Auburn coach Gus Malzahn got some much needed intel, and perhaps some clarification, on his three-way quarterback competition on Saturday.
Malzahn said he learned a lot about his quarterbacks in particular from his team’s 100-play scrimmage Saturday afternoon.
“It was good for our quarterbacks,” Malzahn said according to The Montgomery Advertiser’s Matthew Stevens. “We got some good information going forward.”
One quarterback who saw plenty of reps was junior college transfer John Franklin III. Malzahn didn’t mention a quarterback who stood out, but said Franklin III, senior Jeremy Johnson and Sean White each performed well.
“I think he threw the ball well,” Malzahn said of Franklin III, according to Stevens. “We overthrew a couple of deep balls but he extended some plays. I thought Jeremy and Sean did the same thing. They extended some plays down the field. I thought it was good for all those guys to be live in the pocket, especially when you throw the football.”
Franklin III is still learning Auburn’s offense, but Malzahn said he is progressing nicely.
“He is eager to learn everything inside and out, but it’s a process,” Malzahn said according to Stevens. “We throw a lot at our quarterbacks and he’s trying his best to take everything in. I think he’s responding well.”
Other than the quarterback competition, the other major storyline for Auburn is improving its defense. Malzahn said his defense showed some promise during Saturday’s scrimmage.
“I think our defense will be improved,” Malzahn said, according to Stevens. “I really do. They’re off to a very good start. They’re responding. They’re playing hard. We’ve got a lot of veteran guys. We have some impact players on defense, too. I think it’s been very good competition and today was no different.”
Redshirt freshman Jamel Dean agreed with his coach.
“Defense did great,” redshirt freshman cornerback Jamel Dean told OANow.com’s Tom Green. “Offense turned the ball over and we were able to recover it.”
Junior safety Stephen Roberts wasn’t as enthusiastic.
“From a defensive perspective, I think we could’ve done a little bit better with tackling, maybe,” Roberts told Green. “But that’s the scheme of how we’re doing things, just trying to get back in the groove and knowing the coverages. Just trying to do everything to get better. I think we did alright, but it could’ve been a better day.”
Whether it was a good day or a great day might not matter. What’s important is Auburn appears to be taking positive strides during spring ball.