Wade Rackley/Auburn Athletics
Auburn cornerback Jamel Dean and wide receiver Darius Slayton are projected starters for 2017.

Auburn football practice report: 1st-team defense ‘wins’ first fall scrimmage

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn football called a couple of audibles on its fall camp schedule to open Week 2, with its first scrimmage coming on a Monday morning.

The Tigers normally scrimmage inside Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturdays during camp, but head coach Gus Malzahn changed it up by announcing a Monday scrimmage. That session was moved from Monday evening to Monday morning over the weekend.

While the scrimmage was closed to media members, Malzahn and several players gave some intel on what happened inside Jordan-Hare Stadium on Monday morning. Here are the highlights from Day 6 of camp.

FALL CAMP STOCK REPORT: Depth chart, Tigers on the rise after Week 1

What we heard

  • Auburn ran “around 100 plays” in the scrimmage, per Gus Malzahn. The run-pass split was close to 50-50, which is what we heard during the spring scrimmages with offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey.
  • The defense won the scrimmage against the offense when it came to first team vs. first team. There were several three-and-outs, and the first-team offense didn’t run the ball well against the first-team defense.
  • The first-team offense only scored one rushing touchdown, and Darrell Williams said it was because the offense completed a long passing play that should’ve been ruled a sack for Williams.
  • Jarrett Stidham threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown by Jamel Dean. The sophomore defensive back was one of the stars of the session and lined up at first-team cornerback.
  • Stephen Roberts had another interception in the scrimmage.
  • Stidham and Sean White rotated with the first- and second-team offenses. Malik Willis mostly played with the third team. Malzahn said “all three of them did some good things but all three of them had numerous things to work on.” He wants to break down the film more before getting bigger takeaways from the quarterbacks.
  • White threw a deep touchdown pass to Nate Craig-Myers.
  • Sophomore defensive end Marlon Davidson did not practice. Malzahn expects him to be back at practice soon.
  • Nick Coe and Paul James III stood out in Davidson’s absence. Junior defensive tackle Byron Cowart also rotated into the mix with the first team Monday.
  • True freshman linebacker T.D. Moultry and junior defensive tackle Andrew Williams remained out.
  • Tray Matthews had the biggest hit of practice on walk-on running back C.J. Tolbert.
  • The first-team defensive line won the battle at the line of scrimmage, getting Stidham and White for multiple sacks. Darrell Williams had two sacks — including the explosive pass one that wasn’t officially counted — and Paul James III had another one of them.
  • Auburn held out Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson from the scrimmage. The Tigers are still searching for the No. 3 running back and want to keep Pettway and Johnson from contact.
  • True freshman running back Devan Barrett got 10 carries and a few receptions out of the backfield. One of his runs went for a touchdown. He’s still very much in the mix for that No. 3 job.
  • Williams said junior wide receiver Ryan Davis was tough to guard in Monday’s scrimmage.
  • Auburn started practice with live field goals. The Tigers are looking for non-starters from the offensive line to step up on the field goal protection team.
  • The Tigers had three live punt returns — first-team vs. first-team. Malzahn wants to see leaders step up on special teams, and there’s still no separation between Ian Shannon and Aidan MarshallDaniel Carlson could still punt.
  • Austin Golson is solid at center, but he’s also worked at guard and tackle during camp.
  • Malzahn on injuries from Monday: “We’ve got some guys banged up that won’t be a day or two or three or something like that. … Nothing that was anything serious.”
  • Malzahn was disappointed with the number of penalties between the rotating teams in the scrimmage. “We’ve got to be better next time we scrimmage.”

What you can watch

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn’s full post-scrimmage press conference:

Auburn linebacker Darrell Williams details the first scrimmage:

Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown talks progress in fall camp:

Auburn’s quick highlights of the scrimmage, including touchdowns from Craig-Myers and Barrett: