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April 14, 2012

Facts and figures: An early blast from the A-Day scrimmage

Photo by Todd Van Emst

The blog has an awful lot of work to do to fill the paper with stories before the day’s out, so I’m going to keep the initial post A-Day post short.

Auburn’s offense held off the defense 36-27 in a pretty evenly-contested contest from start to finish. The Tigers had some big plays on both sides of the ball, put together two solid scoring drives and mostly ran the ball well against what appeared to be the second-team defense.

On the other hand, Auburn fans got their first look at Brian VanGorder’s attacking defensive line, which produced five “sacks” in 30 dropbacks (Auburn’s quarterbacks had two scrambles). In the A-Day scrimmage, the line isn’t allowed to take the quarterback to the ground, but they were under pressure all day.

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  • Gene Chizik said in his postgame press conference to not put any stock in the stats, but I’m going to post them anyway. Kiehl Frazier, who worked only in the first half, finished 7-of-9 for 92 yards, and he had three carries for 21 yards, although he lost 10 rushing yards on sacks. For the most part, Frazier looked poised and comfortable in the pocket.
  • When he got reps, Clint Moseley was effective throwing the ball, completing 5-of-6 passes for 62 yards and directing a touchdown drive.
  • Zeke Pike is a little bit of a gunslinger — meaning he likes to force the ball in tight windows with his arm strength — and was 4-8 for 42 yards.
  • Emory Blake, predictably, was Auburn’s leading receiver with three catches with 51 yards, including a nice back-shoulder throw down the sideline.
  • Trovon Reed had three catches for 43 yards, and he did some nice work downfield on crossing routes.
  • Mike Blakely had five carries for 65 yards and a touchdown, but Gene Chizik cautioned writers afterwards by saying that Blakely has had a mostly inconsistent spring.
  • Corey Grant received a lot of short-yardage work and picked up 23 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.
  • Frazier led the offense’s nicest drive, an 11-play, 80-yard effort that took 7:23 off the clock in the first half and ended with Grant’s touchdown.
  • Steven Clark averaged 39.7 yards-per-punt, but two efforts were tries to pin the ball inside the 20. He got touchbacks on both.
  • Ryan Smith led Auburn with seven tackles.
  • For the defensive ends, LaDarius Owens had four tackles and two sacks working mostly against the second-team line. Dee Ford had four tackles, one sack and two tackles-for-loss.
  • Auburn did not turn the ball over.
  • On punts, Quan Bray was the first player back to take returns, and both he and Onterio McCalebb were the first two players out to take the opening kick.
  • Auburn ran the clock during the second half, which led to the scrimmage finishing very quickly. Mostly walk-ons played i the second half.

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