Record A-Day crowd witnesses return of Malzahn's offense to Auburn (Stats)

A record 83, 401 fans attended Auburn's A-Day game Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. (Auburn Tigers Facebook Photo)

By Charles

AUBURN -- There were the touchdowns, sure. Yes, there was the juniorcollege running back who rushed for more than 100 yards. But the thingthat opened new coach Gus Malzahn's eyes Saturday was the crowd forSaturday's A-Day Game.{}A spring record 83,401 fans watched the game that featured Malzahn'sfast-paced offense and a renewed appreciation for the Tigers after adifficult 2012 season.

Were the Tigers energized? There were four touchdowns in the firstquarter -- or double the amount in the entire 2012 game -- as theOrange beat the Blue 35-14. That didn't matter. This did: NewcomerCameron Artis-Payne rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown, mostly inthe first half when the first and second-teams played, less so when hewatched a second half played at a break-neck speed when the subs tookover and when they didn't stop the clock.{}Malzahn took note of the touchdowns and the final rolling of the oaksat Toomer's Corner. And of the unexpected large turnout.{}"It's kind of overwhelming. Hat's off to our fans," Malzahn said. "Iknow that meant unbelievable amounts to our players and coaches.That's what really stood out to me.{}The crowd was nice. The first half was important, too.

"We wanted to use this thing as still an evaluation, it wasn't justwindow dressing to make it nice for a spring game," Malzahn said. "Wehad 80 plays in the first half and tried to go fast and use our pace.We slowed it down the second half on purpose. We had seen what wewanted."{}Quarterbacks Jonathan Wallace and Kiehl Frazier played for both teams.Wallace had the big plays and completed 18-of-26 passes for 191 yardsand two touchdowns. Frazier hit 10-of-16 passes for 125 yards one TD.{}Artis-Payne had 18 carries on the way to his 117 yards.{}"He made some really good runs. He's a big downhill back. He's gotten better," Malzahn said.{}Tre Mason, a 1,000-yard rusher last season, was limited to 11 carries and 60 yards after dealing with an injury the last two weeks. Each scored a touchdown.{}"That was really the first live work since he got injured. He wasn't 100 percent, but he got in there and played hard and did some good things," Malzahn said.{}Corey Grant, who had won praise this spring, didn't play because of a fever.{}For all the offense, it was the defense that scored first when safetyJustin Garrett scooped up a wayward shotgun snapped and scored on a29-yard run. {}The offense took over for the rest of the half.Artis-Payne scored on a 27-yard run, Wallace hit Brandon Fulse with a17-yard touchdown after a great pump fake, Frazier followed with a9-yard touchdown pass to Trovon Reed, then Frazier ran it in from 7yards out. Wallace hit Dimitri Reese with a 28-yard touchdown pass.Mason finished it off with a 4-yard run. All in the first half.{}It was enough... for Saturday.{}Auburn practices again Tuesday and Wednesday.{}"I think it's very important, especially for us to grade the scrimmage and come back and try to get corrections in the last two practices so they'll have a good foundation going into the summer," Malzahn said.

Read:{} Quotes from Gus Malzahn following Auburn A-Day

Stat Leaders

Rushing Cameron Artis-Payne - 18 attempts, 117 yds. Patrick Lymon - 16 attempts, 41 yds. Kiehl Frazier - 6 attempts, 24 yds., 17 loss, Net = 7yds. {} Passing Jonathan Wallace - 18-26-1, 191 yds. 2 TD Kiehl Frazier - 10-16-0, 125 yds. 1 TD {} Receiving Ricardo Louis - 8 recptions, 66 yds. {} All Purpose Cameron Arits-Payne - 117 rushing yds., 47 receiving yds., 164 total yards Ricardo Louis - 14 rushing yds., 66 receiving yds., 80 total yards {} Defense Joshua Holsey - 4 Solo, 4 Asst., 8 Total Gage Batten - 1 Solo, 1 Asst., 2 Total Craig Sanders - 1 Solo, 1 Asst., 2 Total Harris Gaston - 3 Solo, 1 Asst., 4 Total

Click here for complete stats from Auburn's A-Day game