Spring Games: A-Day at Alabama and Auburn, Strong's Texas debut, more
News, notes and updates from the spring games at Alabama, Auburn, USC, Texas, Washington, Missouri, Arizona State and more.
Spring game Saturday is a tease of our favorite fall tradition. The intensity of the spring games (or controlled scrimmages) varies across the country, but fans still love coming out to spend an April Saturday getting a preview of what's to come in the fall. We take a look around the country to see what how things went -- spoiler: "Players competed, no update on the QB situation, we're just happy to get out of here healthy."
Alabama : The Crimson Tide offense kept things very bland during a scoreless first half. If you tuned in looking for any changes under Lane Kiffin, you mostly left concerned when a few Alabama players, including hard-hitting linebacker Reuben Foster, went to the locker room with injuries.
Also, look who showed up to Auburn's A-Day, not Alabama's A-Day, in Jordan Hare Stadium.
Bama fans at Auburn's spring game. pic.twitter.com/M5HOtCGgCS— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) April 19, 2014
Meanwhile, at the actual Alabama spring game, there was a meeting of the two most powerful men in Alabama.
Saban had good reason to be smiling too. Sure, the Alabama offense had its struggles, but the Crimson Tide picked up commitments from five more recruits on Saturday. And speaking of commitments, we had at least three proposals in Tuscaloosa on Saturday.
Because nothing says I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you more than a football practice with over 70,000 people in attendance. Roll damn nuptials.
Auburn: Before the spring game got underway at Jordan-Hare, Auburn players received their SEC Championship rings.
How did the game itself go? Well, it looks like the Auburn Blue team has a real chance to get back to the national title game, as it racked up 657 yards of offense en route to a 58-3 win over the White team. But we're sure the game was a lot closer than the final score reflected! At least, we hope it was, just for the sake of the 70,645 fans -- the second largest attendance in Auburn spring game history -- that showed up to watch.
Missouri : The 2013 team received some shiny new championship rings, which Gary Pinkel proudly displayed on Twitter. There were more 250 former Missouri football players in attendance, including 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam.
Fans in attendance got to see Sam's sack celebration dance one last time before the NFL Draft next month.
Washington : Mother nature showed up ready to play for Chris Petersen. Adam Jude shares a pic of Husky Stadium just before Washington's spring preview. There was no game for Huskies fans, but we were hoping to see linebacker Shaq Thompson play some running back.
An absolute downpour right now at Husky Stadium, an hour before UW's spring game/preview: pic.twitter.com/wcwg7EB7UE— Adam Jude (@A_Jude) April 19, 2014
Texas : Tyrone Swoopes is leading the first-team offense in what could be an opportunity to jump ahead in Texas' quarterback competition. Malcolm Brown looked strong and ready to be a No. 1 back but Swoopes got off to a rocky start.
So far in the Texas spring scrimmage, Tyrone Swoopes is 1-for-3 for 7 yards with 2 sacks and 1 interception.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) April 19, 2014
Swoopes was able to shake off his poor play in the first half, finishing with 229 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, but overall the performance from the Texas offense wasn't promising. That's to be expected with a new coaching staff in town, and only a few weeks of practices under the belt, but the biggest question marks about Texas in 2014 are on offense. None of them were answered Saturday.
The good news is that the defense performed well, but whether that's a byproduct of sloppy offense, well, I'm sure Charlie Strong is hoping not.
Arkansas State: Earlier this month Arkansas State announced that it was auctioning off a chance for a Red Wolves fan to serve as a coach one of the teams in Arkansas State's spring game this fall. Well, Nick Bhardwaj paid $11,700 for the opportunity, and he got to spend his Saturday on the sideline.
Bhardwaj admitted after the game that he'd never even been to the state of Arkansas, and that he was just "a fan of the game." The result? The Californian who had never been to Arkansas' team won 48-17. So let this be the beginning of a new trend where schools auction off their head coaching positions to fans rather than paying proven coaches to do it.
The Tide, as usual, are dominating everything already
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