A-Day Preview: What to look for on Saturday
Will Frazier distance himself in the quarterback race?
The reviews for Frazier this spring have been nothing but positive. He’s seemed to have taken a giant leap forward in both his play and mindset, and saturday will be his first chance to impress, in a – somewhat – authentic game setting. I’ll be interested in what kind of plays we’ll see from the quarterbacks, keeping in mind that we won’t see the whole playbook, they will be different to what we’ve seen under Malzahn.
Loeffler may take a conservative approach, throwing out some short runs and passes, or he may show some deep looks. Frazier seems to be the overwhelming favourite for the starting job, and this will be a chance for him to take a firm grip on the steering wheel.
How much defensive improvement will there be?
We all want to see the typical hard-nosed, gritty Auburn defence return as soon as possible, but like I wrote last month, expectations should be dimmed. The general feel around spring practice, is that whilst progress has been made, there is still a lot of inconsistencies. Van Gorder will make the unit better, but he’s not a miracle worker. This spring has been used to get the players more familiar with the language and play-calling of BVG’s system, so fall practice might be a better measuring stick for improvement.
How will the backfield be controlled?
We have a stable of decent running backs, and each one of them will be eager to impress Coach Luper. We have three backs that have the bodies to handle a broad number of carries (Mason, Blakely, Grant), but one that doesn’t (McCalebb). McCalebb’s weapon has been his pure speed, and I’ll be interested in seeing how Loeffler handles McCalebb not only in this game, but in the season as well.
Can the offensive line hold their blocks?
Let’s face it, last years line was poor. They struggled to hold consistent blocks, and were a big reason why Clint and Barrett were frequently seen bolting out of the pocket. If we are going to have a successful offence this year, the offensive line must improve. But with several new faces on the line, how much will they improve? I’ll be watching closely on Saturday.
I’ll be returning Saturday evening when the game wraps up, and will write out some analytical notes from the game for your pleasure, and for those who missed the
scrimmage game. ‘Till then, cheerio.