BY RYAN BLACK | firstname.lastname@example.org
AUBURN, Ala. — For a coach who preaches his commitment to an up-tempo pace, Gus Malzahn has done a good job playing keep away when it comes to Auburn’s quarterback battle.
But one thing was different about his post-scrimmage press conference on Saturday: He finally mentioned a quarterback by name. Of course, it was none other than walk-on signal-caller Tucker Tuberville, the only quarterback who went “live” on Saturday.
With the four scholarship quarterbacks vying for the starting job — Kiehl Frazier, Nick Marshall, Jonathan Wallace and Jeremy Johnson — still in the running, Malzahn hopes to start paring it down soon.
“Our goal after this scrimmage was to narrow things down at all positions but specifically the quarterback position,” he said. “Hopefully, after we watch film, we’ll have a chance to do that somewhat.”
Then again, they might not.
“Me and (offensive coordinator) Coach (Rhett) Lashlee, after we watch film and evaluate this scrimmage, we’ll get together and our plan was to narrow it down somewhat,” he said. “So I’d like to think we’re going to be able to do that. With that being said there is a possibility that we won’t.”
Malzahn was similarly evasive when asked which quarterback took the first snap on Saturday.
“They all got reps again. Whoever was the first guy out there that doesn’t say anything about first, second, third or fourth,” he said. “Coach Lashlee had a plan for each one of them to have them in those situations. I believe we got all those situations taken care of.”
The specific situations didn’t just involve down-and-distance, Malzahn said. The Tigers also ran what he called the “foundation plays” in their playbook. As a whole, however, Malzahn said the quarterbacks’ play didn’t look much different than Wednesday’s scrimmage.
“When you’ve got four guys playing, there’s going to be good and there’s going to be bad,” he said. “It was similar. “