Bad News at Auburn's Opening Scrimmage

A report on Auburn's first football scrimmage is featured.

Auburn, Ala.--The news from Auburn's first preseason scrimmage on Saturday is not good.

Backup quarterback Neil Caudle, who was sacked in the end zone for a safety by defensive end Michael Goggans, suffered what Coach Tommy Tuberville called a "sprained shoulder" that he says is likely to be a major setback for the second-year Tiger.

Neil Caudle was expected to make a strong push for the No. 2 spot at quarterback.

The news was even worse for fifth-year senior defensive tackle Tez Doolittle whose career appears to be done with a torn Achilles tendon he suffered on Friday.

Another veteran player, junior tailback Tristan Davis, had surgery for a cracked bone in his toe on Saturday and will be out six to eight weeks, the head coach said.

Fifth-year senior guard Leon Hart left the scrimmae to get ice on his ankle and true freshman noseguard Kyle Coulahan injured a finger. "He will probably be out a few days," Tuberville says.

"It was a good scrimmage, not great," claims Tuberville, who notes that he was carefully watching the quarterback play to see who would challenge for the No. 2 spot as Brandon Cox's backup.

Cox, a senior, saw limited action in the session. The star among the backups was true freshman Kodi Burns, who showed excellent skill running the ball and hit a variety of receivers with his passes.

Based on the play of Burns in previous practices and on Saturday, it will be a major surprise if he isn't strongly challenging for the No. 2 spot. Blake Field, last year's number two, threw a touchdown pass after returning to action after missing practice time with a sore shoulder. All of the QBs were live for hits by the defense except for Cox.

"We saw exactly what we expected out of Kodi," Tuberville says. "Nobody could tackle him. He put the pressure on the defense. He did a good job. He threw the ball well for the first time in Jordan-Hare Stadium. It won't be his last."

Auburn's head coach adds, "It was a good day to get a lot of guys out there in the stadium and see what they could do," says Tuberville, who notes the scrimmage lasted about 125 plays. "I thought we kind of lost our focus about halfway through and out leaders stepped up," he says. "That is what you look for, your leadership to step up. They did a good job. It was a little warm."

In other news:

*Offensive guard Leon Hart injured his ankle, but Tuberville did not indicate it is a serious injuries.

*Defensive tackle Mike Blanc, who has been out with an ankle injury, scrimmaged on Saturday.

*Linebacker Bo Harris, who has been limited by a shoulder injury and a concussion, was a standout performer on Saturday.

*Senior DE Quentin Groves won praise from Tuberville for his play and leadership.

*Jason Bosley, who has been limited with an injury, started at center and was backed up by Ryan Pugh.

*Offensive tackle Andrew McCain was held out of action with a concussion, but could practice Sunday night.

*QB Ensminger had "some good passes," Tuberville says.


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