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A day for defense

AUBURN – There was no argument Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. In the second full-scale scrimmage of spring practice, the defense had the upper hand.

Auburn coach Gene Chizik talks to players after Saturday scrimmage/Todd Van Emst photo

“The defense took over,” wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor said.

Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn agreed, and he made it clear he didn’t like it.

“Just execution,” Malzahn said. “We have a long way to go. That’s just the bottom line. We have to get better the last five practices. We have to find a way to get a good foundation going into the summer.”

Said junior quarterback Barrett Trotter: “The defense got the best of us today.”

Head coach Gene Chizik didn’t declare the defense the victor, but he said he saw some good signs on that side of the ball.

“I thought the defense made some strides today,” Chizik said. “I think they made some progress. I think we are very young, but there are some guys really trying to play hard and play with a lot of energy.”

The offense had its moments. DeAngelo Benton caught two long touchdown passes. Observers said sophomore quarterback Clint Moseley had a good day.

Defensive coordinator Ted Roof was didn’t exactly claim victory. He saw some things he liked. And he saw some things he didn’t like.

“At times it was good and at times it wasn’t so good,” Roof said. “We made some big plays, but we gave up some big plays. We have to keep working to eliminate those explosive plays against us. We just have to keep pounding the rock and becoming a more physical team every day, emphasizing the run and taking the ball away.”

Chizik said almost everything about his third Auburn football team is a work in progress going into the final week of spring practice.

“I think our tackling on defense needs to get better,” Chizik said. “No question about it. We are getting guys in the right spots, but our angles of approach aren’t great right now. We are letting some balls back across the field on us. Our offense has done a great job with their vision and actually getting the ball back across the field.

“Offensively, I’d like to see us get more explosive plays and get better running the football. There weren’t as many explosive plays as there were last scrimmage.”

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