Auburn is just an overtime win over Louisiana-Monroe from being 0-8 on the season. Original starting quarterback Kiehl Frazier is dealing with a bum shoulder, though he’ll be listed as the Tigers backup on Saturday. The Tigers’ second starting quarterback of the season — Clint Moseley — is questionable with an ankle injury sustained last week.
So why not go to freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace as AU’s third starting signal-caller of the season? And that’s just what Gene Chizik says he’s going to do Saturday against New Mexico State:
“I think a lot of it is really just going back and reviewing how he played Saturday. I think that was big. It was the first time that he got an opportunity to do more than the initial role that we had planned for him in some of the Wildcat stuff with a couple of throws off of that. We threw him in. And, again, he’s in every meeting, he’s at every practice, and he works them. When you watch him execute in a game with more than his role in a game as we put him in there, we just felt like he did well. I think that merited a chance to give him a starting nod.
I hate to use the word surprised, because that makes you think that I think he couldn’t do it. I thought he was extremely poised under pressure. I thought he made some throw under pressure that were really, really good. I thought that just handling some of the calls out there that he’s definitely had reps at, but not near enough reps that a starter would, I thought it was really impressive.”
Wallace was completed six passes in nine attempts for 122 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 63-21 loss to Texas A&M. He also rushed 13 times for 71 yards, but it should be noted that the Aggies were using quite a few backups as the game wore on.
Still, what’s Chizik got to lose at this point? His job’s probably already beyond saving.