Tuberville Pleased With A-Day Game

Comments from Auburn's head football coach are featured following Auburn's annual spring game.

Auburn, Ala.--Tommy Tuberville said he was generally pleased with what he saw during Auburn's spring football game on Saturday.

The rain forecast for Saturday stayed away and a crowd estimated at 35,000 fans got to see a generally well-played contest without a large number of obvious mistakes.

"We got out of it what we wanted to," Tuberville said. "I thought it was very good competition if you can tell with this offense, the defense usually starts out pretty strong in terms of moving around and flying around making plays.

"The tempo of this offense makes you real tired real quick. As the game went on, the offense got a little stronger while the defense was sucking wind at some point.

"We tied the hands of the defense a little bit, but we played a lot of man and zone and blitzed. I thought defensively we broke on the ball well. That's the best that I've seen us break on the ball in zone coverage and probably helped us having to play all of that. It was pretty good execution defensively. We had some guys show up with some pretty good licks."

The two quarterbacks battling for a starting job, Kodi Burns and Chris Todd, both had good outings.

"Offensively, it is the best we've caught the football. We did have a couple of drops. I remember the first scrimmage that we had this year, we dropped like six of the first eight passes thrown to us so we are getting better, and that is what is going to have to happen.

"We are going to throw the ball quite a bit next year, but remember today we didn't run the ball much," Tuberville said. "We ran a few times for the first couple of groups. We didn't play our running backs much. We are trying to get them healthy, and we wanted to put the pressure on the quarterbacks.

"I thought the quarterbacks did an admirable job of reading coverages and getting the ball off. Kodi has to learn to get the ball off a little quicker with a little bit more touch. The guy who has helped Kodi more than anybody is Chris Todd with this offense.

"Chris has been helping and working with him in terms of knowing what to know in this offense. You can tell Kodi is much more comfortable in the pocket throwing the football. Kodi's forte in this offense is also going to be running the ball and getting the ball down the field and taking advantage of when people over rush and drop the linebackers the way they were dropping today. Kodi would eat us up running the ball down the field. It is a little bit deceiving of what it looked like. Kodi threw the ball better.

"Chris Todd got better as the game went on, and you could tell his arm is getting a little stronger," Tuberville noted. "He had good touch on the ball to Robert Dunn down in the corner on the fade route. That is what Chris has a little bit over Kodi in terms of being able to throw a strike and throw it hard and throw it with a little touch. It is going to be a little bit of competition there.

"Next Wednesday, we will have a little bit more in terms of the offense run with play action, running the ball and throwing the ball down field. The offensive line was much better today in what we've done in previous practices. We didn't give up as much pressure as quarterbacks had a little bit more time to throw the ball."

There were no live punt returns in the A-Day Game. All punts had to be fair caught if they were fielded. There were no kickoffs. AU's two punters from last year, Ryan Shoemaker and Patrick Tatum, were not consistent with their hang time or distance and were outplayed by walk-on Clinton Durst.

"The kicking game was a little suspect," Tuberville said. "We played everybody and some guys who had never been out in the crowd in this stadium or any stadium this size. It is a little bit intense for an 18-year-old kid go out there and have to do something."

Instead of a cool rainy day as forecast, the weather was sunny and warm. "It was a hot day," Tuberville said. "That is only the third time this spring that we've practiced in the afternoon…the other two were in shorts and helmets. That is the first time we've been in pads, and we kind of hit the wall a little bit being that hot today. It was good. We got something out of it. We have a film to watch and will come back next Wednesday night and have some practice and we will throw some scrimmage in there at the end."

The Tigers are allowed 15 spring practice dates. The A-Day Game was number 14.

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