Todd Named Starter After Solid Saturday

Auburn's Chris Todd earned the starting quarterback job after his performance on Saturday.

Auburn, Ala.--The quarterback battle that raged throughout the spring and preseason camp is over with for now according to both Tommy Tuberville and offensive coordinator Tony Franklin as junior Chris Todd put his stamp on the Auburn offense Saturday with an impressive outing in a 27-13 win over a solid Southern Miss team.

Named the starter earlier in the week, Todd looked much more comfortable on Saturday as he completed 21-31 passes for 248 yards and led an Auburn offense that finished with 380 yards of total offense and missed several opportunities to put the game out of reach early because of turnovers. Franklin said that after the performance Todd is the guy for Auburn at the moment.

"It was obvious today that he did good with the beginning of the ballgame, taking the team down," Franklin said. "His leadership was good. He never really had a bad drive or a bad series until I took him out in the second half and kind of broke his rhythm a little bit. He's definitely going to be the number one guy."

Much of Todd and Auburn's damage offensively came in the first half as the Tigers punished the Southern Miss defense for 230 total yards in the first 30 minutes. Todd was a crisp 14-19 at the break with 167 yards, but Franklin said the decision to play Kodi Burns to open the second half was one that probably should not have been made looking back on things.

"We had good rhythm early," Franklin said. "We drove the ball well early, we just fumbled and turned the ball over. You can't do that against anybody. That was a good football team we played. Thank God our defense played lights out. We broke our rhythm in the second half. A lot of that was my fault, not doing things at the right time probably."

While Todd was solid on the field, a less than 100 percent Burns struggled to make plays in his limited opportunities on Saturday. The sophomore was 0-3 passing with one interception and ran the ball twice for negative one yards. He did score a one-yard touchdown on fourth down, coming in for Todd in short yardage, but Franklin said in the end it just wasn't his day.

"Kodi is going to still play," Franklin said. "In fairness to him it was just one of those days that Chris came out and had a good hand early. I knew that what I did last week wasn't good. The number one reason I was hired was to win games. Chris was doing real well early. At halftime I said if we get a stop I'm going to Kodi the first series and let him get in and see what happens. It never did kind of click for him but he did come in and make a great run on the goal line on fourth down and get us a touchdown."

A huge positive in Saturday's win was the play of tight end Tommy Trott. With three receptions for 44 yards, Trott surpassed his season yardage total from the entire 2007 season on Saturday and Franklin said that is just the beginning for number five.

"I am stupid for not throwing the ball to him," Franklin said. "Last week I was stupid. I'm trying to get more unstupid. He needs the ball and we need to find ways to get it to him. Hopefully next week we can get it to him more."

With two games down and SEC play around the corner, the Auburn offense improved considerably from game one to game two in terms of execution. It still didn't amount to a big game offensively because of mistakes though and Franklin said that's something they've got to correct heading to Starkville this coming week.

"Take care of the ball is number one," Franklin said. "Be more consistent with everybody in taking care of the football. Also the quarterbacks, running backs, receivers continue to play fast."


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