When Auburn coaches named Barrett Trotter as the starter of the 2011 season, do you think they wondered in the back of their mind if a change would be made during the year, mid-game? Regardless as to how confident the coaches were concerning Trotter, their opinions are now somewhat different.
Trotter began the year with very consistent and confident play. Do not forget that it was his calm, collective ability that led the Tigers on two scoring drives to win the season opener against Utah State. Unfortunately, for the Auburn offense, and for Trotter, that early season confidence seems to be gone.
When Trotter struggled for nearly an entire half against Florida, the Auburn coaches did make a change to their back-up. Clint Moseley appeared to be nervous and excited when he first appeared, as his pass attempts sailed much too high of his intended targets. But, as play progressed, Moseley calmed. When the offense needed to gain a big chunk of yardage, Clint Moseley was able to find his man.
After the game, head coach Gene Chizik remarked that Moseley's play did provide a lot of spark to an offense that badly needed it. More recently, Chizik suggested that a decision as to who would start against LSU would not be made until after Tuesday's practice.
A tale of two friends. That is the story behind Auburn's quarterback battle. Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley have been close friends since Moseley came to Auburn and was befriended by the elder Trotter. At that point in their lives, more than two years ago, when a friendship began to develop, who knew that Trotter and Moseley would be battling for the quarterback spot in 2011 during the middle of the season?
Perhaps the close friendship is the main ingredient that allows the two to work together on the field, no matter who is under center. When Barrett Trotter is taking snaps, Clint Moseley is there, holding play-cards and making sure the right call is displayed. Likewise, when Trotter was pulled in favor of Moseley during last Saturday's Florida game, Trotter was there to make sure the right play was issued to his friend, Moseley.
For the next few days, however, that friendship will again be tested as both Trotter and Moseley once again compete for the starting job. Regardless as to who comes out on top, the coaches have certainly let it be known that third string quarterback, Kiehl Frazier's role will continue to be in the Wildcat formation for the remainder of the season.
From what I have seen, Clint Moseley places a little more air under the ball, which allows his receivers more time to get to the thrown ball. On the opposite hand, Barrett's Trotter pass attempts all seem to be thrown with too much zip and too little finesse.
The starting job of being the Auburn quarterback will not be a position envied by many when the Tigers line up to play LSU this weekend. The Bayou Bengal Tigers rank fourth in total defense. Auburn currently places at 86th in total offense.
The decision of tapping the next starter, whether it be Barrett Trotter or Clint Moseley, will most likely be the biggest decision Gene Chizik and Gus Malzahn have made all year. The defense has improved, and as a result, good quarterback play will be vital against Auburn's remaining opponents.
Will that play come from Barrett Trotter or Clint Moseley? Just ask the coaches.....on Tuesday.