Even after Auburn’s offense posted big numbers and 57 points during its spring game, coordinator Gus Malzahn doesn’t have any delusions.
He realizes those inflated numbers came against a second-team defense that featured several walk-ons. He also realizes there is plenty of work to do before Auburn opens the season against Louisiana Tech.
“Just being totally honest with you, we’re a long way away,” Malzahn said after the Tigers’ final spring practice. “We’re going to hit the ground running in the fall. We’ll evaluate our guys and we’ll put our best 11 out there and we’ll improve each time.
“We’re not where we want to be, obviously, going into the fall. I just want to make that clear, but at the same time I think we do have a foundation.”
The Tigers have limited depth on the offensive line and are still searching for more playmakers at the skill positions.
More importantly, Malzahn is still searching for his starting quarterback.
Neil Caudle and Kodi Burns will go through voluntary summer workouts and enter fall camp knowing they’re both still neck-and-neck in the competition.
Caudle has never made a start at Auburn. Burns has started eight times, including seven games in 2008.
Burns said he was disappointed that a starter hasn’t been named.
“Yeah, definitely,” Burns said. “I’m kind of disappointed about it, but at the same time I feel like I went out there and did pretty good. There are a lot of things I can get better at. It’s been really tough for me, but I’m not worried about it. I’m not going to beat myself up about it.
“I’m not going to get my head down. That’s just part of it. I think I’ve learned that and grown up since I’ve been in college that things might not always go your way, but it’s just about how you bounce back.”
Auburn coach Gene Chizik echoed Malzahn’s sentiments about the work remaining.
Chizik said he was happy with the way the defenders – even the backups – flew around the field on Saturday.
The offense, though, is still a work in progress.
“Offensively, it was nice to see us have some production yesterday but we certainly don’t want to have delusions of grandeur,” Chizik said. “We have not arrived on offense by any stretch of the imagination. I think you saw glimmers of the offense, glimmers of the defense, but both sides we’ve just got a long way to go.”
WAITING GAME: Chizik said Sunday that the coaching staff is waiting to see which recruits will make their way into school this summer.
At least two high-profile signees – quarterback Tyrik Rollison and receiver DeAngelo Benton – remain question marks.
“We’re going to wait until the end of the semester of school to really see where everybody’s at,” Chizik said. “I feel like things were working really good. We’ll just see what the (NCAA) Clearinghouse does.”