News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Auburn QB Cox shines in spring workouts

From staff reports

AUBURN — Brandon Cox threw for 138 yards on 13-of-23 passing Saturday as Auburn’s football team went through its first full-speed scrimmage of the spring at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

“Brandon looked a lot better doing than he did at the end of the year as far as running around and getting out of trouble,” Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville told reporters after the 112-play workout.

The scrimmage pitted the first and second team offenses against their defensive counterparts. The offenses started from a variety of field locations, including from their own 5-yard line.

The scrimmage marked Auburn’s fifth practice of the spring.

Auburn will take Monday off before resuming spring practice Tuesday at 9:15 a.m. The Tigers’ second full-scale scrimmage is slated for Saturday.

“I thought the effort was good but we have a lot of work to do,” Tuberville said. “I had to remind myself that a lot of these guys were out in Jordan-Hare Stadium for the first time and they were just trying to figure out what they were doing and what they need to do to make this team. It was a good start. We have a lot of inexperience but we had too many mistakes today.”

Cox threw a scoring pass to Rodgeriqus Smith, and redshirt freshmen Neil Caudle hooked up with Tim Hawthorne for a 38-yard touchdown throw.

Junior Blake Field completed 4 of his 10 attempts for 36 yards, while redshirt freshman Steven Ensminger connected on 3 of 7 passes for 30 yards. Caudle’s scoring strike was his only completion of the day.

Junior Brad Lester was Auburn’s leading rusher, totaling 80 yards on 18 carries. Redshirt freshman Mario Fannin had 56 yards rushing on 11 attempts, while sophomore Ben Tate added 31 yards on 13 rushes.

Smith finished as Auburn’s leading receiver, hauling in four passes for 71 yards, including catches of 28 and 24 yards. Montez Billings added three catches for 23 yards, while Hawthorne, Tate and senior tight end Cole Bennett had two catches each.

On defense, sophomore Walter McFadden returned an interception 58 yards for a touchdown. Auburn junior Chris Evans stood out at linebacker with 11 tackles. Sophomore Patrick Trahan added 10, and redshirt freshman Craig Stevens added nine, including three for lost yardage.

“We didn’t allow the defense to do a whole lot today,” said Tuberville. “Offensively we did a little bit more than what the defense did.

“Next week, it will be a different story. We will turn the defense loose a little more next week.”

Tuberville praised the play of Evans following the scrimmage.

“The big thing with Chris is he is playing with authority inside. Chris is not a big guy. To play middle linebacker you have to play with a different tempo. He is starting to learn what to do and understand.

“I thought he stepped up and there were some other guys who also stepped up and there were some good licks.

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