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Phillip Marshall: A-Day thoughts and impressions

April 20, 2014

AUBURN, Ala. – The first team offense could not be stopped. The first team defense could not be moved. The result was a 58-3 romp for the Blue team on Auburn’s A-Day game.

There are lots of ways to set up spring games. For several years, Auburn had a scoring system that allowed the game to simply be between the offense and the defense. Boring. At least we were able to see playmakers doing their things Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

That this Auburn team is going to be very good is a given. I don’t know when I’ve seen an Auburn team with more potential playmakers– and that includes 2004, 2010 and 2013. That doesn’t mean this Auburn team will be better than those teams or even as good. But it means this team has a chance.

A crowd of more than 70,000 for an A-Day game on a rainy day the day before Easter was very impressive. I've seenb smaller Tiger Walk crowds for regular-season games.

Former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville had a unique weekend. Now the head coach at Cincinnati, Tuberville was in town as a dad. His son, Tucker, is a walk-on Auburn quarterback. Tuberville also introduced former Auburn greats Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams on Friday night at their induction into the Tiger Trail.

On Saturday, Tuberville was at Tiger Walk wearing an Auburn cap. When players were signing autographs on the field after the game, he joined Tucker. Fans spied him and he was quickly surrounded by autograph-seekers.

It was all quite heart-warming. I hope that that Tuberville understood again that Auburn people hold him very high regard. And I hope Auburn people remember what he did for their program. Over 10 years, Tuberville averaged 8.5 wins per year. In the middle eight years, he averaged 9.4 wins per year. And, of course, he beat Alabama six consecutive times.

In the disappointment of losing in the BCS Championship Game, it was easy to forget that the 2013 Auburn players were still champions. They received their SEC championship rings at halftime Saturday.

The seniors who arrived in at Auburn in 2010 and stuck it out have two SEC championship rings and a national championship ring. That’s pretty strong.

To my untrained eye, junior college transfer center Xavier Dampeer looked really good Saturday. With senior starter Reese Dismukes sitting out, Dampeer got plenty of snaps.

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said that running back Peyton Barber, who went down with an apparent knee or leg injury on his first carry, wasn’t seriously hurt. That was good to hear. It’s always scary when a player had to be carted off the field.

Corey Grant told me earlier in the spring he’d gotten even faster. I didn’t see how that was possible. Watching him run for 128 yards on five carries Saturday, I have to say it appeared he was right on target.

Football coaches everywhere will tell you that the time between now and the start of the season is crucial. Over the next 3 ½ months, players will be expected to do the things they need to do on their own. There is a new rule that allows coaches to work with players for a limited amount of time each week and without a football.

Auburn players know what it took to put together an unprecedented turnaround last season. There is no indication that they have forgotten those lessons. …

Until next time …


Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for Follow Marshall on Twitter:




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