Todd Says Tigers Tried to Be Aggressive

Auburn quarterback Chris Todd missed last season's Iron Bowl, but this year he was in the middle of the action.

Auburn, Ala.--A year ago Chris Todd watched from the sideline as Kodi Burns took all the snaps at quarterback in Alabama's 36-0 dismantling of a struggling Auburn team that marked the end of Tommy Tuberville's 10-year run as the Tigers' head coach.

Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium Todd threw his 20th and 21st touchdowns of the season in Auburn's last-minute 26-20 loss to heavily favored and undefeated Alabama. His final pass of the game, a Hail Mary from near midfield, was batted down in the end zone to prevent an unlikely upset of SEC Western Division champion Alabama.

Todd's two touchdown passes moved him past Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan (1971) and Jason Campbell, SEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2004, for a school record for most touchdown passes in a season. Campbell and Sullivan each had 20 in their outstanding seasons.

While Todd's campaign won't rank as outstanding, it will probably go down as gutty and better than most observers realize at the moment. Offensive coordinator Guz Malzahn said as much earlier in the week.

After being benched as a junior following his transfer from junior college in Kansas, Todd missed spring practice following off-season surgery to repair his shoulder. He won the starting quarterback job over Neil Caudle in pre-season practice.

In addition to his school-record 21 touchdown passes with a bowl game remaining to add to that total, Todd has completed 178-303 passes for 2,377 yards. He has been intercepted only six times. One of those interceptions came against Alabama when he completed 15 of 25 attempts for 181 yards and the two touchdowns.

Todd also holds a school record for the longest pass in school history, a 93-yard touchdown bomb to Terrell Zachery against Louisiana Tech in the season opener. Todd's touchdown passes Saturday covered one yard to Eric Smith and 72 yards to Darvin Adams.

Todd said Saturday's plan for the Crimson Tide was to not hold anything back.

"We really wanted to come out and be aggressive early in the game, we wanted to come out strong and execute our game plan," he explained. "Everybody felt fine and good coming into the game. We wanted to come out here and get ourselves into a battle because that is what the Iron Bowl is."

Auburn built a quick 14-0 lead and led until the final two minutes of the game when Alabama capped a 79-yard, 15-play drive with a four-yard touchdown pass from Greg McElroy to Roy Upchurch for the victory.

"We knew coming into this game there were going to be ups and downs,"?he said. "We were able to come out early and put some points on the board and that always gets everyone excited and the momentum going. We stretched it out to the end and had the ball last.

"It was one of those plays at the end where we needed the ball close enough to put it in the end zone," he said. "We were able to get across the 50-yard line. We sent some guys to the end zone and tried to make a play. With them dropping everybody back, it was tough to make the play."

Todd said Auburn left nothing on the field. "I wanted to come out here and give everything that I have for all the other seniors and the other guys on the team," he noted. "I didn't want to leave anything out there. It was an exciting game to play in a great way to end the season. Unfortunately, we came up short."

Todd is looking forward to a bowl appearance by the Tigers who failed to make the postseason last year after finishing 5-7. At 7-5, the Tigers are bowl eligible and waiting on their destination.

As a senior, Todd's two-year career at Auburn is only a game from being finished. But he sees promise for the program's future.

"I think Auburn has some great days to come," he predicted. "We have some outstanding guys coming in and a lot of underclassmen who can step up and contribute. I think the future of Auburn football looks very good."


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