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Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011

Kevin Price commentary on Auburn football: Sharing quarterback position not working for Tigers

- kprice@ledger-enquirer.com
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU entered Saturday’s game ranked No. 1, while Auburn was ranked No. 19.

The chasm between the two teams appeared to be much larger than that.

There are plenty of areas in which the gap in talent between what LSU puts on the field and what Auburn does is glaring. But no more so than at quarterback.

LSU has a pair of No. 1 quarterbacks in Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson, both of whom would be a huge improvement over what most FBS teams are putting on the field.

And credit must be given to how coach Les Miles and the two QBs have handled the situation. Once Jefferson returned from his suspension that resulted from his arrest in a bar fight, the team could have been torn apart.

Instead, LSU hasn’t missed a beat and has rolled to an 8-0 start for the first time since 1973.

“Those guys are teammates,” Miles said. ”They are enjoying the success of each other. They are rooting for each other’s success.

”Let me tell you, it takes two. We need both players.”

Meanwhile, Auburn is still looking for a No. 1 quarterback.

Clint Moseley won the right to make his first collegiate start with his performance in the second half of last week’s win over Florida.

But Moseley led the Tigers to just three points in the loss to LSU. He completed 12-of-20 passes for 145 yards.

However, Moseley was harassed all day by LSU’s defense, which sacked him six times and seemed to be in his face each time he dropped back to pass.

“I have definitely never been under that kind of heat before,” Moseley said. “… They really put pressure on me, and it definitely got to me a couple of times.”

Auburn coach Gene Chizik said it was too soon to tell how well or how poorly Moseley played.

“Six sacks are unacceptable,” Chizik said. “That was an anemic job of protecting the quarterback. We have a lot of work to do.”

Moseley’s development is not being helped either by the playing time given to freshman Kiehl Frazier. Frazier may be the future and may one day be a great quarterback in Gus Malzahn’s spread offense.

It is obvious he is not ready to be the No. 1 quarterback now, and the Tigers probably would be better off allowing Moseley to show what he could do given the chance to play an entire game.

One example of when having Frazier in Saturday’s game hurt Auburn occurred late in the first quarter.

The Tigers have not asked Frazier to throw the ball often as he has shown a knack for telegraphing his passes. He had a chance to complete what could have been a huge pass in the first quarter.

He rolled out to the right and had Travante Stallworth break wide open behind the LSU secondary. However, his poor throw allowed LSU’s Ron Brooks to recover and bat the ball away.

Had that pass been thrown either further downfield or with more zip, that could have given Auburn a tying score.

Auburn ended up having to settle for a field goal and trailed at that point 7-3.

In the end those four points didn’t matter. But having Frazier in the game now is not doing the Tigers or Moseley any good.

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