New Offense to Be On Display At A-Day Game

The Tigers will play their annual spring football game on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Auburn, Ala.--Saturday's A-Day spring football game will be a chance for Auburn fans to get a preview of what new offensive coordinator Al Borges and his pupils have been able to accomplish through a dozen spring practice sessions.

Borges is installing his modified version of the West Coast Offense. The defense has had some problems stopping it this spring and will look for improvement in that area on Saturday. Kickoff time is 1 p.m. and admission is $5 to see the intrasquad game.

"We may not score at all or we may score a bunch--it doesn't make any difference," Borges says of the A-Day game. "We're going to be very basic and we're going to try to get a good evaluation on the players by not confusing them.

"Plus, we don't want to show too much. You're not going to see a lot in terms of extravagant formations and looks in that game.

"I said when I came in that we were going to try to put in a starter-set West Coast Offense and we're about there," Borges notes. "I would say we're at about 55 or 60 percent in, but there is a lot more to do. I will say this. We have the nucleus of the offense in, the protections and the running plays. In terms of all the bells and whistles, we're a long way from that."

Al Borges replaces Hugh Nall as offensive coordinator for the 2004 season. Nall will continue to coach the offensive line.

One of the players that Borges will be counting on to make the offense work is quarterback Jason Campbell. "We have an opportunity to be an explosive offense," says Campbell, the fifth-year senior who has solidified his hold on the number one job this spring. "On offense, I think everything is coming together. We are coming together as a unit. I think all of the guys are really into what we are doing."

The Tigers had their final tuneup for the spring game on Thursday with a short scrimmage to test some of the new plays and formations.

"I would say we added another 10 to 20 percent to our offense this week," Campbell notes. "On Thursday, we worked on everything that we had put in all spring. I am pretty sure next week after the A-Day is over with we will put more stuff in."

Campbell might spend a good portion of the spring game watching from the sidelines while redshirt freshmen Brandon Cox and Kelcy Luke see significant playing time at quarterback. "We are going to go out there and try to have some fun," Campbell says of the A-Day Game. "We are going to try to push Brandon and Kelcy because this will be their first game situation."

Senior tailback Carnell "Cadillac" Williams had several nice runs in Thursday's scrimmage, but lost a fumble at the end of a long run on a hit from behind by defensive end Stanley McClover. Williams joked that Borges demoted him from "Cadillac" to "Buick" after the fumble. "He came and told me, ‘Good run, but it doesn't mean a hill of beans if you don't hold onto the ball.'"

Williams says in his opinion the Tigers are making progress learning Borges' offensive system. "We are really, really getting there," Williams says. "Jason has done real well responding to Coach Borges. I think the guys up front are doing good and so are the receivers. As a whole we are excited and I think we are going to be fun to watch this year."

A week ago at the second major scrimmage of the spring, the offense outplayed the defense. In this Saturday's matchup defensive coordinator Gene Chizik says he wants to see his guys compete hard from start to finish.

"I am looking for effort and I am looking for technique and that is it," Chizik says. "I am not getting fancy. We are playing base defense. We have got to go out there and give our young guys quality reps. That means I am looking at everything from their alignments to their stances. That is all I expect to see out there and great effort to get to the football."

Coach Tommy Tuberville says he wants to see the players have fun on Saturday. The game will match the first offense vs. the first defense and the second offense vs. the second defense with 12-minute quarters instead of the normal 15.

Spring Game Notes: Tickets are $5 for the general public. Admission for Auburn University students with identification is free. Tickets will be on sale the day of the game in the ticket booth on the west side of the stadium...Only sections 1-20 will be open in Jordan-Hare Stadium due to construction and fans should enter the stadium through the west side gates that will open at 11 a.m. Saturday...There will be shuttle service from the Hayfield parking area on Donahue Drive and the Facilities Parking Lot on Samford Avenue. The shuttles will run from 8 a.m.- 7 p.m. Saturday...RV parking will be available in the hangar lot. The lot will open at 4 p.m. Friday...All roads around the stadium will be barricaded as they normally are during a regular-season game...There will be a short post-game autograph session with players and coaches on the field following a cooling off period...On Friday there will be a women's tennis match at 2 p.m. vs. Florida, a 6:30 p.m. baseball game vs. Kentucky and the UPC "Tigers Nights" show at Foy Union...On Saturday, the Auburn Football Letterman's Club A-Day Race starts at 8:30 a.m. at the corner of Roosevelt and Donahue. The Tiger Team Village in the Coliseum East Parking Lot is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. At 3 p.m. the baseball Tigers will play Kentucky and at 8 p.m. there is a "Celebrate Auburn" street dance at Toomer's Corner...The football game will be televised live by CSS.


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