AUBURN — Gus Malzahn says he tells his offensive players how they stand after every scrimmage.
“Each position we try to evaluate to give them some kind of rank,” Auburn’s offensive coordinator said.
But Malzahn is pausing over one spot this spring. He’s still studying quarterbacks Clint Moseley and Barrett Trotter.
“It’s going to be a little harder for the quarterbacks. They both know the offense so well. And they’re both fairly close going into this scrimmage,” Malzahn said.
The first full-scale scrimmage of the spring was played behind closed doors Saturday, away from the media and most of the public. Auburn didn’t provide statistics. But there were reports of touchdowns being thrown to Emory Blake, Philip Lutzenkirchen and Quindarius Carr, at the very least, according to players. There were two interceptions.
The coaching staff gave Moseley, Trotter and everybody else plenty of opportunities by running 100 to 120 plays in Jordan-Hare Stadium. The coaches wanted the work as they search for 18 new starters.
The offense beat the defense 55-45 in a complicated scoring system that awards points for significant plays. Cam Newton, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, scored none of them. He’s headed to the NFL, and that’s why much of the talk after the scrimmage focused on would-be successors Moseley and Trotter.
“I’d say we’re about the same,” Trotter said.
Watch and hear Clint Moseley and Barrett Trotter in this video we posted Saturday.
Moseley, entering his third year with one game and no passes on his résumé, was upbeat after the scrimmage.
“Today was the first time I really felt I was playing football instead of trying to remember everything,” he said. “Today, I was actually competing. It was a lot of fun. It was different than any mindset that I had.”
Moseley’s breakdown: “I think Barrett and I did a pretty good job. There may have been a few snaps that may have looked pretty bad, and a few balls on the ground, but it’s a little different than it seems. Overall, Barrett and I did well in the scrimmage.”
Trotter, heading into his fourth season, said he didn’t throw a touchdown pass or interception. He’s the veteran of the two players with six games and nine passes to his credit.
“I feel really comfortable with everything we’re doing,” Trotter said. “I don’t really feel like it’s new material for me; it’s just kind of re-learning and getting a foundation back again. It’s not so much learning anymore, it’s just getting the ball where I want it every time.