A-Day 2013 (watch the entire game here) was one of the busiest, craziest, and most fun days of my life. It started early. @BabyBlogle wanted to partake in the “jump jump” at FanFest over at the football practice fields. I wanted to partake in walking on that grass and pretending like I was Cam Newton running a 32 belly option on two, on two. We both got what we wanted.
From there we walked all over campus, stopping by tailgates, and everything else you can do on a gameday. It was weird not having our own tailgate, but A-Day is about doing it all. And we did.
After getting some food, it was time to go in. Due to a new ticket scanning system, and way more people than Auburn had ever expected, the lines were ridiculous. Therefore, I missed the first few plays. I can’t remember the last time that’s happened. Probably never. But it was just A-Day.
I was walking up the ramp when the first touchdown was scored. “We already scored?” I said. Turns out it was a defensive score because of a bad snap, but who cares? We need points. Did you see last year?
The game was as vanilla as expected. It was good to see that offense again for the most part, but here are a few overall observations:
- I have all along believed that Kiehl Frazier would end up being the starting quarterback by the time August 31st rolled around. Right now, I have no clue. That’s not just due to his play, but there really was no separation between him and Jonathan Wallace. I’m beginning to think that JUCO transfer Nick Marshall is going to come in this fall with a real shot to take it. I don’t care who it is as long as they can win games.
- Where was Corey Grant? If the beat writers have already reported on it, forgive me. I have spent about 95% of my time over the last two days at Toomer’s Corner, and have read almost nothing. I’m guessing he was hurt in some way. If Tre Mason, who hasn’t gone full speed for a while was playing, Grant must have had something more serious.
- Cameron Artis-Payne might have already staked his claim to 1A on the depth chart. He was the offensive MVP, scored a touchdown, rushed for 100+ yards, and wore two different color jerseys in one game. It’s about time we start figuring out what we’re going to call him. “Cam” might be out. I like “Cam Payne” as in “Heisman Cam-Payne.” Someone on Twitter suggested “CAP” as in we just busted a CAP on <insert opponent here>. We have a little time, but we need to decide before the world gets wind of him. We can’t look unprepared.
- If there is one thing about this offense that irks me, it’s that bubble screen, or really almost any screen. Unless we have Kodi Burns blocking out there, it doesn’t work. It didn’t work in all of 2011. It’s the reason Dmitri Reese was lit up by Jonathan Mincy. We have to get that fixed. It is a huge momentum killing play to think you’ve done well by completing a pass only to lose 5 yards or lose a head on a receiver who’s hung up.
- Speaking of Mincy’s hit. I know it looked bad, and I know it got him ejected, but the replay (gif below from @TheAuburner) shows that it wasn’t that bad. There was no contact above the shoulders. I think Reese just got popped and it knocked him a little silly. It almost looks like whatever injury it was came from how he hit the ground. By the way, I don’t know if Mincy came back in, but is Auburn the first team in the history of football to have a player ejected from a Spring game?
- Shoutout (yeah, I said shoutout) to the Auburn faithful for almost filling the stadium and being the largest Spring game crowd in the nation and largest in Auburn ever. Obviously it had everything to do with the final Toomer’s rolling, but to the players you know it made an impact. That’s a quick and easy way to forget about last year when you see almost a full stadium for a practice game. It was and will be huge for the fall.
I will do more of a write-up for the final Toomer’s rolling in the next day or so. It’s too much to just lump in with the game. I have tons of pictures and videos that I need to go through, as well as a cool little surprise that should be ready pretty soon. You’ll like it.
All in all, it was just A-Day. Like I said, I was glad to see the offense. I was glad to see the defense hit people. I was glad to see the defense hit people hard. It really is a new day. You could tell it from the fans, to the players, to everything. Last year is gone. This a chance to shut the world up again, and get back to where Auburn normally stands in college football. Bus.