Auburn, Ala.-- Auburn fans wanting to see if quarterback Jarrett Stidham could live up to high expectations were not disappointed on Saturday as the transfer from Baylor was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player of Auburn’s A-Day football game.
Stidham passed for 267 yards and rushed for a touchdown when he scooped up a fumble and raced around left end for a score while leading his Blue team to a 37-13 victory.
Stidham, a redshirt sophomore who will be eligible to play this fall for the Tigers, noted the offense showed fans what it has been able to do throughout the spring when it comes to throwing the football. “We moved the ball well and I?have felt really comfortable so far,” he said.
Stidham, who was 16-20 passing, had no turnovers and he had a perfectly thrown long pass dropped by running back Kam Martin.
“Some days are better than others," Stidham said about getting off to a good start. “We wanted to come out and do what we do best today. I missed a few throws that were wide open. I have to get that fixed, but I thought the first offense did a great job overall.”
Jarrett Stidham races to the end zone for a touchdown.
Stidham looked comfortable on every snap he took. He threw the ball downfield with ease and was able to escape the pocket to extend several plays through the day. On his touchdown run, he picked up the ball that was fumbled by Martin.
“It was offense by accident,” he said. “I am not going to complain, but at the same time, we can’t put the ball on the ground and turn it over like that. If it happens, it happens. I just tried to make a play.”
It was the first time he played in front of a crowd in more than a year after he sat out last season after transferring to junior college from Baylor. “It wasn’t too bad,”?he said. “I have been around this at Baylor, just not to this extent. It was fun.”
A lot of that fun was created when he was throwing toward Nate Craig.
“He talked to me every off series that we were going to make a play and execute,” the sophomore wideout said. “Whenever he threw my way, I just tried to go up and make a play for him.”
Stidham came out of the gate with a 50-yard bomb to Craig to get things going on the first drive of the afternoon for the Blue team and the tandem would end the day with five passes going for 154 yards.
Despite an impressive performance by Stidham, Gus Malzahn said that Sean White is still in the competition to be the starter. That battle will take place in preseason drills when White is cleared for contact after recovering from his arm injury suffered in the Sugar Bowl
“He’s getting better every day,” Stidham said of White. “He’s able to perform in seven on seven drills. He looks good. I’m looking forward to competing against him. We’re going to push each other to get better.”
Although spring practice is coming to an end, Stidham said he has plenty of work to do. “Hard work and doing extra,” he said when asked what he plans to do prior to the start of preseason drills. “I am going to take it day by day and just get better.”