern College.

Auburn moved its Monday practice to the Sports Blast Shelby County, but its opponent decided to approach preparation for the Birmingham Bowl just as it did during the regular season.  

“I know the analysts and media people will talk a whole lot about who it will favor, but I know our team won’t worry about it,” Memphis interim coach Darrell Dickey said. “We practiced in it two days ago. We practice in it a lot at Memphis to be quite honest. We don’t have indoor place where we can go.”

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said the work his team did throughout the regular season practicing with wet footballs will have them prepared. His main concern is the team making the necessary adjustments on game day if it does rain. 

“As long as you keep dry footballs in there from an offensive standpoint that’s very important, keeping your hands dry, securing the ball and just focusing that much more,” Malzahn said.

Auburn played one of its best games of the season in the rain with winds swirling at 15 miles per hour when it upset Texas A&M at Kyle Field 26-10. Jeremy Johnson went 13 of 17 for 132 yards with a touchdown. It also had a season-high 311 rushing yards as a team.

Michael Niziolek covers Auburn football for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Email him at mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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