AUBURN, Ala. — Two weeks. That’s all the time that Auburn has left to prepare for their home opener against the Clemson Tigers on Sept. 3. Early in the first week of classes, Gus Malzahn said he was transitioning the Tiger’s focus to Clemson though the head coach admitted he was not ready to name a starting quarterback.
On Thursday, offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee told the media that the trio of competing quarterbacks remained in a three-way tie. Lashlee also said that freshman Woody Barrett’s redshirt status remained unclear. Auburn practiced at the Auburn Athletics Complex on Saturday morning.
Here’s what Malzahn said:
- The Tigers did a lot of situational and special teams work during Saturday’s practice. Auburn is trying to nail down lineups for special teams.
- Energy and focus was good despite the heat on Saturday morning.
- Tigers will be off on Monday before focusing on Clemson for the next two weeks.
- On quarterback battle: “Not ready to name a starter. It’s too good of a competition. We’ll let them compete a little longer.”
- “It would be ideal to be able to name a start in the near future,” Malzahn says.
- On QB competition: “The intensity is getting higher each day. That’s usually when things start becoming clearer.”
- “As you start to gameplan, the little things, the timing and everything that goes with it starts to get clearer, especially with young guys.”
- On freshmen: “There will be more of them that will help, than not.”
- Freshman RB Malik Miller will be in the mix, according to Malzahn.
- On defensive progress: “It’s understanding their assignments and what their responsibility is within the defense. Every first game is about adjustments.”
- “Our defense gets more and more confidence each day.”
- Malzahn said the offensive line looks like it is set, barring injury.
- Young offensive linemen got reps during Saturday’s practice.
- On Marshall Taylor: “We expect him to be back next week.”
- Senior WR Tony Stevens did not practice today. “The plan is to get everybody healthy by Tuesday.”
- Tre’ William returned to practice, but freshman WR Kyle Davis was in a small group of players who did not practice. That group will practice is expected to practice on Tuesday.
- On DB Stephen Roberts: “He’s a savvy football player. He understands football and he’s turning into the type of player we hoped he’d be when we recruited him.”
- On Clemson prep: “You try to get as early a jump as possible.”
- “Everyone knows they are one of the better teams in the country…we understand we’re going to have to play well.”