AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn has come out of the Auburn spring game with a better feel for the quarterback position. He said he thought all four quarterbacks played well in the Orange Team’s 28-10 victory.
For the first time in two years, the Tigers will have a new quarterback. No longer with Jarrett Stidham running the show, the quarterback position will be a key spot this fall for the Tigers.
Junior Malik Willis got the start for the Blue team and dropped a gorgeous 41-yard pass in between multiple defenders to receiver Matthew Hill for the first score of the day.
Pinson Valley product Bo Nix saw plenty of action in Saturday’s spring game. The early enrollee tossed an 11-yard touchdown pass for the Orange team. On the play, Nix broke out of the pocket and rolled towards the sideline before hitting Eli Stove back across the field, who was running in the end zone. He tossed his second touchdown in the second quarter when he hooked up with Hill for a 49-yard connection to put the Orange team ahead 28-10.
Junior Joey Gatewood had two touchdown passes, an 11-yarder and a 29-yarder that both went to Williams. He threw for 123 yards, second to only Nix’s 155 for the Orange team on the day.
Cord Sandberg also saw action. He was a perfect 4-for-4 for the Blue team and 4-for-5 for the Orange team.
“I think all four quarterbacks made some explosive plays. I thought that was good. We had a couple of touchdowns to go with it. Overall, that was practice 15. I feel really good about what we’ve accomplished during that time. We went into this game with a plan for the quarterbacks to play like it was. All of them did some good things," said Malzahn. "What we’ll do next week is we’ll be able to assess the 15 days of practice as a whole and we’ll look at it from there and hopefully we’ll get some kind of order with our quarterbacks after spring.”
Malzahn said he will watch the film and hope to have a better understanding of an order from there.
A spot that won’t have much to worry about – wide receiver. Seth Williams was an absolute monster Saturday as he took home offensive MVP. In the first half alone, the ball magnet had four catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns. He would finish with those stats.
“It was really good seeing Seth Williams make some plays. And Matthew Hill -- we had really high expectations for him when we recruited him, so it was really good to see him make some plays in front of the crowd today," said Malzahn. "He’s also had a really good spring. He’s a guy who has the chance to make big plays. He made a great catch going over his shoulder on that first one and then on the tunnel screen, you can see the acceleration he has.”
Plenty of tailbacks got the ball for Auburn Saturday. Split between quarterbacks and running backs, over 10 different ball carriers had rushes for the Tigers.
The first team defense took the field for the Orange team and was solid throughout. Aside from Willis’ incredible touchdown pass in the first quarter, an Anders Carlson field goal resulted in the other three points for the Blue squad.
This wraps up the spring for the Tigers. They open the 2019 season against the Oregon Ducks Aug. 31 in Dallas.