Tuberville Eyes Right Guy For QB & RB

Auburn, Ala.-- Coach <b>Tommy Tuberville</b> admits Saturday night's game with LSU is going to be a tough challenge for several reasons.

The Tigers are going to Baton Rouge and playing one of the hotter teams in the SEC. They are also playing at Death Valley at night (6:45 p.m. on ESPN) which should offer a major home field advantage with the home team having a chance to win its first SEC West title.

But one of the more challenging things Tuberville and his Tigers are going to have to face is an offense that has something Auburn doesn't and that is stability at the quarterback and running back positions.

LSU has a fifth-year senior quarterback in Rohan Davey, who Tuberville calls the "soul" of the team, an All-SEC running back candidate in LaBrandon Toefield and on top of that has a receiver in Josh Reed who Tuberville says should be in the running for league MVP honors this season.

That is why one of Tuberville's top priorities this week is finding a starting quarterback and running back who he and the AU coaches believe can get the job done vs. the Bengal Tigers.

Tuberville says a decision on the starting quarterback has not been made yet and will be partially based on how they perform in practices this week. Redshirt freshman Jason Campbell, who started the Tigers' first six games and did a solid job in relief duty vs. Alabama, is trying to regain the starting job from senior Daniel Cobb. Cobb started the Tigers' last four games, but has been ineffective in moving the Auburn offense lately. Junior Jeff Klein, who has yet to take a snap this season after spending time at No. 1 on the depth chart in the spring, is also in the running for the quarterback spot, Tuberville said on Sunday.

"We've got three quarterbacks and three running backs we're looking at," Tuberville says. "We're practicing all of them. It's no secret to what we are looking for. We're looking for somebody who can move the team. All three guys are running the same plays against the first team defense and we're going to see how they take control, make the plays and step up."

At running back, sophomore Casinious Moore, who scored three touchdowns in a win vs. Ole Miss earlier this season, is trying to regain his starting job with Carnell Williams out of action with a shoulder injury. Redshirt freshman Ronnie Brown, who started the season as the No. 1 tailback but has had several nagging injuries since then, is the current number one. Sophomore Chris Butler, who has seen limited action, could see more playing time this week. Butler put the Tigers ahead 20-13 vs. Florida with his only rushing touchdown of the season.

"All three guys could be the starter," Tuberville says of his running back situation. "We're just going to wait and see what our final game plan is going to be and what we need to fit that game plan."

Auburn resumed practice Saturday after taking five days off for the Thanksgiving break. The head coach says his players came back excited and fired up about the challenge that lies ahead in Baton Rouge this Saturday.

"You can tell there is a little bit in the air about this game because it has championship implications," Tuberville adds. "It's not a regular game, you're just not going out there playing it to be playing it. This late in the year, it's good to have something to play for. Of course, you don't have a lot of motivational things to have to say to the players. They are fired up about the opportunity."

As nice as it is to have something to play for, Tuberville would have enjoyed this week more if his Tigers had already clinched the SEC West divisional championship game berth, which is something they could have done by winning two of their last three games, but Tigers won just once and have put themselves in a must-win position.

"LSU is playing very well," Tuberville says. "They look to be hitting on all cylinders. They are playing good defense and offense. It will be a tough challenge for this team, but we played pretty good on the road the last time we were out. Its going to take that same effort this time."

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