Day breaks over Jordan-Hare stadium.
The groundskeepers have prepared the field. The lines are newly marked. The last of the off-season maintenance has been completed. The full moon dips below the western horizon as the sun peeks above the rim of the stadium. Shadows recede from the dew kissed emerald grass as the annual gathering of athletes and coaches commences.
Spring Football has come to the plains.
Gone are the failures and frustrations of the previous season. Gone are the questions about coaching failures, player’s abilities and fan dissapointment. Gone is all the baggage and burdens of the worst season of Auburn football in twenty years.
It is a new day.
The start of practice is a special time for players, coaches and fans alike. This is the end of speculation, preparation and blind hope. Now begins the time of potential and performance. There will be mistakes. There will be trials, successes, and failures.
But on the far side of Spring football will be the core of the team Auburn will play in the fall. Whatever questions remain for the coaching staff will be relatively minor ones. Coaches Malzahn, Lashlee and Johnson will have the answers they require, and know the path this team will take in the late summer and fall.
For us fans however, this is an uncertain time. Limited by distance and lack of inside information we hope to find real answers to the burning questions we have had for the last four months. Can this team perform in the SEC? Can this defense stop or at least slow the likes of Texas A&M, Alabama, LSU? Can the same offensive talent that couldn’t buy a first down last year master and execute the offensive game plan that hoisted the crystal just three years ago?
The problem is, little of this information will be revealed to us until the actual season begins. We will have tantalizing glimpses, brief insights, insubstantial rumor and suspicions. We will hang on every interview, practice video and photo, hoping to find the clues of what lies ahead. Is this the running back who will crack a thousand yards? Is that the receiver that will electrify the crowd? Is this our quarterback for the season?
But we will have no real answers. At least, none that will allow conclusions to be drawn from the spring that will carry to the fall.
What does a spring football game for a BCS championship look like?
“Malzahn also warned not to “read anything into anything” concerning the spring game.
Junior receiver Quindarius Carr was named the game’s offensive MVP. He caught four passes for 152 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown. It was one of three touchdown passes the Auburn quarterbacks threw on the day. They also combined for 488 yards passing.
Newton played in just four series, and starting tailback Mario Fannin gave way to the backups after just three carries.
Quarterback Barrett Trotter threw two touchdown passes, a 50-yarder to Nathan Taylor and a 44-yarder to Terrell Zachery.”
Nathan Taylor was a five year athlete who dressed for game after game in Jordan Hare, but he was sadly destined to never have a single game statistic to hang his name on in his entire Auburn career. The only article I remember seeing his name was that 50 yard reception in the 2010 Spring game.
What does the worst Auburn team in 20 years look like in the Spring?
“Frazier was 7-of-9 passing for 92 yards, all in the first half. Moseley was 5-of-6 passing for 62 yards, mostly in the second half. Pike was 4-of-8 passing for 42 yards.
Frazier followed the party line: “We really haven’t thought about the QB battle at all,” he said.
The offense beat the defense 36-27 in a game in which points were awarded for big plays. The only two touchdowns were scored by transfer running backs Mike Blakely and Corey Grant.
Auburn’s primary backs, Tre Mason and Onterio McCalebb, combined for five carries on a day in which new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler likely showed little of what he has planned for the fall.
“If you really look at it, we didn’t too much offensively,” Loeffler said.”
I couldn’t have made that last comment up if I had tried. But we didn’t realize the irony of the comment then. It was only when fall arrived that it became an epitaph for the season.
The lesson here is clear. The coaches will have their answers, but we will only get a very small glimpse of the true potential of this team this spring. It will not be complete. It will not be final. It will only be a very limited understanding of what this team is capable of. Anything read into the outcome of the A-Day game in April will likely not be true in September. Despite our expectations, the potential of this team will likely not be revealed this until the first kickoff of the regular season. At least, not to the average fan or reporter.
What we should do is continue to hope for the best. Trust the potential of our players, our coaches and our team. Do not let the doubts of the spring influence that hope through the summer and into the first game of the season.
After all, every team is undefeated, and will be until at least September. War Eagle.
Tags: Auburn Football, Auburn spring football practice, auburn Tigers, Ellis Johnson, Gus Malzahn, Rhett Lashlee, Sullivan013, Track 'em Tigers