Auburn Football: Starting Wallace Is Right Choice Because He Is the Only Choice
On Sunday, Gene Chizik announced that Jonathan Wallace would remain as Auburn's starting QB against rival UGA next Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
It was a reversal of trends for Chizik, who has waited until Thursday to name a starting QB for each of the past four weeks.
Wallace is the right choice to make the start because he is the only choice.
Wallace got off to a slow start on Saturday: He fumbled the ball on the very first play on an attempted handoff to Tre Mason. The Tigers lost a total of five yards on the first two drives.
Wallace looked uncomfortable and anything but poised.
He responded the way that Auburn fans hoped he would respond, though. Wallace ended his day 9-of-16 for 164 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception.
Gene Chizik on Jonathan Wallace: "When a QB doesn't start out extremely fast, you want to see him respond. He kept plugging along."—Aaron Brenner (@wareagleextra) November 4, 2012
Wallace made plays that other Auburn QBs have not been able to make this year. He had a better feel in the pocket and used his legs to get away from defenders to avoid sacks.
He also had an outstanding 40-yard throw to Emory Blake: He put it in a spot where it would either be an incomplete pass or a reception. The defender had no chance.
How would you grade Wallace's performance last Saturday?
Wallace's play and decision-making left a lot to be desired, but his most recent play has been the best this year of any QB (even though it came against New Mexico State).
"I think that our team has confidence in him. I think that he'll gain more confidence as the games go on and he gets a little more playing time. I think that the spark that he can bring to our football team with some things that he can do and obviously improve on, I think will be big as we move forward" (via Ryan Wood, Opelika-Auburn News).
Other than the upside that Wallace was able to show in Saturday's game, it is apparent that there is no other capable QB to lead the Tigers.
Former starter Kiehl Frazier took snaps in mop-up duty and attempted one pass.
It was a short wide-receiver screen that sailed over the head of the intended receiver.
Frazier's accuracy issues reared its ugly head before the lingering shoulder injury he has now. It appears that his struggles will not be remedied during this season, if ever.
Frazier will serve as the backup in Saturday's game.
Clint Moseley brings the most experience, but he has dealt with an ankle injury since Auburn's game against Texas A&M.
If we are being honest, he had trouble avoiding the rush before the ankle injury.
Moseley should be listed as questionable, if not doubtful, as of Sunday evening.
So, this decision Chizik made on Sunday evening should not be a surprise. Wallace is the right choice because he is the only choice.
The question will be if he will be able to look UGA defenders like Jarvis Jones in the eyes and not blink.
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