Auburn’s Defense Dominates 1st Scrimmage
AUBURN, Ala. — The defense won Auburn’s first scrimmage of the preseason Monday, and coach Gus Malzahn said it wasn’t even close.
“The defense completely dominated the scrimmage,” Malzahn said of the 90-play practice in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Malzahn said it was the most dominant performance by a defense “since I’ve been a head coach.” The offense didn’t have a touchdown.
“It was real football today. The defense did a good job,” Malzahn said.
“The defense had three turnovers, so they flat got after the offense. It was a little more run-oriented. The first one usually is, run the ball, stop the run.”
It was the team’s first practice in front of the new, giant video board, and even Malzahn said “it definitely caught my attention. I want to get our players used to it. It’s a factor, a big factor.”
“For a first scrimmage, you can’t beat how physical we were,” said defensive back Jonathan Jones.
Malzahn said the scrimmage was mostly devoted to the run with a few live plays for the special teams.
Malzahn said Auburn defensive lineman Carl Lawson was “about unblockable” in the scrimmage.
“He’s been unblockable all fall camp,” said quarterback Jeremy Johnson.
Lawson is in fine form after missing last season because of knee surgery. Malzahn said Lawson looks “better than before.”
Jones said the entire defensive line was impressive Monday.
“The whole front, honestly, will help us this year. The whole front dominated today.”
Overall, Malzahn said the defense has “done some good things up to this point, but like I said, until you put the football down, that’s when everything becomes very clear.”
A few other quick notes from the scrimmage:
Malzahn said Johnson “didn’t throw it much.” And, “we didn’t have him running the ball.”
Auburn will scrimmage again Saturday.
“We have some very good offensive players, and we expect them to rebound,” Malzahn said.
• Malzahn said receiver Ricardo Louis: “He’s off to a great start. He’s in a good spot.”
Auburn’s Gus Malzahn on the Monday scrimmage: “It was a real football today. The defense did a good job.”
• Johnson said backup quarterback Sean White has “an amazing arm. He’s one of my best friends on the team. We all feel good about Sean.”
• As usual, the freshmen got a lot of scrimmages in the first scrimmage of the fall.
“We gave them a lot of reps,” Malzahn said. “We gave them a lot of reps on special teams, too, but that was by design, so we could properly evaluate them. Just from a big-picture standpoint, watching the scrimmage, there were some guys that you could say, ‘OK, yeah. They’ve got a real chance.”