AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn’s starting quarterback for Saturday’s game at Mississippi has not yet been determined, coach Gene Chizik said at his Tuesday press conference.
Sophomore Kiehl Frazier, the Tigers’ starter the first five games, was yanked at halftime of last Saturday’s 24-7 loss to Arkansas in favor of junior Clint Moseley.
“We’re going to go ahead and kind of go through the week, and we’ll see what is the best decision,” Chizik said. “Both of them did some things Saturday that were good, and both of them did some things that obviously we’d like to take back.”
During Auburn’s 1-4 start, Frazier has completed 54.4 percent of his passes for 664 yards, throwing for just two touchdowns against eight interceptions. He was sacked four times in the first half by the Razorbacks.
His 99.40 quarterback rating is the lowest among 13 qualified SEC passers.
In 2011, Moseley replaced Barrett Trotter as Auburn’s starter after the first seven games. Moseley started the Chick-fil-A Bowl but departed in the first quarter due to an ankle injury.
Moseley has prior success against the Rebels. In his second career start last season – and first at Jordan-Hare Stadium — Moseley completed 12-of-15 passes for 160 yards and four touchdowns in Auburn’s 41-23 victory.
Moseley completed 13-of-21 passes, hitting Emory Blake from 21 yards out for the Tigers’ only score Saturday. He added two picks, his first career multiple-interception game, and was sacked four times in the second half by the Razorbacks.
Chizik and offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler insisted it won’t be a game-time decision. “I think it’s (based) a lot on the comfort level with the game plan that we’re implementing and how they’re executing that,” Chizik said.
Frazier and Moseley halved first-team reps in Tuesday’s two-hour, full-contact practice.
“Tuesday and Wednesday are the two big practice days for us, and we can usually tell exactly what we want to do at that point,” Chizik said, “so that’s how we’ll manage it.”
Sophomore Quan Bray’s suspension was lifted after one game, and the Troup County product returned to practice Sunday night.
Bray was arrested by University of West Georgia police and spent a night in jail Sept. 27 after the 19-year-old was pulled over for loud music from his car and being found to be in possession of a limited driver’s license and a bottle of liquor.
Chizik said Bray will play Saturday, but his role hasn’t been determined. He started the first four games at slot receiver and punt returner, and Trovon Reed was shaky in the latter position against Arkansas.
“We’re going to see where he fits,” Chizik said. “He’s going to have to work his way back into whatever role he gets for Saturday.”
Bray hasn’t been made available to the media since his arrest.
Talk is cheap, but Chizik and Loeffler have each indicated junior fullback Jay Prosch, a former All-American at Illinois, will see his playing time increase as they refocus an pro-style identity on offense.
“It’s great to hear,” Prosch said. “I’m happy about that.”
Prosch logged his first carry in an Auburn uniform Saturday. He had two rushes for nine yards as an Illini, but those plays were a backward lateral and a direct snap on a fake punt.
“It was amazing. That’s the first handoff I’ve taken since high school in a game,” Prosch said. “I wish I got more than three yards, but it’s a start.”
Right tackle woes
Patrick Miller remains the starting right tackle on Auburn’s depth chart, over fellow rookie Avery Young, despite Miller’s struggles against Arkansas defensive end Trey Flowers Saturday. But the competition is ongoing.
“There’s no such thing in this program as a player not being evaluated,” Loeffler said. “They’re both true freshmen battling their rear end off against the greatest defensive ends in the country. So they’re learning and they’re going to keep fighting.”
Rebels’ QBs muddled
Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace had a very tough Monday, both on and off the football field.
Earlier in the day, Rebels coach Hugh Freeze told reporters Wallace would start Saturday against Auburn, but would be yanked without improved play. After guiding Mississippi (3-3) to a 2-0 start, the sophomore from Pulaski, Tenn. has seen his completion percentage (61.6) and yards per attempt (7.8) dip over the past month.
But then, Monday night, Freeze tweeted that Wallace’s sister, Baylee, was in a car accident. Freeze told reporters Tuesday she broke her neck, but had movement in all her extremities and doctors believe she’ll make a full recovery.
Wallace was in a team meeting Tuesday, but was “a little distant at the start”, according to Freeze.
This will be Auburn’s first opponent with a somewhat unsettled quarterback situation. Junior Barry Brunetti, Wallace’s backup, has played in all six Mississippi games, completing 70.4 percent of his passes and rushing for 161 yards on 32 carries.
“Each quarterback has their own trait,” Tigers junior linebacker Jake Holland said. “You just prepare for both quarterbacks.”