In scrimmage number two on Friday night, the newcomer from Fort Smith, Ark., had some good plays, but didn't look ready for prime-time action. With opening night against Kansas State just two weeks away, offensive coordinator Al Borges threw the whole playbook at Burns and put the rookie in pressure situations in scrimmage two.
"His head was spinning out there-really spinning," Borges says. "If we had to play him in a game we would never ask him to do as much as we asked him to do in the scrimmage, but we had to find out how he handled the situation."
Borges heaped high praise on the play of first stringer Brandon Cox, who the offensive coordinator says did almost everything right in extensive playing time on Friday after being in for only three series in scrimmage one.
Borges, who is also the quarterback coach, notes that junior Blake Field had a solid scrimmage, although it wasn't as good as the rest of his week of practice, which Borges says may be the best one Field has had at Auburn.
"He has definitely made some headway and I think the team has gained some confidence in him because he is performing pretty well," Borges adds.
With Neil Caudle out for approximately a month with a shoulder separation suffered in scrimmage one, another redshirt freshman quarterback, Steven Ensminger, got more of an opportunity to show what he could do in scrimmage two.
"We kind of did with him what we did with Kodi last time and we threw the ball a bunch, almost every play," he says. "He had some really nice plays. He took us down on a good drive and threw for a touchdown. He had a couple of not so nice plays. He is making progress and getting better. He is another guy that the whole game isn't there yet. With some patience I think Steven is going to be a good quarterback."
Kodi Burns throws a pass in Saturday's practice.
The defense held the upper hand in scrimmage one. In scrimmage two, the offense was more effective and the assessment from the coaching staff is that the offense pulled even with the defense on Friday night. One of the reasons for the improvement was the play of the guys up front doing the block.
"The first offensive line did a lot better," Borges says. "We ran the ball more and created some situations to give them a better rhythm. The second offensive line wasn't bad, either, although they weren't great. I was happy with our ability to target the defensive front and know who to block. I was happy with our aggressiveness, too, but our technique still has a way to go."