Observations: Everything we heard about Auburn's first fall scrimmage
The quarterback battle got some more intrigue on a Saturday when the running backs stood out and the defense bounced back late.
QB Robby Ashford and WR Nick Mardner (Austin Perryman/Auburn Athletics)
With three weeks to go before the start of the season, Auburn football got its first fall dress rehearsal in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday morning.
The Tigers went through a scrimmage that had a mixed bag of results, which head coach Hugh Freeze expected.
“I've said this all time, it's hard for me to leave a scrimmage or a practice feeling great because one side does well and well, we're not getting it done on the other side and vice versa,” Freeze said. “But I am very, very pleased with the want-to and desire, the leadership I see being developed. I'm encouraged as to where we are at this point in camp.”
Auburn’s offense got off to a hot start on the ground, with several running backs making explosive plays behind a strong offensive line. The three competing Tigers’ quarterbacks — Robby Ashford, Holden Geriner and Payton Thorne — all took care of the ball and had their big moments, too.
But the defense, which had some tackling issues, started to win more as the scrimmage continued in the sweltering East Alabama heat. A tougher day for a banged-up wide receiver corps didn’t help matters, either.
Auburn will review the film Saturday afternoon and evening before an off day Sunday. Then the final stretch of a true fall camp begins on Monday, with the first day of class at the university coming Wednesday.
And it sounds like Freeze and his staff have a lot to think about after this first scrimmage. Here’s all of what we heard about it.
QB Payton Thorne (Austin Perryman/Auburn Athletics)
The scrimmage might have changed things at quarterback
Freeze said in the summer that he wanted to cut down the quarterback competition from three to two after the first 10 days of preseason practice. Saturday was the 10th day.
But the scrimmage revealed a lot about the quarterbacks, and that’s going to make for an interesting few days at the position.