AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn football returned to Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday, three weeks away from their season opener against Georgia Southern. And unlike the first scrimmage, the Tigers offense put together some drives that fans will want to see next month.
The starting quarterback battle moved closer to a resolution Saturday with one quarterback standing out above the rest. All three of the Tigers’ signal callers on scholarship led impressive drives, but presumptive starter Jarrett Stidham looked the best inside Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn’s second scrimmage, just like its first one, was closed to the media. But here’s what we heard about what happened inside Jordan-Hare Stadium on Day 10 of fall camp from coach Gus Malzahn, several players and others who watched Saturday’s scrimmage.
- Sophomore wide receiver Kyle Davis did not dress out Saturday, along with defensive backs Tray Matthews and Daniel Thomas. All three were held out “by design,” according to Malzahn, along with some other members of the first-team offense.
- Sophomore defensive end Marlon Davidson, junior defensive tackle Andrew Williams and true freshman offensive tackle Calvin Ashley remained out with injuries Saturday.
- Malzahn said there were “no major injuries” during the scrimmage.
- Freshman athlete JaTarvious Whitlow, who has worked at running back this fall, is the only player who might not be ready for the first game, Malzahn said. Whitlow has an ankle injury.
What we heard
- The offense bounced back from a rough first scrimmage with several explosive touchdowns downfield Saturday. All three quarterbacks scored through the air. Jarrett Stidham fired a touchdown pass that went 90-plus yards to Darius Slayton, and Malik Willis did the same to Marquis McClain.
- Stidham was by far the standout quarterback on Saturday. Stidham had multiple good throws downfield — the Slayton throw was a beautiful deep ball — and he had a impressive tuck-and-run for a first down.
- Sean White had a rough Saturday, for the most part. White held onto the ball too long in the scrimmage and threw several bad passes — at least one was picked, while several others were nearly intercepted. However, he also threw a long touchdown pass to Nate Craig-Myers, who continued a strong fall camp.
- Malzahn said Stidham and White split first-team reps today. Both worked with the second team, along with Willis.
- Willis had another good day of work. The freshman quarterback threw touchdown passes to McClain and fellow freshman Noah Igbinoghene.
- Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson got first-team reps in situational drills at running back. The staff used a quick whistle in those periods and didn’t let them get tackled to the ground.
- In special teams news, Daniel Carlson missed a 58-yard field goal just short. John Franklin III and Noah Igbinoghene got most of the work at kick return.
- Malzahn said punter Ian Shannon had a lot of pressure on him Saturday, but he thought he did well. Walk-on punter Aidan Marshall didn’t help his case in the battle during the scrimmage. The Tigers had 10 punts in the scrimmage.
- Freshman linebacker K.J. Britt had a pair of huge hits in the scrimmage.
- The defense came up with a safety late in practice.
- Malzahn said the No. 1 goal for Saturday’s scrimmage was to work true freshmen in certain situations and some veterans on down the depth chart. That was most obvious on the defensive side.
- After situational work with the first team, the actual scrimmage part of practice was “No. 2-focused,” according to Malzahn.
What you can watch
Gus Malzahn’s full post-scrimmage press conference:
Senior OT Darius James on the second week of fall camp:
Sophomore OG Mike Horton on the second week of fall camp: