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Auburn offense shines in annual spring game

Photo by Todd J. Van Emst

Photo by Todd J. Van Emst

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Auburn's quarterbacks shined almost as bright at the sunshine on a warm spring day at Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday as they combined to pass for 488 yards and three touchdowns in the A-Day football game.

But coaches say nobody took the lead in the race to be the starting signal caller when the Tigers open the season Sept. 4 at home against Arkansas State.

"This competition is going to carry over into fall practice," head coach Gene Chizik said. "We want to look at everyday and every play (of spring practice)," Chizik said. "We want to name a starting quarterback as soon as we can."

The four candidates to be starting quarterback each made a statement on their behalf Saturday.

-- Barrett Trotter completed 7-of-9 passes for 154 yards, including touchdown passes of 50 and 44 yards.

-- Neil Caudle was 17-of-21 for 199 yards and had a 70-yard touchdown pass to receiver Quindarius Carr.

-- Cameron Newton was 3-of-8 for 80 yards.

-- Clint Moseley was 10-of-12 for 55 yards.

The Blue team won the game 21-17, but the score didn't mean much. Most players played on both teams. Attendance on a beautiful spring day at Jordan-Hare stadium was 63,217.

Chizik said he was impressed with the play of Auburn's receivers who often turned short passes into long gains. One of those receivers, Carr, was named the game's most valuable offensive player.

"What our offense is all about is making big plays," Chizik said.

Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said he feels good about all four candidates for the starting quarterback job.

"All four are quality quarterbacks and all can perform. They are four quality people," Malzahn said.

Trotter was the first quarterback to bring the crowd to its feet as he hit Nathan Taylor for a 50-yard touchdown pass down the left side with 4:22 to play in the 1st quarter. He followed that up with a 44-yard scoring pass to Terrell Zachery with 8:44 to play in the 1st half.

"It was a lot of fun out there today," Trotter said.

At times it looked like Trotter could have broken loose for long runs, but the rules prevented contact with quarterbacks.

Caudle was behind scrimmage for the longest play of the day, the 70-yard touchdown pass to Carr on the first play after Trotters' scoring toss to Zachery.

"We just have to go back and keep working, keep trying to earn the job," Caudle said.

He said he was glad all the quarterbacks made some big plays.

"We threw the ball down field really well," Caudle said.

Not all the attention was on the quarterbacks. Wes Byrum kicked a 50-yard field goal and was named the special teams player of the game.

Defensive end Antoine Carter was the defensive MVP. Carter said he thinks Auburn will get better.

"We can improve all around still. We haven't arrived yet and we want to keep working every day," Carter said.