Chizik said the coaching staff told the quarterbacks on Thursday that Moseley, a junior, will start ahead of Kiehl Frazier, who played QB the first five games. Frazier, who the coaches said was having issues throwing the ball due to an injury, did not play last week vs. Ole Miss, but was available to play if needed. That is expected to be the case on Saturday in Nashville.
"Clint had a very good week of practice," Chizik said. "It is one of those situations where at the beginning of the week you have really got to give them a good look in terms of number of reps to see who is improving. Again, Kiehl has kind of a nagging injury. He is just going to have to push and work through it. That is the bottom line."
Moseley completed 11-18 passes for 112 yards vs. Ole Miss. He did not throw a touchdown pass and had one interception. The junior did not have an incomplete pass until the third quarter after going 8-8 in the first half.
"He has got to be consistent like he was at the beginning of the game," Chizik said of what he wants to see from the QB. The coach noted the offense has to get better at avoiding turnovers and more productive on third downs. "The most important thing, he has got to protect the football," the coach added.
Against Ole Miss the Tigers were minus two in turnover margin and converted 4-8 third downs in the first half, but were just 1-7 the rest of the game. For the year the Tigers are minus 13 in turnover margin. The fourth quarter has been particularly a problem with the Tigers turning the ball over nine times in that period with just two takeaways.
The Tigers are expected to use true freshman Jonathan Wallace in a limited role at quarterback for a fourth consecutive game. "He is a guy that loves the game," Chizik said. "He wants to be in the game, he wants to participate and he has really just worked himself into a role."
Chizik added, "We have no problem trying to expand that role. I am proud of the progress he has made up to this point and he will continue to play."
The Tigers fine-tuned their game plan with a light workout on Thursday evening preparing for the SEC football road trip to Nashville where they will face another team struggling to get back into the victory column.
Chizik's team has lost three straight contests and is 1-5 overall, 0-4 in the Southeastern Conference. The Commodores have lost two of their last three games and are 2-4 overall with one of the wins coming against a lower level opponent. Vandy is 1-3 in the SEC with a 19-15 victory over Missouri.
"Winning Saturday would mean a lot," Auburn sophomore Gabe Wright said. "At 1-5 it would mean a lot and give us some momentum."
The defensive tackle said the theme of practice this week has been performing better in the fourth quarter. In four of his team's five losses the Tigers were in position to win those games if they had performed better in the final period.
"It is a shame we just couldn't finish these games because it could be a totally different season if we had just finished these games," he said.
Chizik said the coaching staff worked on making the point about how important finishing strongly can be for this team. "We did a breakdown of the whole season and looked at the scores of the beginning of pretty much every fourth quarter," he said. "It was really eye-opening to them when you take a shot of the scoreboard at the start of the fourth quarter and show that to them."
Gabe Wright has three QB hurries this season, but no sacks.
Wright, who was injured in spring training, said that he feels like he is improving as the Tigers begin the second half of their season. "I feel great," he said of his health.
With the defensive tackles yet to produce a quarterback sack, Wright noted that is something they will work to improve on Saturday in Nashville as they try to sack Vandy quarterback Jordan Rodgers.
"We have got to stuff them on first and second downs and try to get them in long downs," the tackle said. "Rodgers does have some athletic ability. When we do get him in the pocket, we have got to execute."
Wright predicted his Tigers will come out and play hard despite their 1-5 record. "We are not the first to do it--teams have prevailed later on," he said. "It is one of those things you have to fight through it. I am telling you there is no quit in this team."
Starting defensive end Dee Ford and starting center Reese Dismukes could be sidelined for a second consecutive game due to injuries. Chizik noted that another starter who did not play last week vs. Ole Miss, junior Chris Davis, should be ready for action vs. Vandy.
The game will kickoff at 11:21 a.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network. Radio coverage on The Auburn Network can also be heard on Sirius Channel 92 and XM Channel 200.