Tigers Tune Up for Third Scrimmage

The Auburn football Tigers worked out under the lights for more than two hours on Thursday going late for a third consecutive practice session.

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn Tigers put on full pads on Thursday night and worked on down and distance situations in a tune-up for the third major scrimmage of the preseason which is scheduled for Saturday.

Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said Saturday's scrimmage will likely have more of the same.

"We put our guys in situations, game type situations, Coach Chizik has been talking about and it was really good," Malzahn said of the full pads workout under the lights.

The offensive coordinator said he still hasn't selected the number two quarterback behind Chris Todd. Freshman Tyrik Rollison continues to get a lot of work and junior Neil Caudle is in the mix. "When Neil Caudle gets in there he is making the best of his reps," the coach said.

Kodi Burns is mostly working at wide receiver, but is getting some practice time at quarterback along with freshman Clint Moseley.

Defensive coordinator Ted Roof said after Thursday night's practice that scrimmage number two was a mixed bag. "There were a lot of good things that came out of it and some not so good things." Roof said the defense made progress rushing the passer, but needs to improve tackling.

With the linebacker depth an issue, Roof notes the Tigers have to be careful about having too much contact, but at the same time need to develop an aggressive, physical style of play.

The Tigers are scheduled to hit the practice field again on Friday afternoon and then have their third major scrimmage of the preseason on Saturday morning at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

In other news:

*Tight ends coach Jay Boulware says that true freshman Philip Lutzenkirchen is continuing to have a solid preseason. In addition to playing tight end, he is also working as a deep snapper as is another tight end, Bailey Woods. Josh Harris, a walk-on, is the favorite to winning the starting spot as the deep snapper on field goals and punts.

*Dee Ford has been working at the strongside defensive end since ending his experiment at linebacker. The freshman says he isn't sure if he is going to play this season or redshirt.

*Running backs coach Curtis Luper points out that senior Ben Tate has been running well in practice. He says that he would like to see the tailback carry the ball about 20 times per game and would like to see whoever emerges as the top back to have 10-12 carries per contest. Onterio McCalebb and Mario Fannin, who also plays H-back, plus Eric Smith and Dontae Aycock are competing for the No. 2 tailback spot. Luper says he prefers to play two tailbacks per game, but says there will be a third guy ready to play in each game.

*Fannin is continuing to get work as both a punt returner and a kickoff returner.

*Luper says no decision has been made on whether the Tigers will play Aycock at tailback this season or redshirt him. Luper says the former high school quarterback is still a work in progress, but notes that he is more talented than he expected when the Tigers convinced Aycock to de-commit from Georgia Tech and sign with Auburn.

*With a little more than two weeks to go before the opener vs. Louisiana Tech, fifth-year senior Andrew McCain looks like he has a strong hold on the starting offensive right tackle spot. Center Ryan Pugh and guard Byron Isom both note that McCain has followed up a solid spring with a good preseason. McCain has gained 10 pounds since the end of spring and is 6-6, 310.

*Freshman safety Daren Bates continues to get attention for his preseason play. Roof said he has "done some nice things," but adds, "he has just got to really be more consistent."

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