April 6, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN — Quarterbacks Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace said they handled a quicker pace in Saturday scrimmage.
Gus Malzahn said, "We had a good one today."
The scrimmage in Jordan-Hare Stadium featured mostly running, Malzahn said, but Frazier and Wallace each managed more than 20 passes each. His assessment?
"When you play quarterback, and you're mixing and matching different personnel, it's really hard to look really good in a scrimmage," he said.
But the coaches wanted different looks, different personnel, and the quarterbacks had to adjust.
"We tried to get our guys in different situations," he said.
No, he said no one "group" stood out. But safety Justin Garrett continued his hot spring at the new, hybrid safety position.
"He made a couple of big hits again. He's setting the tone for the defense," Malzahn said.
Corey Grant and junior college transfer Cameron Artis-Payne got most of the carries at running back. Tre Mason, he of a 1,000 yards last season, didn't scrimmage because of minor injury earlier in the week.
Malzahn's reaction to Grant and Artis-Payne? Coach-like.
"They're getting to understand our blocking schemes better," he said.
Malzahn said receiver Trovon Reed missed the scrimmage because of a family issue. "There wasn't any kind of negative reason," Malzahn said.
It was Auburn's first real scrimmage, but just another day of asking for a quick pace for Malzahn.
Malzahn started that in the first phase of practice.
"What are we waiting for?" Malzahn asked as players swapped green mesh that designated them as members of the punt team. "Let's go, let's go, let's go. We're wasting time."
The first punt went to Chris Davis? Tackling this Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium. You bet.
Then one was launched to Quan Bray, who made a nice return. Then to Robenson Therezie.
The sidelines were filled with high school coaches who are on campus for Auburn's annual coaching clinic, plus lettermen who were encouraged to watch the action.
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