August 11, 2010 was the first scrimmage of the year for Auburn. As in any scrimmage, there was good and bad. In this scrimmage, the good was ahead by a little.
The overall feel one gets from absorbing the various interviews and statements that came from this first scrimmage was that it wasn't as awkward as expected. Usually in early scrimmages a team is flat, out of sync, and awkward. This is usually compounded when a lot of true freshmen play.
Other than the specter of penalties brought out by Coach Malzhan, this scrimmage appeared to be more like one would expect from scrimmages closer to opening day. The overall feel reflected from comments by the staff was of being pleasantly, but cautiously, optimistic.
The team ran close to 70 plays. Indications are that the defense was able to control the running game well. The offense broke open some big plays in the passing game.
The overall take on the performance was very positive. The staff seemed pleased with progress so far.
There were some penalties that caused concern, especially from Coach Malzhan.
Turnovers were not an issue. (This is good for the first scrimmage.)
Antonio Goodwin had a great scrimmage with a lot of yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Cameron Newton looked good according to several comments by players and coaches.
Shaun Kitchens made a one-handed catch while diving toward the sideline.(Trooperism:”It got the whole offense geeked up and jumping up and down.”)
Kodi Burns had a great scrimmage. He was praised in several comments from both players and coaches.
Jeffrey Whitaker was mentioned positively by Coach Chizik.
Corey Lemonier gained praise from Coach Chizik for the second day in a row.
Head Coach Gene Chizik
“Tonight, for our first scrimmage, there were a lot of good things that happened.”
“We really put together back to back practices that I was proud of.”
“Offensively, we had some really nice explosive plays, mostly in the passing game.”
“For the most part, our young guys got a lot of good reps tonight, which is going to be good for us to evaluate and grade. It is going to be a learning experience.”
Linebacker Craig Stevens
“You never know where the ball’s going to go. Especially with our offense, they like to run you sideline to sideline to get you fatigued. Once that fatigue factor sets in, you have to focus on some of the big play receivers.”
“One guy that really stood out was Demetruce McNeal. He made a lot of big plays today. Ryan Smith made a couple of big plays too.”
Linebacker Josh Bynes
“The talent was there with all the young guys, especially Ryan Smith and Demetruce McNeal. They came in and played well.”
Defensive End Dee Ford
“We have strong quarterbacks and some more depth on defense this year. We’re feeling really good.”
Running Back Onterio McCalebb
“I’m feeling really good; everybody’s pumped for the season.”
“I’m used to the offense making big plays. That’s what we do at practice.”
Wide Receiver Terrell Zachery
“Antonio Goodwin and Shaun Kitchens are really picking up the offense. Shaun is a bigger receiver. He went out there and made some plays.”
Quarterback Cam Newton
“I had an OK performance, but I can always do better.”