Offense Looking For A Spark From Wallace

Jonathan Wallace will get his first career start for the Tigers and is looking to spark the Auburn offense.

Auburn, Ala.—This Saturday Auburn freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace will get his first career start for the Tigers (1-7) as they take on New Mexico State (1-7) for Homecoming at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Coming off a performance where he finished with 193 yards and was on the field for all three of Auburn's touchdowns, the freshman will get an opportunity to get the offense untracked this weekend against the Aggies.

Playing just four full possessions and a handful of plays in the first half, Wallace eclipsed the most yards for an Auburn quarterback in a full game this season. The previous high came when Kiehl Frazier gained 185 total yards in a loss to Clemson.

The move is one that has been made at the right time for an Auburn offense looking for something positive to build on not only for this week, but to finish out the 2012 season. Sophomore running back Tre Mason said Wallace just has something about him that makes his teammates believe he's going to get the job done.

"It needs a spark," Mason said. "We really do need a spark and maybe he can do the job. He showed some pretty good things on film last Saturday. With the coach making this decision he will probably give us a spark.

"Coach Chiz always says ‘he's got that it'," he added. "We don't know what that is, but it's something not a lot of people have. He just came in ready to go. A lot of people say they came in ready to go, but it seems like he's done this before and it's actually his first year. It seems like he's got the mindset of a senior or someone who has been here for a while."

Wallace's play last Saturday put up not only the most yards for an Auburn quarterback this season, it was the most total yards for a starting quarterback for the Tigers since Barrett Trotter's 203 yards against Florida Atlantic early last season. That's a span of 16 games.

To find an Auburn quarterback that accounted for more than 250 yards in a game you have to go all the way back to the season opener last season against Utah State when Trotter gained 252 yards in the comeback win.

Putting that number in perspective shows just how much Auburn has struggled on offense since Cam Newton roamed the field for the Tigers.

Currently four quarterbacks in the SEC average at least 250 yards of total offense per game with nine averaging at least 200 yards. That means this year Auburn has yet to reach in total yards what nine quarterbacks are averaging each week on the field in Southeastern Conference play.

This is the week all that should change as Wallace faces a New Mexico State defense that is allowing 33.5 points and 460.9 yards per game this season. The opposition has thrown for 16 touchdowns with just two interceptions. Throw in the fact that the Aggies allow five yards per carry this season on the ground and you have the makings of a breakout game for the Auburn offense.

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