Offense Productive Without Showing Much

Tony Franklin comments on his offense after the annual spring scrimmage.

Auburn, Ala.—A-Day is a good time for the fans to get their Auburn football fix and it's a good time for young players to try to make a name for themselves. It's not, however, a good time for a first-year offensive coordinator to tip his hand.

Tony Franklin has coached just one game at Auburn, the Tigers' 23-20 victory over Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, but that was after just nine practices and with just basic plays.

On Saturday in Auburn's annual spring scrimmage, a 30-14 victory by the Blue team over the White, Franklin kept it simple, as did defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads.

The offense went with four receivers, two on each side, and one running back for almost the entirety of the scrimmage while the defense was in its base 4-3 look.

"Today was a day that you try to be extremely base," he notes. "You've got a national television audience and you hate to give them every single thing that you're going to do even though they've seen us play (once). We'll have lots of new wrinkles that we don't want to show everybody in the world. The same thing with the defense. (They) just lined up in a base deal.

"Did you play hard?" Franklin continues. "Did you run the right route with the right technique? Did you stay on the guy? Did you compete through the fourth quarter? All of those things. We got a lot of teaching tape today, so we get a lot accomplished out of it."

While quarterbacks Kodi Burns and Chris Todd got some good work in, the running game left much to be desire because of injuries. Ben Tate, Brad Lester and Tristan Davis played sparingly, so the quarterbacks, receivers and defensive backs got most of the work.

Of Burns and Todd, Franklin says, "I thought that they were both good and they were both bad. The things that I liked is that they moved the team and they got the ball in the end zone a few times–not as many as I would have liked. They made mistakes."


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