Eight receivers caught passes in Auburn’s 51-14 win over Arkansas St. at Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday night.
The balanced effort included a few standout players — Tony Stevens led the team with four catches for 75 yards and two touchdowns — and individual plays — Kyle Davis’ one-handed grab.
Next week Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee can see different guys step up in what’s emerging as one of the better receiving corps for the program in coach Gus Malzahn’s tenure.
“I don’t know who the starters are going to be,” Lashlee said. “There may not be (any). It may be different guys each week. And that’s fine. They played a pretty good game.”
Lashlee credited the receivers for being an unselfish bunch as the veterans split playing time with first- and second- year freshmen.
“We probably played more wideouts in one game than we ever have,” Lashlee said. “We were rolling units. After two or three series, it was ‘All right, let’s let the young guys go play a series.’ So I think when you look at all those guys who played, I think Tony and Darius Slayton played like 50 to 55 snaps. That was the most.”
Auburn ran 85 plays in the win, but didn’t have a single receiver play more than 60 snaps.
“We had a lot of guys playing 20, 25, 35,” Lashlee said.
While the high turnover keeps guys fresh, it isn’t the main reason for the constant substitutions.
“I think they’re really talented guys, so the best way they can get better is to play the game,” Lashlee said.
While Saturday’s performance wasn’t perfect, it was an encouraging sign for Lashlee considering the offense focused on crisper execution in the passing game throughout the week. Lashlee hopes the offense can carry it over to the team’s SEC opener next week against Texas A&M.
“We can be better,” Lashlee said. “That’s all you’re really chasing, is just that continual improvement week to week.”