Auburn, Ala.--Going through his fifth spring training as an Auburn quarterback, Brandon Cox had a memorable day in the Blue team's 27-7 victory over the White on A-Day. The senior completed 15-25 for 286 yards and three touchdowns without an interception.
"It was really tough to throw into that wind," Cox says, "but we were throwing it, moving it, running it and we got the offense going today. We got into a rhythm and that's what it's about.
"We had a lot of young guys playing and our offensive line has been tremendous," he adds. "They've stepped up and they're doing a great job. Receivers also. They've had their ups and downs but they came out and had a good day today. We were able to run the ball and the pass protection was good."
Cox was sharp on Saturday and threw the ball extremely well.
King Dunlap, the only returning starter from last year's line, was thrilled to find out about Cox's 286 yards passing and 313 as a unit for the Blue squad.
"We threw for 313 yards? Really? It feels good," Dunlap says. "I didn't know we did all of that. Dang, that's a great day for Brandon. It makes us look good because it means we gave him time to throw the ball down field to the receivers and make plays.
"We've gotten a lot better from day one we had a lot better spring than I anticipated," he adds.
The key target for Cox was Montez Billings, who had four grabs for 70 yards and a second quarter touchdown of 19 yards. In a game where someone needed to step up and make plays at receiver, Billings answered the call.
"Montez had some great spring practices," Cox says. "He's a young guy that has stepped up and he's pushing for a starting job. He came out and had a good day. He got open on that touchdown and got into the end zone."
Cox also found Rodgeriqus Smith on a slant route late in the second quarter which would have been good for 8-10 yards, but the junior wideout broke a tackle of Patrick Lee turned it up field and raced 32 yards for another touchdown.
"Rod has definitely stepped up and filled the shoes of C.T. (Courtney Taylor)," Cox notes. "He's become our go-to guy and he's that guy I can rely on to make something happen. He showed it with that touchdown catch he had."
The longest play of the day came on an out-and-up pass to tight end Gabe McKenzie, who beat Patrick Trahan in coverage, juggled the ball and finally hauling it in for a gain of 48 yards. Cole Bennett had two receptions for 36 yards and Tommy Trott had one grab for 19.
"It's pretty fun to go out there and score some points against them," Cox says of the first-team defense. "It's A-Day and they did a lot of base things, but in the past we really haven't been able to do much against them in the A-Day games. Twenty-seven points, especially compared to last year is impressive. It was a pretty good day."