TUSCALOOSA — In a season that saw three different players make their way through the revolving door of Auburn’s quarterback position, Saturday’s 49-0 mismatch with Alabama showed they still haven’t found an answer.
Freshman Jonathan Wallace made the start and hit a few big passes on third down, but after leading the Tigers to zero points and just 99 yards of offense by halftime, he was briefly yanked in favor of sophomore Kiehl Frazier, who had similar bad luck in the third quarter.
Wallace returned and finished out the game 5 of 14 for 71 yards and two interceptions, one of which was tossed deep into double coverage in the third quarter, squashing any chance the Tigers had to mount a scoring drive. Frazier finished the game 0 of 1.
Coach Gene Chizik said the mediocre play at quarterback can be traced back to team-wide confidence issues that have mounted with each passing loss.
“When we started the season we never could get any momentum going and the confidence dropped, and it dropped at quarterback as well having to switch up at that position,” he said.
Auburn has struggled the past two years to find a successor to Heisman-winning phenom Cam Newton, who transferred in from the junior college level and led the Tigers to the 2010 BCS National Championship before heading to the NFL.
Last year, Auburn went 8-5 with quarterbacks Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley splitting time, but both had turnover problems.
With Moseley and young Wallace and Frazier taking snaps this year, things went much worse. The three combined for 15 interceptions and just seven touchdowns all year.
Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.