Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Sources say" offense got the best of defense in Auburn scrimmage

By Charles Bennett

AUBURN – Do the Auburn Tigers practice under a veil of secrecy?

Well, you’d have a hard time getting anyone to “comment” on that, but without fear of contradiction, the answer is yes.

Auburn’s practices, of course, are not open to the general public or the media. And even fairly mundane information is hard to confirm.

Auburn quarterback Barrett Trotter was asked to talk about players who had jumped out during Wednesday’ s scrimmage at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
His response?

“A lot of guys jumped out,” he said. “I’m not allowed to tell you who.”

Various internet sites reported that freshman tailback Tre Mason scored three
touchdowns in Wednesday’s scrimmage.

Mason was requested by the media for interviews. He was a no-show.

Quarterback Clint Moseley was asked if he had thrown any touchdown passes in the scrimmage.

He conferred with an Auburn sports information spokesman before saying, “no.”

The following notes from Wednesday’s scrimmage will deal with primarily what could be confirmed.

Timing is everything

Auburn scrimmaged from approximately 11 a.m. to noon. The Tigers’ first three games will kickoff at 11 a.m., 11:21 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Wednesday’s scrimmage time was not a coincidence.

“Pretty much all of our scrimmages are going to be around the 11 a.m. hour give or take,” said Auburn coach Gene Chizik. “When we got done scrimmaging, we were probably somewhere around the middle to late fourth quarter in the game, more than likely. We wanted to get used to where sun was for our returners on our return game. We wanted to get used to the heat, which our kids are already used to, but mainly the direction of the sun and some of the roles that that plays in our return game was the main reason, but we’ve got to get used to those first couple games with 11 a.m. starts.”

Many happy returns

Auburn spent a solid portion of Wednesday’s scrimmage working on the return game, using a mix of veterans and first-year players.

“We’re kind of in a good spot there simply because we have options,” Chizik said “Anytime you put a young guy in the return game you have a little bit of caution because when the lights come in front of 90,000 you don’t know what you’re going to get. We’ve got some young guys who have an opportunity to be our returners. We worked a lot of those guys today and we’ll continue to do that, but we’ve got a good mix in our return game with a couple guys who have done it and a couple guys who are pushing.”

A vote for the offense

The general consensus was that the offense outperformed the defense in Wednesday’s scrimmage

Defensive end Dee Ford confirmed it.

Ford said “offense” when asked who won the scrimmage.
“Our offense is an amazing offense,” he said, by way of explanation.

Youth movement moves on

Auburn has a rather astounding 51 freshmen on its 105-man roster. Chizik was asked Wednesday about how the “young guys” performed in Wednesday’s scrimmage.

“I’m really proud of those guys,” he said. “I’m really interested to see … you have one impression when you’re out there and you have another impression once you watch the tape. But I’m just really encouraged with a lot of our young guys. They’ve got to push through the mental part of the game right now, that’s becoming difficult for them just with new installations and getting used to the speed of the game and kind of everything being thrown at them at once. But eventually the game will slow down for a lot of these young guys. Nobody that I can say right now stands head and toes above the others but they’re all working well and I’m proud of them.”

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