On its seventh day of fall camp, Auburn football finally scrimmaged.
Earlier in the week, Gus Malzahn expressed his desire to name some starters after the scrimmage, particularly on the offensive line, where the battle at right tackle between Austin Troxell and Jack Driscoll has been "very close." Coaches have also been tinkering with pecking orders at running back, defensive line and secondary.
The 11-on-11 in Jordan-Hare Stadium was closed, but Malzahn and players enlightened the media on what transpired Thursday morning. Here's what we know:
- The Tigers ran 100 plays, mixing in the first, second and third teams. Team went through full special teams plays, and had only one pre-snap penalty.
- The defense forced three interceptions -- one was a "great play," another was a "really good play," and the last was a "poor decision by the quarterback." Sophomore defensive back Jayvaughn Myers' INT was "the play of the scrimmage." John Broussard Jr. and Travion Leonard made the other two picks, according to Deshaun Davis.
- Davis said Roger McCreary made "a lot of plays today." The freshman DB has been trying to become a "student of the game" during camp.
- Offensive guard Calvin Ashley suffered a head/neck injury and was hospitalized for precautionary reasons. Malzahn hopes to have an update today -- UPDATE: Auburn sports information director Kirk Sampson said Ashley's tests were negative and he has since been discharged from the hospital.
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- Backup quarterback Joey Gatewood went live, which made a difference "with his overall confidence." Malzahn noted that the former four-star prospect shared second-team reps with Malik Willis and third-team reps with Cord Sandberg. Jarrett Stidham, who looked "natural" after missing spring ball with a shoulder injury, had all the snaps with the starters.
- Stidham said he didn't throw any of the three interceptions. Davis said Stidham hasn't missed a beat since his injury: "If you could see the scrimmage, you would think he's practiced every day since spring."
- Freshman tailbacks JaTarvious Whitlow and Asa Martin impressed Davis with solid carries in the scrimmage. Davis said both are easily capable of playing between the tackles in the SEC.
- Cornerback Noah Igbinoghene and receiver Marquis McClain were both held out of the scrimmage after donning non-contact jerseys at Tuesday's practice. Malzahn expects both back "really quick."
- Running backs were "pretty equal" with their number of carries. Kam Martin started.
- Mike Horton worked at center "close to half the time" with Kaleb Kim taking the rest. Tucker Brown also received reps.
- The "majority" of the young receivers all made plays on the ball. Stidham echoed this praise with more specifics: Shedrick Jackson made a "great catch" on a deep back-shoulder throw, Matthew Hill is apparently continuing the Auburn tradition of great tunnel screen plays, Seth Williams took a slant "60, 70 yards to the house" and Anthony Schwartz took an end-around "20, 25 yards."
- Stidham says Williams may have the highest vertical on the team: "Seth is a big body. I don't know what his vertical is, but he may have the highest leaping ability on the team ... Darius Slayton may get mad at me for saying that."
- Malzahn will "do his homework" on the punting averages for the likes of Aidan Marshall, Ian Shannon and Arryn Siposs.
- When asked about Nick Coe playing Buck linebacker, Davis said he thinks Coe is better with his hand in the dirt.
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