The group turned a pair of bubble screens into long touchdowns — a 70-yard reception Quindarius Carr had against the second-team defense and Terrell Zachery’s 44-yarder against the first-team defense.
Zachery, a former Wadley standout, turned in the more impressive play, employing a spin move to break through a trio of tacklers 10 yards downfield before sprinting 25 more yards and falling forward into the end zone.
Carr finished with a game-high 152 receiving yards on four receptions. Zachery finished with two catches for 53 yards.
Auburn coach Gene Chizik said the group’s ability to transfer that type of performance into the regular season could determine how well the offense plays this year.
“I was fairly pleased. We need our receivers to get yards after the catch,” Chizik said. “In the passing game, we’ll take our shots when we can take our shots, but a lot of our passing game is a controlled passing game. In order for us to get explosive plays a lot of our passing offense will be after the catch.”
Carr’s big-time performance warranted Offensive MVP honors. He is hoping for a breakout campaign during his junior season after recording just eight receptions in his first two years. He did, however, haul in a long touchdown pass during the Outback Bowl last season.
Carr wasn’t the only unlikely source to turn in a big receiving day for the Tigers’ offense.
Walk-on Jay Wisner recorded five catches for 75 yards. Another walk-on, Nathan Taylor, was on the receiving end of a 50-yard touchdown pass from Barrett Trotter.
In all, 17 different players caught passes on Saturday.
While the receivers looked explosive, the defense sometimes looked inept in trying to guard against the short passing game.
“From the defensive perspective, we had to see how they were approaching it all and how they missed some of those tackles, but it’s great to see wideouts make them miss,” Chizik said.
Part of the problem comes from Auburn missing several key components of its secondary.
Three potential starters at safety — Zac Etheridge, Aairon Savage and Daren Bates — sat out, as did cornerback Neiko Thorpe.
All four players are expected to be fully healthy by the start of preseason camp.