Petrino Gives View Of Scrimmage Performance

Offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino gave his Tigers mixed reviews on Wednesday evening's scrimmage performance.

Auburn, Ala.--Offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino says he will be burning the midnight oil studying the play of his quarterbacks and others from Wednesday evening's scrimmage, the first of the preseason for the Tigers.

Without further review, Petrino's boss came to the conclusion that the defense continues to hold the upper hand, just as it has throughout preseason drills and just as it had done most of the spring.

"What we wanted to do was work on the running game and we didn't play a lot of defensive starters offensively--obviously," said Tuberville, who kept the No. 1 defense on the sidelines during the contact portion of the scrimmage.

"We wanted to look at the young wide receivers," Tuberville adds. "The quarterbacks looked rusty and the wide receivers didn't catch the ball very well. We blocked a lot better than we have been. We have a long way to go on offense."

Petrino, who is in his first year at Auburn, says the quarterbacks have had good days and bad days. "The timing is just a little bit off right now," he says. "We are not where we need to be at the exact time. The quarterback is not getting the ball off at the exact time.

"In the spring, I thought we established we could throw the ball to the tight end and do those type of things," Petrino notes. "In the fall, we have been trying to put the pressure on the young receivers and quarterbacks to get the ball down the field a little bit more. We have got a ways to go."

Daniel Cobb had the most passing yards, but he completed just 4-9 passes and was fortunate one or two of his tosses were not intercepted in the tackling portion of the 54-play scrimmage that featured 39 runs and 25 passes. He had 67 total yards. Jason Campbell had 50 yards as he hit 6-11. True freshman Josh Sullivan hit 2-5 for 32 yards and showed his strong arm. Freshman Wesley Hill played, but did not throw a pass.

"I think we have established that we will be able to run the ball and we have done that in other practices this fall, not just today," Petrino says. "I am seeing improvement in the offensive line. I think (guard) Danny Lindsey has added a lot to our physicalness there. He gives us a great punch.

"Our running backs are still playing pretty well," Petrino says. "At fullback it is good to see Brandon Johnson in there. I think he adds a lot to that running game." Johnson was out of action with a shoulder injury and did not compete in the spring.

Star tailback Carnell "Cadillac" Williams was a spectator most of the afternoon, but did get on the field during the two-minute drill at the end of the scrimmage. Petrino says the lack of success by the offense in that drill left a bad taste in his mouth to finish the evening's on the field work. Tackling was not allowed in two-minute drill part of the practice.

In the absence of Williams, sophomore tailback Ronnie Brown was the leading rusher with 72 yards on 13 carries and one touchdown. He showed good inside power.

Fullback Victor Horn had the big play of the scrimmage with a long touchdown run.

Freshman tailback Tre Smith had perhaps the most impressive run, a 56-yard burst as he broke out of a scrum in the middle of the field for a score. He netted 56 yards on 10 runs. Fullback Victor Horn got one carry and went the distance against the third team defense, a 66-yard straight shot to the goal line right over center. Fullback Jake Slaughter had one carry for eight yards and Johnson ran the ball one time for no gain.

Chris Butler made three catches for 22 yards, Anthony Mix caught two passes for 24 and fellow tight endCooper Wallace had two for 13 yards. Ben Obomanu had one catch for 33 yards, Courtney Taylor one for 23, Smith one for 14, Silas Daniels one for 11 and Todd Bradford one for nine.

Senior receiver Marcel Willis was held out of action with hamstring problems and is expected to be back in about a week. A bigger concern is that the team's top offensive tackle, junior Mark Pera, was injured on the first play of an inside drill. The medical report is that the injury is a groin problem. Petrino says that Pera is a valuable player in the big picture. "He is definitely a guy we cannot afford to lose," the coordinator says.

The Tigers are scheduled to practice twice on Thursday and Friday and will have a major scrimmage at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.


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