Chizik Talks About Trotter, Auburn Offense

Auburn, Ala.—Auburn junior quarterback Barrett Trotter made the most of his first career start on Saturday as he completed 17-23 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns and led two late touchdowns drives to compete the Tigers' comeback win over Utah State.

One of the few bright spots for Auburn in the season opener, Coach Gene Chizik said Barrett Trotter did some good things for his first time in the starting role.

"A couple of things that really stand out when you look at Barrett's performance," Chizik said. "Offensively, we're trying to pull some positives out of here.

"Number one, we didn't turn the ball over. Barrett was able to protect the football and he was able to, in some pretty heated moments meaning the game is on the line and there is a lot of pressure on him, he was able to deliver in those two drives at the end. He managed the offense.

"He made some really good throws with some pressure on him," Chizik pointed out. "Those situations are extremely high pressure and he delivered. With him running the offense and not turning it over and being able to take it down there at the end on two consecutive drives and score touchdowns. I think he really did some good things."

Throwing just five passes in the first half and completing them all, Trotter had attempted just 15 passes for the game with 11 completions as the Tigers lined up down 10 points with just over three minutes left in the game.

Showing poise and the ability to make plays, the Birmingham native hit on 6-8 passes in the final two drives for 91 yards when the game was on the line to lead Auburn to the win.

"We spend so much time on time management and clock management scenarios," Chizik said. "We've spent time the last two weeks doing different situations and that situation really unfolded Saturday almost to a tee, one of the situations we worked.

"For a young guy to come in with his first start and be able to end the game like that, I think it's really huge in terms of them understanding the importance of doing it during practice and understanding if you practice it then you have a chance to accomplish it. For him I think it's big, no doubt about it."

Trying to take away the run early in the game on Saturday Utah State did a good job of clogging running lanes on early downs. That put the Tigers behind the chains and led to just 16 total plays and 118 yards of offense in the first 30 minutes. That will likely be a similar plan employed by Mississippi State this coming weekend to put the ball in Trotter's hands, something Chizik said the coaches are fine with.

"There are a lot of things he can improve on, but we have no problem with him throwing the football on any down," Chizik said. "There were a few throws that I said he'll wish he had back that we felt like he could have hit, but there were also some difficult ones in there with a lot of strain on him that he hit as well.

"Overall I'm pleased with the way he played," Chizik said. "I know he's going to get better every game. If they put eight guys in there and we feel like we've got to throw it then we've got no problem with that.

"We've got some things that we've got to clean up offensively. It doesn't matter who is running the ball. It starts with a front five. And I didn't feel again at the point of attack we were very physical at all. I feel like there's some issues in pass protection that we've got to get solved

" All of these are very fixable, but obviously time is of the essence. Whether Barrett Trotter runs the ball or Michael Dyer or Onterio McCalebb or Tre Mason, it doesn't matter. We're going to have to do a better job up front."

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