Malzahn Looking for Aggressive A-Day Play

Comments from Gus Malzahn and Reese Dismukes are featured as the Tigers finished their final practice prior to the spring football game.

Auburn, Ala.--Gus Malzahn put his football team through a light workout in shorts on Thursday in a tune-up practice for Saturday's A-Day Game and the Auburn coach said he liked what he saw.

"The emphasis was on really just going back to the basics, cleaning up the things we needed to going into the summer," Malzahn said.

"There was also some A-Day prep as far as that goes, but overall I?thought our guys were excited to practice today," he said. "I thought they had good energy. I know they are looking forward to A-Day.

"We will have our same setup as we had last year. We will have our offense on one sideline and our defense on the other sideline--half will be in white, half will be in blue," the coach noted.

"We will keep score. There will be a little bit of special teams as far as punt team, as far as extra point and field goals and we will have 12-minute quarters in the first half and we will re-evaluate where we are at in the second half."

To start the scrimmage the first team offense is expected to go vs. the No. 2 defense while the second team offense will scrimmage against the No. 1 defense. Kickoff for the A-Day Game is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

One of the themes of spring for the Tigers has been developing depth, especially with young players on the roster. "It will be good for our coaches to see some of those younger guys, how they react," Malzahn said.

"Just from a coaches' standpoint I want to see our guys flying around and getting after it, and playing good, solid, hard-nosed Auburn football," Malzahn said.

The A-Day contest will be just the third scrimmage of the spring and in the second one many of the top players watched from the sideline. Asked if injury concerns were a reason for that, Malzahn said, "We have been a little bit banged up, but we know a lot more about our team than we did last year.

"We have a lot more information so we have been able to accomplish a lot even though we didn't have as many scrimmages as we did last year,"?he added. "We still had some very good 11 on 11 work and have been able to coach up the finer points of our offense and defense."

Three-year starting center Reese Dismukes stated he believes the offensive line has had a good spring. "I think we have done a good job," he said. "I think we have only had one day where I don't think we went out there and had that good of a day.

"I think everybody has responded well and accepted coaching and come out there every day and worked really hard to get better," the senior said.

Last year's A-Day contest drew the largest crowd of any team in the country for a spring game with more than 80,000 fans showing up. "It was awesome just to see the support we had behind us, especially after we had a down year like we had in 2012," Dismukes noted.

In other news and notes:

*Defensive end Carl Lawson, who has been on crutches this week, is questionable for the A-Day scrimmage, according to the head coach. Asked if he will scrimmage on Saturday, Malzahn said, "We don't know at this point."

Carl Lawson

*The head coach said that it will be a big weekend for the coaches who are expected to play host to a large group of prospects.

*Malzahn said that quarterbacks Nick Marshall and Jeremy Johnson have had a strong spring and he expects that Marshall will be one of the better players in college football this year and should be a Heisman Trophy candidate. Marshall hasn't been cleared to do interviews so far this spring by the head coach, who said that will change on Saturday.

*Malzahn said that Trovon Reed, who has made a move from wide receiver to cornerback, has "some natural skills" as a defensive player. "He has improved," Malzahn said. "Coach (Smith) has done a good job with him."

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