Borges and Muschamp Comment on Scrimmage

Auburn, Ala.--With 1,000-yard rusher Kenny Irons returning as well as his backup Brad Lester and the arrival of Ben Tate, senior Tre Smith was perhaps the forgotten back heading into the spring after being the starter at the beginning of last season.

But for the second straight scrimmage, Smith was the offensive star scoring on a 58-yard screen pass and a seven-yard run in the 80-play scrimmage at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Thursday.

"He made a fabulous run on that screen pass," said offensive coordinator Al Borges. "He's really added a lot to us as a receiver. It's been huge, and we knew his receiving skills were good."

Smith had a problem with fumbles last season and had two in last Saturday's scrimmage. He held on to the ball on Thursday.

"If Tre is consistently able to hold on to the ball he's going to play and he's going to help us," Borges noted. "That's the only part of his game that he's got to get better. He knows it, we've talked to him about it, he understands it, he's improving it, but it's got to be where we have complete faith. He can make plays now. He's a good player and he has been since I've been here."

Also catching Borges' eye for his play was Prechae Rodriguez, who had one reception for 11 yards.

On Smith's touchdown reception, he was able to out-run Karibi Dede down the sideline before making a cutback. Waiting for Smith out of his cut was free safety Lorenzo Ferguson, who laid a pretty good lick on the running back. However, it was Ferguson who was picking himself up off the turf while Smith was running into the end zone.

A pair of defenders lay on the ground as Smith looks up to set up his blocks.

On Smith's scoring run, he raced for the corner and couldn't get there, but was able to break a pair of tackles, one from Ferguson, to get into the end zone.

Ferguson did, however, make a nice interception on a post-corner route from Blake Field to Anthony Campbell.

Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp has been preaching in recent weeks that he has to get better tackling out of the safety positions, and Ferguson wasn't the only free safety who missed his share in the scrimmage.

With tailback Brad Lester lined up in the slot, he caught a pass in the flats with Tristan Davis closing in on him. Davis grabbed air and Lester was able to pick up extra yardage.

Aairon Savage, who is getting most of his reps with the backups after recently making the move from corner, appeared to have a solid day with a couple of big hits.

"Right now they're all the same," Muschamp said of the free safety battle. "We don't have a first, second or third group. We just have a bunch of guys repping. We've got to make some decisions in the offseason and get into fall camp and have some great competition for the position."

When asked what he was looking for to have a clear-cut starter, Muschamp replied, "Play-makers...play-makers."


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