Considering it was a spring football scrimmage, one of the things that stood out to me about Auburn’s A-Day Game was how smoothly things went on the field considering the team is making a transition to a new coaching staff with different ways of doing things.
It is difficult to get a good flow to a scrimmage in which all phases of the kicking game are not being used as was the case on A-Day, but from an offensive and defensive standpoint I saw a lot of good things.
Of course, as is always the case in the spring, there are plenty of things for the coaches to correct, but there weren’t a lot of turnovers or penalties plus the team played with a lot of energy. All of those things were encouraging.
Watching what took place on the field it is clearly evident that the Tigers have got a few players--and maybe not just a few.
I was encouraged by the play of the quarterbacks. I don’t think the Tigers have one who is ready to step in to a Southeastern Conference game and without question play winning football, but there are signs both Jonathan Wallace and Kiehl Frazier are improving. Although they made some mistakes I thought both of them handled the offense efficiently enough to make me believe if they can eliminate the bad plays there is enough talent there for the Tigers to line up and be competitive against SEC teams this fall.
I think it was obvious to everyone watching the game that Cameron Artis-Payne is a kid who is going to be able to play running back at this level and be productive. We already know Tre Mason is. I was disappointed Corey Grant didn’t play in the A-Day Game, but he was ill and couldn’t go.
The wide receivers weren’t perfect in the spring game, but they made some plays. The tight ends certainly made plays, too. There were also some good things on defense. The Tigers weren’t consistently productive on that side of the ball, but that is normal in a scrimmage in which a lot of different players get on the field. There were a lot of good stops and one big play with Justin Garrett scoring a touchdown.
The huge crowd shows that the fans are excited about the coming season and maybe they have some good reasons for that because it looks like the potential is there for the Tigers to be improved on both offense and defense. I am not ready to say this team is going undefeated or anything like that, but I think there is a good chance the Tigers are going to be competitive against the people they play.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat’s Picks.
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