Saturday at Auburn's spring football game, thousands of fans were still outside Jordan-Hare Stadium trying to buy tickets when Auburn's offensive line coach saw his pupils get into the end zone. They wasted no time in scoring the first touchdown of A-Day.
On the second play, tailback Ronnie Brown rumbled for 11. First and 10 Blue.
On the third play, Brown picked up five yards before Wayne Dickens could put him on the ground. That made it second and five from the White team's 35-yard line and on the next play Campbell and tight end Anthony Mix hooked up on a 35-yard TD pass.
"The first drive we had today is as pretty as you can have," Nall said. "I think every drive should be that way. I think there is no excuse for punting the ball. I believe that and the kids need to believe that and I think they are starting to."
Senior wide receiver Jeris McIntyre takes a handoff from quarterback Jason Campbell and prepares to throw a pass downfield.
There weren't any more drives as dominating as the first one, but the offense did put together additional TD marches of 86 yards on 14 plays, 33 yards on seven plays and 63 yards on seven plays as the Blue team, which featured the No. 1 offense and No. 2 defense, was a 31-13 winner in a game with 12-minute quarters instead of the normal 15.
"I am excited about where we are," Nall said when giving an overview of the offense. "I am not happy. I think that we have got to continue to focus on an execution factor that is a toughness factor--don't let the drives stall out. Don't give us bad plays. That is what you have got to do.
"When you look up and it is second and 12, whether it is a penalty mistake or an assignment mistake or not finishing, that is what I want to see us get better at--the toughness factor in the execution of the offense," Nall said. "We have got a bunch of tough kids, but I am talking about staying with the running game scheme or the pass route, whatever it might be."
The offense had to work without its first or second string centers on Saturday. Will Ward, a redshirt freshman, shared the duties along with walk-on Joe Cope. First stringer Danny Lindsey was not allowed to have contact this spring while recovering from foot surgery he had following the 2002 season. Lindsey will be ready to go in preseason along with Jeremy Ingle, who broke a bone in his ankle on Thursday at practice. He will have surgery on Monday and is expected to be out of action for three months.
Nall said that Ingle had a "great spring" and will definitely be counted on to return for the 2003 season. However, starting tackle Mark Pera can play the position if needed there and Taylor Bourgeois, a starting tackle last season until going down for the season with a shoulder injury, could play center this fall when he is cleared for contact again in August.
"Danny could have probably gone through spring at the end," Nall said. "Of course, I didn't want that to happen and Coach Tuberville didn't want that to happen because he is a pretty good football player and we have to be sure we have got him in the fall. Jeremy Ingle showed he is a pretty good football player. Now we have got to get him ready."