Caudle leads A-Day passing

Published 9:59 pm Saturday, April 18, 2009

Auburn Tiger football fans gathered at Jordan-Hare Stadium for A-Day Saturday with one lingering question, “What is the offense going to look like, and who’s the quarterback going to be?” It’s a simple question, but the answer is yet to be determined.

The offense was vanilla, yet Neil Caudle executed Gus Malzahn’s swift offense to a tune of 161 yards through the air, hitting 11-of-16 attempts and throwing for two scores. The offense claimed the win over the defense 57-31. Caudle took advantage of an opportunity.

“The defense wasn’t at full strength out there today because they have some guys banged up,” Caudle. “It was a good confidence builder for us to go out there and put up some points like that today.

“I think we all played well, we all had some good plays and some big plays. We also had a couple that wasn’t so good. I think overall, we did some really good things today.”

Despite the good day on Pat Dye Field, Caudle knows there is still work to be done to become the signal caller for the Tigers in the fall. However, he hopes what he did Saturday lingers in the coaches minds.

“I want to work on getting more consistent out there and learn to execute better every play. We don’t need to have any miscues at all out there,” Caudle said. “I hope today improved my chances to be able to show what I can do.”

Caudle, a Spain Park High School graduate, directed offense on Saturday for the Tigers when it was his time. The comfort of having his roommate of two and a half years, Andrew McCain, and former Jaguar teammate, Ryan Pugh, protecting him up front made it all the better.

“It’s fun to go out there and play with your friends and succeed with them,” Caudle said. “You work hard with them all the time and work with them in the offseason. It’s fun to go out there and be rewarded for all of your hard work.”

The feeling is mutual with McCain.

“I try to take good care of him. He makes good decisions back there and he’s a good quarterback. We try to give him as much time as we can. It’s a whole lot of fun for us to be playing out there together and enjoying that comradery. I enjoy blocking for him and I’m glad we’re able to give him time to throw the ball down field,” McCain said.

Malzhan spoke of Caudle’s play saying, “He executed today. He threw the ball really well today, of course I always think about the ones we miss.”

Caudle got most of the passing reps on Saturday, but it wasn’t by design…it just worked out that way. The quarterback competition between Caudle and Kodi Burns will remain into the summer and throughout fall camp. As such, it is sure to be a good one and one who can lead the Tigers to success.

“We’re not ready to make a decision on that yet, but we do have some information that we wanted, but I wouldn’t say we’ll decide on that for some time,” Malzhan said.