Tuberville hasn’t settled on No. 2 QB

Published 4:12 pm Sunday, October 19, 2008

AUBURN – Auburn quarterback Barrett Trotter will travel with the team to West Virginia.

Beyond that, coach Tommy Tuberville isn’t revealing his plans for the freshman who is vying for playing time on a sputtering offense behind starter Kodi Burns going into Thursday night’s game.

“That’s yet to be seen,” Tuberville said Sunday. “He’ll still take some (practice) snaps.

“Kodi’s the guy that will start the game for us. Barrett did very well last week, as Neil Caudle did. I thought it was very good competition. Each of them helped each other out. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Barrett and Caudle battled for the No. 2 spot behind Burns during the open week, but Tuberville said all the quarterbacks made more mistakes than he’d like. Barrett, Caudle and Burns will make the trip to face West Virginia while former starter Chris Todd is nursing a sore shoulder.

Barrett entered the mix for playing time after the Tigers (4-3) lost to Arkansas, their third defeat in four games. He hasn’t played yet this season and was expected to take a redshirt year.

Auburn ranks 107th nationally in total offense and only two spots better in passing, prompting Tuberville to fire coordinator Tony Franklin three days before the Arkansas game.

If Trotter plays, Tuberville said it will be more like how the Tigers used Burns as a change-of-pace to Brandon Cox last season. Burns had been rotating with Todd.

“Kodi’s our guy. We’re going to go with him,” Tuberville said. “He’s going to get a little bit better every time he plays. We’re not going to take him out, just to say, ‘OK, he’s having problems, let’s take him out. It’ll be like a deal where he went in for Brandon, just certain plays.

“Whoever plays the other role is not going to know it all. You can’t expect them to. They’ll know an abbreviated version.”

Burns, meanwhile, is adjusting to life as the full-time starter. He has played in five games this season, but has completed only 17 passes while running for 116 yards and two touchdowns.

“That’s extremely tough for whatever quarterback that is,” Burns said of the rotation. “That’s a big thing and a hard thing to overcome is to play not to make a mistake. I felt that at times I was doing that, but now I can relax and play my game; and be like any other quarterback in the nation does and go out and play comfortably and not have to look over your shoulder.”

TIGER TALES: Tuberville said cornerback Jerraud Powers went for about half the practice while recovering from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the Arkansas game. Tuberville said players had to practice by Sunday to play in the game. “(Defensive end) Antoine Carter’s the only one still limping, and he was out there some but not a whole lot,” Tuberville said.