Lutzenkirchen Enjoying Expanded Role

Philip Lutzenkirchen showed his versatility in Auburn's A-Day Football Game on Saturday.

Auburn, Ala.--Phillip Lutzenkirchen hasn't missed a beat making big plays for the Auburn offense, but he's doing it from a different spot this year.

As a sophomore on Auburn's 2010 National Championship football team, the 6-4, 253-pound Lutzenkirchen was on the receiving end of five touchdown passes from Cam Newton, including the game winner in Auburn's 28-27 come-from-behind victory over Alabama that propelled the Tigers in the SEC title game and eventually the BCS Championship Game against Oregon.

Most of the time Lutzenkirchen lined up at tight end or H-back. This spring he has spent much of his time at the inside receiver slot where Kodi Burns operated last year as a senior.

In Saturday's A-Day contest, Lutzenkirchen scored the game's only touchdown on a 19-yard strike from junior Barrett Trotter. Chandler Brooks added three field goals for 20 actual points.

Philip Lutzenkirchen catches his touchdown pass on Saturday.

Under the scoring system that even Coach Gene Chizik says he wasn't quite sure about how it operates, the "official" score was defense 63, offense 32 with the complicated system that includes big plays and defensive stops plus other ways to score.

"We got the defense on their heels," Lutzenkirchen says of his touchdown play. "After running a screen route to Trovon (Reed), we faked it off that and I slipped out on the wheel route. Barrett (Barrett Trotter) put the ball on the money and we got an easy touchdown."

He admits being back in the slot position is a plus for him as a receiver. "It's nice to be back in the slot because that's what I did in high school. I kinda miss doing the fullback stuff so in the fall I think I'll come out and do about 50-50 in the slot."

After the A-Day Game wrapped up on Saturday head coach Gene Chizik had praise for Lutzenkirchen's good hands and versatility, which will likely be featured this fall.

Like Chizik, Lutzenkrichen says there is still much to be done offensively for a rebuilding Auburn football team.

"Our offense needs to be a lot more consistent," Lutzenkirchen says. "At times we showed flashes we had out there last year that we can be very good. Then at times we even put the ball on the ground and made a bunch of mistakes. We just need to be more consistent."

Getting used to new quarterbacks is an ongoing transition as Trotter and Clint Moseley battle to succeed Newton, the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner.

"Last year you really didn't know what Cam was going to do, whether he would take off or sit back in the pocket," Lutzenkirchen says. "This spring we've gotten a little more used to the traditional offense Coach Malzahn ran that first year (2009) with Chris Todd at quarterback. I think you will see a lot more balanced offense than last year."

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