AU running backs looking better, quarterbacks not

Published 7:54 pm Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Auburn’s quarterback situation might be a question, but the Tigers now have all the answers at another position: running back.

Senior Tristan Davis is expected back this week from an undisclosed injury, coach Tommy Tuberville said Wednesday on the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference, which will give the Tigers (1-0) a fourth runner after proven backs Brad Lester and Ben Tate and true freshman Eric Smith. Now, if only there was that kind of certainty at quarterback.

Transfer Chris Todd earlier in the week was given the nod in the battle with Kodi Burns to be this week’s starter. Tuberville said he had already planned to start Burns last week and Todd this week against Southern Miss.

Not helping matters was a cut Burns suffered on his leg in the 34-0 win over Louisiana-Monroe. Tuberville said Burns is questionable for Saturday’s 11:30 a.m. kickoff with the Golden Eagles (1-0).

Even without the injury, Auburn fans were concerned because the Auburn passing game could only muster 85 passing yards in new coordinator Tony Franklin’s much-anticipated debut.

But the low passing total could be blamed on the lack of a need to throw the football. Auburn ran for 321 yards at a 7-yard per carry clip. Now, Davis will be added to the mix.

Southern Miss will counter with a talented back of its own in Damion Fletcher, who ran for 222 yards on 21 carries in a 51-21 win over Louisiana-Lafayette in Week 1. Fletcher gained 1,586 yards last season.

“They’ve got a lot of weapons,” Tuberville said. “Southern Miss has always had good, solid football teams.”