Football Scrimmage Two Notes, Part II

News, notes and quotes from Auburn's second major football scrimmage are featured.

*Offensive line coach Hugh Nall kept his players long after the scrimmage had wrapped up for extra drills after being unhappy with the group's performance in the second major scrimmage of the spring.

*The entire defense had to run wind sprints after practice when the offense punched the ball in for a score at the end of the scrimmage in a goal line situation. Freshman tailback Ben Tate ran up the middle from a yard out for the score. Head coach Tommy Tuberville challenged both sides before the series and said either the offense or defense would have to run based on whether or not there was a touchdown.

*Tate continues to be impressive in the 11 on 11 situations. The 17-year-old tailback has the ability to move the pile when running inside and has displayed good quickness running outside tackle. He has also shown the willingness to be physical as a pass blocker.

Ben Tate is chased by safety Eric Brock, who made nine tackles in the scrimmage.

*Senior linebacker Kevin Sears opened the scrimmage at middle linebacker ahead of senior Karibi Dede. Sears finished the scrimmage with nine tackles, one more than Dede. Sears normally plays strongside linebacker.

*Wide receivers Lee Guess, Robert Dunn and Anthony Campbell are continuing to work as punt returners along with defensive backs Jerraud Powers and Aairon Savage.

*Senior Jonathan Palmer worked at right tackle and center in the scrimmage.

*Lorenzo Ferguson, who was injured in the first scrimmage a week earlier, was back in action at safety. Ferguson missed practice time with a bruised shoulder. He is making a move from cornerback to free safety.

*Cornerback David Irons missed the scrimmage because of a conflict with an academic project. He is scheduled to be back at practice on Tuesday.

*The Tigers won't practice on Sunday and will meet with coaches to review video of the scrimmage on Monday. Coach Tommy Tuberville says he wants to see the offense make fewer mistakes when the Tigers return to practice next week.

*The team will play its annual spring game on Saturday, March 18th at 1 p.m.

*One of the most impressive plays of the spring by a defensive player happened Saturday when defensive lineman Tez Doolittle deflected a pass thrown by backup quarterback Blake Field and then spun around and ran downfield to catch the football before it hit the turf for an interception.

*Sophomore defensive end Octavius Balkcom continues his spring push for playing time. He was busy in the scrimmage with four tackles behind the line of scrimmage for 21 yards in losses. Three of those plays were quarterback sacks.

*The experiment with safety Will Herring at outside linebacker looks to be progressing nicely. He led all tacklers with 14 stops and had two QB sacks in the scrimmage.

*Redshirt freshman linebacker Tray Blackmon, whose play has been a highlight of the defense this spring, did not have a big scrimmage two. He had no solo stops and three assists.

*In scrimmage one, the offense managed just one touchdown. The offense got the ball over the goal line five times in scrimmage two, which was 50 percent longer than the previous scrimmage. The defense also scored on a 25-yard interception return by cornerback Jerraud Powers on a pass thrown by Blake Field. Tre Smith scored on TD runs of two and 15 yards. The other running TDs were from a yard out by Brad Lester and Tate.

*The only passing touchdown was a five-yarder on a slant route to Lee Guess from Brandon Cox. Cox says he got a kick out of hooking up again for a score with his former high school teammate. "I hope we do a lot of that this year," he says.

Scrimmage Notes Part I


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