April 3, 2008

Franklin breaks down the offense

Kodi Burns was certainly the star of Wednesday's final practice of the spring but there was plenty more to be pleased with after offensive coordinator Tony Franklin reviewed the video of the 98-play scrimmage.

Franklin's offense racked up 741 total yards, including 533 through the air, to average 7.6 yards per play. The offense produced five plays of 40 or more yards including a 69-yard TD run by Tristan Davis and a 63-yard pass from Chris Todd to Rod Smith.

"Overall, it was good and the best part was we didn't get anybody hurt," said Franklin.

Franklin used more of his offense than in the A-Day game and had the luxury of a healthier backfield that included Davis, Ben Tate and Brad Lester. Tate and Lester combined for 14 carries and both had TD runs.

"You can tell the difference when you got those guys in the game making plays," said Franklin. "That makes us a whole lot better football team and offense."

Perhaps the biggest plus for the offense Wednesday night was the play of the receiver position. Many of AU's long pass plays involved its receivers picking up yards after contact.

"The receivers made plays, which is what we've been looking for," said Franklin.

Franklin has been most pleased with the development of James Swinton this spring. A senior, Swinton has been a seldom-used backup the past few years but should have a lot more opportunities in Franklin's spread offense.

In fact, Franklin now considers Swinton a co-starter along with senior Rod Smith at one of the outside receiver positions.

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