Auburn Spring Game 2018: Date, Start Time, TV Schedule, Live Stream and More

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 6, 2018

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 02: Head coach Gus Malzahn of the Auburn Tigers runs out of the tunnel with his team prior to the game against the Auburn Tigers in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C.  Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Auburn Tigers won 10 games and advanced to the SEC Championship a season ago, but those results weren't good enough when compared to the success of fellow SEC teams Alabama and Georgia.

Saturday marks one of the biggest steps of the offseason for the Tigers, as their spring game takes place at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Much of the focus entering the regular season is going to be on quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who could enter the Heisman Trophy race, but his participation Saturday is going to be limited due to recovery from shoulder surgery.

Head coach Gus Malzahn should use Saturday as the next step in evaluating who is going to contribute in 2018 against a difficult slate of opponents, starting with Washington in Week 1.


Auburn Spring Game Information

Date: Saturday, April 7

Time: 4 p.m. ET

TV: SEC Network

Live Stream: Watch ESPN


Stidham Set to Make Brief Appearance

The big news coming out of Auburn Thursday was the organization of the spring game in order to suit Stidham's recovery.

The 21-year-old, who is working his way back from offseason surgery on his non-throwing shoulder, opens the festivities with 7-on-7 drills in order to showcase his abilities to the fans before the traditional scrimmage takes place.

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01:  Jarrett Stidham #8 of the Auburn Tigers looks to pass in the second half against the UCF Knights during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Malzahn and his coaching staff are relying on Stidham to take a step up from his performance a year ago in which he threw for 3,158 yards and 18 touchdowns.

In addition to putting up high numbers, the head coach sees the Baylor transfer as more of a leader on the gridiron for the 2018 season, per Jeff Shearer of AuburnTigers.com.

"His command when he's out there just feels different, which it should. He's a veteran guy. He's like a coach on the field now. Last year, he was still learning the offense, and learning [offensive coordinator] Chip [Lindsey] and Chip was learning him. It just feels different. He's got a very good grip on our offense and what we need to accomplish this summer too."

Stidham's past production makes him one of the preseason favorites for the Heisman Trophy, per OddsShark on Twitter:

OddsShark @OddsShark

Odds to Win the 2018 Heisman Trophy (via @Bodog): Johnathan Taylor (RB Wisconsin) +600 J.K. Dobbins (RB Ohio State) +650 Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama)/Bryce Love (RB Stanford) +700 Jake Fromm (QB Georgia) +1200 Khalil Tate (QB Arizona) +1400 Jarrett Stidham (QB Auburn) +1600

Although we won't see much of Stidham until training camp, it appears he is on track for a full recovery, which means Malik Willis and Joey Gatewood should only earn significant time under center during Saturday's spring game.


Barrett Looking to Impress at New Position

Running back Devan Barrett is going to be one of Stidham's many weapons in the fall, but he might not be a threat out of the backfield.

Barrett is going to spend time at wide receiver Saturday after two players at that position suffered torn ACLs.

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 30: Running back Devan Barrett #5 of the Auburn Tigers runs the ball past defensive back J.T. Gray #12 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 30, 2017 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty
Michael Chang/Getty Images

With heated competition at running back, Barrett could separate himself from the congestion and become an asset out wide.

Malzahn wasn't ready to fully commit to the position change Thursday, when he called the switch temporary, per Tom Green of AL.com:

"I'm not ready to say that (Barrett's future is at receiver) yet. This is just kind of a temporary thing for the last week and a half, and of course A-Day and all that, but he's a guy that we're looking to take that next step. He showed he could protect the football last year as a freshman and did a good job on the perimeter."

What Malzahn isn't afraid to talk about is the unique skill set Barrett brings to the field, as the head coach noted his ability on the perimeter, per SEC Country's Justin Ferguson:

Justin Ferguson @JFergusonAU

Auburn HC Gus Malzahn on Devan Barrett: "He's got a unique skill set. He's dangerous on the perimeter, and he can catch the ball."

Whether or not he makes the permanent switch to receiver, Barrett has an opportunity to show off his versatility Saturday. And even if he stays at running back, he might be able to earn more snaps in passing situations.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com