Roof "Mixing and Matching" In Scrimmage

Auburn's defensive coordinator comments on the Tigers' following preseason scrimmage two.

Auburn, Ala.--While the general consensus of the players in Auburn's second preseason football scrimmage was the offense held the upper hand, defensive coordinator Ted Roof said on Saturday night there were some positives on his side of the football, too.

"There were some good things and there were some not so good things," the coach noted.

"I keep seeing Bates show up and throw his body around," Roof said of Daren Bates, the true freshman safety. "That was good to see."

Roof, who also coaches linebackers, put true freshman Jonathan Evans in the starting lineup on the weakside while Eltoro Freeman continues to recover from a hamstring problem and a hand injury. Freeman could be back at practice when the Tigers return to the practice field on Tuesday after taking Sunday off for Fan Day and Monday is an off-day as fall semester classes begin.

Craig Stevens started on the strongside and Josh Bynes was in the middle for Saturday's scrimmage.

The coordinator said the Tigers tried to be physical in the scrimmage, but noted the defense spent a lot of time playing with backups "because we cannot afford any more injuries."

Roof added, "There was a lot of mixing and matching going on a lot of positions..trying to evaluate. You know, the guy getting reps with the second or third team, that is not the same as getting reps with the first team. You want to mix and match and see how guys respond to playing with different units."

Senior cornerback Walt McFadden said the defense had some good plays, but the offense had more. "The defense is still going to have to do a lot of work. The offense stepped their game up a lot. We just have to keep pushing and getting ready for the first game. A lot of things are coming together right now, especially as a whole team. We're all supportive of each other and trying to become a better team than we were last year."

Commenting on the offense, McFadden said, "The whole offense stepped up today. Everyone had a firm belief in their quarterback and he led the offense. (Chris Todd) really attacked the defense and showed that he's the starting quarterback. They made some big plays out there. They're becoming a great offense."

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