Roc Thomas is on the move in Auburn's A-Day Game
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala -- Roc Thomas made the most of his seven carries in Saturday's Auburn A-Day Game, considering he rushed for 69 yards and scored a touchdown.
"When we go out in front of a lot of people, any time we practice, I think it's a good opportunity to show what you've got," Thomas said. "I think I did pretty well."
Somebody has to replace 1,600-yard rusher Cameron Artis-Payne this season, and the leading contenders are Thomas, Peyton Barber and Jovon Robinson.
Barber had nine carries for 46 yards and Robinson had six carries for 19 more in the game in front of 62,000 fans in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
"It's been good. We've been pushing each other every day and I think we're getting good results out of it," Thomas said.
The two offenses combined for four first-half touchdowns before reserves got their chance in a second half that was played in near record time. There were only 11 offensive plays in the fourth quarter.
But before that there was Thomas scoring on a 36-yard run.
"That's the plays he's been making all in practice," said quarterback Jeremy Johnson. "Not just him, all three backs. It's sure going to be fun watching him and the rest of the backs run the ball."
Thomas rushed for 214 yards last season. Barber had 54. Robinson is a top-flight junior college transfer.
Coach Gus Malzahn said he liked the play of his running backs.
"I know Coach (Tim) Horton's been working real hard about those guys just making one cut and getting their pads low and get some extra yards. I think they've improved throughout the spring in that area," Malzahn said.
Then it was time to assess the spring.
"Our two coordinators will give an evaluation of where we're at overall," Malzahn said. "We'll meet individually with each guy and (talk about) some of the things we need to improve on. But big-picture that we set. I really think we accomplished that with our attitude, our effort, our body language and just the standard, getting the standard all the same."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine