AUBURN, Ala. ― Auburn rotated its quarterbacks with the first-team and the second-team and beyond. But there was a constant in Auburn’s A-Day Game on Saturday that made Gus Malzahn smile.
“The defense was fantastic,” he said.
The A-Day Game produced only two touchdowns and settling five times for Daniel Carlson field goals. But Malzahn said that meant the defense was doing something right.
“I don’t feel bad, let’s put it that way,” Malzahn said. “From a head coach’s standpoint in A-Day, you want to let your players get out there and play. We give everyone a chance to play and have fun. You pray that nobody gets injured seriously and nobody did.”
Quarterbacks Sean White, John Franklin III and Jeremy Johnson were limited because they were in non-contact orange jerseys. Here’s the story on the quarterbacks. And Johnson guessed the Tigers showed less than 20 percent of their offense. The defense apparently showed more in the Blue’s 19-10 win over the White.
“I feel like our defense has a chance to be good,” Malzahn said. “We have more depth that we had before.
Malzahn said the quarterback performances may have been a bit uneven because White, Franklin and Johnson each played with the first and second-team offenses, and lots of walk-ons. An astounding 14 players carried the ball. Four quarterbacks played. The guy with the most carries was walk-on C.J. Tolbert, and most of them came early in the game.
But all eyes were on the quarterbacks, and the defense didn’t flinch.
“We wanted to see what they could do in different situations. We were pretty vanilla offensively, that was by design,” Malzahn said. “Overall, I think we really ended the spring on a high note, even though we have one more practice on Tuesday. There weren’t any major injuries, which is always a concern. I think it was a good spring.”
So much so that Malzahn said he “loved the energy of our team.”
White was the leading passer with 125 yards. Jovon Robinson led the rushers with 83 yards on 10 carries. And Carlson hit field goals of 55, 52, 33, 25 and 25 yards. Marcus Davis caught one pass for 50 yards for the Blue team. He caught two for 38 yards for the White team.
“I am really happy for Marcus,” Malzahn said. “He’s been very consistent for us and he does a lot of dirty work for us that helps the team be successful.
“I think he’s a guy that our quarterbacks have a lot of trust in and our coaches have a lot of trust in.”
Short on tailbacks this spring, H-backs Chandler Cox and Kamyrn Pettway got carries, too. Pettway ripped off a 71-yarder. Pettway was the second-leading rusher with 77 yards.
“You can see both of them have a chance to help us. They both run North-South and they both played tailback in high school and are used to carrying the ball,” Malzahn said. “I think that will give our offense a little more versatility next year.”