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Fall Camp Proceeds Apace.

By on August 7th, 2014 in Football 6 Comments »
Beanie Bowl

Tucker Tuberville (16) got more snaps in the first scrimmage than Nick Marshall did!
(Photo by Acid Reign.)

     War Eagle, everybody! Yesterday, the Auburn Tigers completed their first fall camp scrimmage. Yes, yes, I know! I owe faithful readers here previews of Auburn-UGA and the Iron Bowl. I’ve been very real-world busy lately, but I should have time on vacation next week to give these difficult games the treatment they deserve. In the meantime, here are a few more nuggets from fall camp, and another archived shot from A-Day. Did anyone out there ever envision a Tuberville family member on Pat Dye Field taking snaps? Awesome, sez I!

     Auburn’s first scrimmage featured a lot of young faces, which was a theme reminiscent of the old Terry Bowden beanie bowls during fall camp. It was a run-heavy scrimmage, with around 70 percent of the plays taking place on the ground. Young backs Peyton Barber, Roc Thomas and Kamryn Pettway all got plenty of carries.

     When the Tigers did throw, it was true freshman Sean White who received the most praise from head coach Gus Malzhan:

     “He can throw the ball on time. We knew that when we recruited him. What we ask our quarterbacks to do presnap, there’s a lot to it. Communication, then you have to know the play, then you have to think about how the defenses adjust. We’ve been pleased with him so far. He’s been able to pick things up at a pretty good rate. Just looking at it out there from behind, there weren’t a whole lot of just busts… just complete busts as far as communication, as far as execution. I thought he looked solid.”

      Shuffling on the offensive line continues. Chad Slade has been banged up at left guard, and this has opened the door for Devonte Danzy to get a lot of first team reps. Danzy was a highly regarded JUCO transfer last season, and it’s certainly good for Auburn to work on offensive line depth after the injury to Alex Kozan.

     The most surprising admission of the day was coach Malzhan stating that there was an open competition for the punting job vacated by Steven Clark. As the only scholarship player at punter, Jimmy Hutchinson was the heir-apparent, but he’s not been named a defacto starter yet. I got to the stadium very early on A-Day, and watched a good battle between the punters during warmups. On a blustery gray day, I saw three guys all punting well, and pretty equally. Evidently, none has separated himself, and the job is up for grabs. Last spring, Jimmy Hutchinson, Tyler Stovall, and Jack Bjork all looked good. They are joined this fall by true freshmen Matthew Sheil and Logan Rice. From my untrained eye way up in the 36th row, Bjork looked the strongest on that cold day. This race will be interesting to watch, I think!

     Long time readers of TrackEmTigers.com know that yearly, one of my biggest worries is the tight end/h-back spot. I never feel like we have enough depth there, or proven starters at both spots. And often I have been right, as whiffed lead blocks at the point of attack stalled running games at times in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012. I am again worried about depth this season, and I suppose that’s going to be a yearly thing for a while yet. This season, I like coach Malzhan’s answers on that question. The starters at those positions, seniors C. J. Uzomah and Brandon Fulse are versatile veterans. Both are physical players who can run and make plays both blocking and receiving. Accordingly, the plan is to move them around quite a bit. While neither guy is the dominant force blocking that Jay Prosch was last season, defenders won’t be able to brace for impact, as both of these guys can get open and catch touchdowns pretty easily, if defenders treat them as blockers only.

     Finally, color me ecstatic that Charter Cable has reached an agreement to carry the SEC Network. I was worried about potentially missing Auburn games on TV this fall, but my fears have been allayed. Charter forced all of us old-school Tragic City analog subscribers to get cable boxes this summer, and I grumbled as much as anyone. We still use two-prong electrical outlets in this house, cast-iron skillets, and cast-iron plumbing pipes. Even something as modern as a gas grill is heresy, around these-here parts! My most up-to-date phone isn’t an Android or I-phone. It’s a 1960s Bell touchtone job…

     Honestly, the high-def stuff we’re getting off the cable boxes now is awesome. Unless football Saturday traffic causes slow-downs, I’m going to have fun this fall. I’ve got a bigger screen and cable box at the ready next to my computer screen, for games I’m not attending this fall. Here’s hoping this translates to an even better live thread!

6 Comments

  1. hello2196 says:

    Good write up. I’m also worried about depth at several positions. Looking forward to next week’s preview of the Georgia game.

  2. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    I’ve read and heard some comments from rival SEC coaches regarding our linebackers. Not a whole lot of respect there.

    • DBAU81 says:

      Linebacker has been a vulnerability for us for a while now. I expect Frost and McKinzy to be much improved, though, and our recruiting seems to have ramped up at that position (i.e., Tre Williams). We’re getting better, but it’s still a work in progress.

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..One of the things that hurt us at linebacker last year was depth at the star position. Therezie was it, pretty much when Garrett went down pre-season. Therezie was light for an SEC linebacker, and couldn’t really be asked to play like a Sam linebacker, taking on lead blocks and bulldoging down running backs all game long. And we needed the help in coverage pretty badly, too. That left Holland and McKinzy with half the field each to chase.

        …..This season, I think you’ll see guys like Therezie and Moncrief down in the box a lot more as run defenders.

  3. tigertracker says:

    Bold prediction: your starting QB for the arky game will be tucker tuberville ;)