Tuberville Talks Offense, QB Situation

Auburn's Tommy Tuberville talks about the offensive problems and how the quarterback situation stacks up.

Auburn, Ala.--After winning the starting quarterback job last week, Auburn junior Chris Todd got his first career start on the road last night against Mississippi State. While he didn't play poorly, completing 14-26 passes for 154 yards and no interceptions, the Tigers sputtered time and time again and failed to score a touchdown in a 3-2 victory.

Coach Tommy Tuberville said unfortunately the offensive mistakes kept them from putting points on the board and that's something they've got to remedy heading into this week's game against LSU or it could spell disaster.

"I've told everybody all along that this is going to take a while," Tuberville said. "This is a lot more execution from a lot more people. You've got three wide receivers on the field. The offensive linemen are more vulnerable because people are going to be getting off the ball on you because you're in shotgun. The little things add up in this offense a lot more than when you line up and pound it.

"I like this offense. You can take advantage of people more but you can't beat yourself. Right now that's what we're doing. We're basically beating ourselves and putting ourselves in a hole. You can't fumble the ball eight times in two games and expect a whole lot."

The biggest question mark on offense is where is Kodi Burns? In an even race with Todd after the first game, Burns played only sparingly against Southern Miss and not at all last night against Mississippi State. Tuberville said after looking at how the Bulldogs were playing defense, Auburn made the decision to stick with Todd in the game.

"I know everybody wonders why Kodi didn't play, a lot of that had to do with me," Tuberville said. "I thought putting him in a situation where our back was to the wall a lot, I wanted it to be a positive note when he goes back in the game. He was ready to go. He's a team player. We've got to find the right situation.

"They were putting eight men on the line of scrimmage and he's more of a guy that is going to run the ball a little bit more than he throws it," he added. "They were taking away the run. That's the reason they were forcing us to throw the post routes down the field. They had eight men in the box. It wouldn't have made a lot of difference trying to run it. We had to get the ball down the field."

Auburn's struggles in the red zone are becoming a developing trend this season. In 13 trips inside the opponent 20-yard line the Tigers have scored nine times but just five of those resulting in touchdowns. Saturday night Auburn again had two chances with the ball at the two-yard line and again at the 11, but failed to punch either one in. Tuberville said that's a concern at the moment without question.

"We'll have to make some adjustments," Tuberville said. "We're not hardheaded. This is a project and we're trying to find the right combinations. We've got to be more aggressive on the line of scrimmage. We've got to get more push. We'll keep working every day to make that better."

Heading into this week's game against LSU there is no question that Todd remains the starting quarterback for Auburn, but could Burns be a part of the package this week? Tuberville said they're still working for ways to get Burns involved but the main goal this week is to get the entire offense working on the same page to get things clicking.

"It's one of those deals, you can only play one at a time," Tuberville said. "We would love to get Kodi 40-50 snaps a game. His time is going to come. He knows that. He's waiting and working patiently trying to get better waiting for that turn.

"There's always a chance but in this offense you've got to keep on keeping on," Tuberville added. "You can't get better doubting what you're doing. There is no doubt Kodi can get it done. When his time comes he will shine. I think he'll do that. There was nothing real negative about what Chris did but there wasn't a lot of positive. That was a total team effort on offense of not scoring any points."

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