Observations: 2022 A-Day Game
Auburn football wrapped up spring ball with a scrimmage that highlighted several rising young players — and underlined areas for improvement.
QB Robby Ashford (Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics)
For starters: The final score really wasn’t worth posting in the headline.
Auburn’s 2022 A-Day Game on Saturday afternoon in Jordan-Hare Stadium finished 10-9. The scoring system was based on what end zone was being defended. There were four 8-minute quarters — so, just a little more than a normal half of football in total — and the last two periods were with a running clock.
Bryan Harsin oversaw action that resembled an open scrimmage more than a traditional spring game. A shanked field goal was retried, but it didn’t count on the scoreboard. Any grand, sweeping takeaways on this team based on what was in the box score would be pretty foolish, considering this was a football-like substance instead of the real thing.
But any opportunity to watch a college football team train in this day and age, especially heading into a four-month stretch without an official practice, is still valuable. It’ll be a while before we get more information like this.
With all of that necessary context in mind, here are five key Observations from Auburn’s 2022 A-Day Game.
Robby Ashford shines in a QB battle that’s still wide-open
Although the offense didn’t score a touchdown when he was on the field, Robby Ashford was still named the Offensive MVP on Saturday. That’s because he went a strong 12-16 (75%) passing for 132 yards (8.25 per attempt) — all with Auburn’s second-team offense against the first-team defense. Three of his completions went for 20-plus yards, including a second-and-27 conversion.
Ashford was officially credited with -3 rushing yards, but that total has a giant asterisk. He had a zone-read keeper on third-and-short that went for 12 yards, and three of his scrambles were whistled dead for no gain. He was also sacked twice, but those weren’t guarantees.
“Guy swings his arm out there, is that really gonna be a sack with Robby?” Harsin said. “Probably not. He's really, really athletic, and you saw that today.”