The Auburn Tigers wrapped up their first scrimmage of fall camp on Thursday and even though it's still early, it yielded plenty for Auburn fans to be happy about.
Defensively, the front seven gets a lot of love, they are expected to be one of the top units in all of college football this season, but it was the guys on the backend, in the secondary that really stole the show. Gus Malzahn said the defensive backs came down with three interceptions, one of which was a one-handed snag by sophomore Jayvaughn Myers and was noted as the highlight play of the day by the head ball coach.
"Defense, one thing we've been talking about is creating more turnovers and I believe they got three turnovers today," Malzahn said. "Made some real good plays on the ball in the secondary."
"The question, quote unquote, for our defense is the backend," senior linebacker Deshaun Davis said. "I don't really think it's really going to be a problem. For today we saw that they're able to make plays and came up and made some big tackles in the box so I think it's a good confidence booster for those guys to see that they're able to actually make those plays."
Offensively, Auburn fans may be scratching their heads wondering what all those interceptions mean for the offense but it should be noted none of those three turnovers came from the arm of Jarrett Stidham, who noted that the offense did some good things at this stage in camp.
"I thought I did alright," Stidham said. "Obviously some things to work on, but I thought for the first day collectively as a unit, I thought we did some really good things. We made some really positive plays down the field. We're trying to see these running backs, and they took care of the ball, so that was really good to see. I thought the offensive line played really well, so it was really good. Obviously, our defense is our defense, and they're going to be lights out just about every single day, so it was good to go up against them finally and get some good reps."
A sentiment echoed by Davis, who shrugged off any idea of Stidham being rusty after missing the A-Day game while he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery.
"If you could see the scrimmage, you would think he's practiced every day since the spring," Davis said. "They made some big throws down field, protecting the back shoulder. He was very accurate today. He looked good in the pocket.
"I think we probably would've sacked him a couple times, but the coaches they were letting him get some downfield throws. When they were able to get the ball off, they were able to complete it. So hats off to those guys. On defense, we've got to play better, but the back-shoulder throw in college football -- or any level of football -- is a hard throw to defend, and Jarrett can throw it perfectly."
Reps the young receivers really seemed to take advantage of, converting on a few explosive plays in the 100-play scrimmage. Deshaun Davis noted a couple nice catches from freshman receiver Shedrick Jackson, while Stidham said the same of two more freshman, Matthrew Hill and Anthony Schwartz who had a tunnel screen and a 20-yard end-around run, respectively.