Tigers Off, QB Competition Back On

Auburn, Ala.--Tommy Tuberville said on Sunday that the competition for the starting quarterback job is being re-opened following a 42-17 loss at Arkansas.

Starter Daniel Cobb, former starter Jason Campbell and all of the Tigers were given Sunday off, a day normally reserved for a light practice. The team will also be off on Monday as is traditional although many will join the coaching staff and travel to Decatur, Ga., to attend a funeral for the mother of Rashaud Walker, who died in a traffic accident last week. A big fan of the team, she was very close to many of the players and was a regular at AU games.

Quarterback is not the only position that will be open for new starters to step up during the off week, Tuberville said. However, he noted that there is probably no more important decision to be made before the Georgia game a week from next Saturday.

Cobb has started the last two games since a strong relief performance in the Florida game. "I don't think there is any doubt that Jason was having problems and we replaced him," Tuberville said. "Daniel played pretty good, but he is having some problems doing some things that we need to do to improve this football team, especially on offense to give ourselves a chance to win. We're going to put it back into competition the next few days and we'll name a starting quarterback next week. It could be Daniel, it could be Jason or could be (Jeff) Klein."

Tuberville said that his Tigers, who are leading the SEC Western Division by half a game, are not going to panic after dropping their first conference game of the season. The coaches will use the off week to evaluate both sides of the ball. "With the open date, you not only evaluate the technique and things the players do," Tuberville said. "You go back and scout yourself as coaches to see if there is anything we can do better practice-wise, play calling-wise and team-wise to help this team improve. Obviously, it is going to be more than just the quarterback."

Auburn, at 4-1, has the lead in the SEC West. Ole Miss is 3-1 but Auburn holds the tie-breaker over the Rebels because of its 27-21 victory over Ole Miss earlier in the season.

Tuberville said after grading video of the Arkansas game that the Tigers showed good effort. "They are playing hard," the coach noted. "The problem we've had is we've not been able to make any plays--especially this last week on either side of the ball. It looks like we're waiting on something to happen instead of making something happen."

Auburn, which is 6-2 overall, "stil controls its own destiny" in the league race, noted Tuberville, who added, "With LSU losing and Ole Miss' only loss to us, that means we are a half a game ahead.

"Our players are going to come back on Tuesday and work as hard as ever," the coach predicted Sunday. "They'll shake this off. We're farther along than we thought we'd be. Let's go out this week and work hard and get ready to play a very good Georgia team next week."

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