AUBURN, Ala. — Everything will be new for Auburn football’s quarterback situation on Saturday at the annual A-Day spring game.
With returning starter Sean White sitting out, first-year offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey will be in charge of three competing quarterbacks — Jarrett Stidham, Malik Willis and Woody Barrett — who have never taken a single snap at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“These guys are new to doing this,” Lindsey said Thursday. “For us, I think it’s important to evaluate all three of those guys. … It’s going to be fun watching these three guys in their first taste of a game atmosphere, so to speak. I’m looking forward to seeing all three of them.”
While Lindsey admitted Saturday’s A-Day game will stick to a base offense, he wants the Tigers to air it out some. In its first two scrimmages of the spring, Auburn ran 60 percent running plays and 40 percent passing plays, per coach Gus Malzahn.
“We’re going to throw the ball, for sure,” Lindsey said. “I don’t know relative to how many times and all that. You know how these games are. … For me, we’ve been thinking through the things that we’ve been good at and trying to execute. I think we’ll throw it some, for sure.”
More importantly, Lindsey wants to see how his three new quarterbacks react to playing inside Jordan-Hare Stadium with a live crowd for the first time.
Stidham hasn’t played in a college game since the 2015 season at Baylor. Barrett redshirted last season for the Tigers, and Willis is fresh out of high school football.
Getting into that game day groove will be important, as A-Day is the only time Auburn football will do that until the start of the regular season in September.
“I think the biggest thing for the quarterbacks from my standpoint will be playing in front of a crowd and going through the kind of pre-game routine of the timing and everything that goes along with it,” Lindsey said. “I think it’s a good practice run at that. There’ll be a little more juice about them playing in front of a crowd.”
Lindsey said he won’t focus on getting Stidham, Willis and Barrett an exact number of passing attempts because he’ll call plays for both the first- and second-team offenses.
“That’s kind of hard in this setting to do that,” Lindsey said. “We’re just going to try to run our base offense and hopefully get a few balls down the field. We definitely want to do that. But at the same time, I’m interested in our quarterbacks just executing.
“If they’ll do that and their eyes are in the right place and their fundamentals are good, and hopefully we’ll throw it and catch it, but at the end of the day I just want to make sure that they’re dialed in and they’re where they’re supposed to be.”