Freshman Jonathan Wallace will serve as Auburn's starting quarterback against New Mexico State on Saturday, November 3. As reported by Charles Goldberg at AL.com, Auburn head coach Gene Chizik announced on Tuesday that he had selected Wallace as starting quarterback for the upcoming game.
During the interview, Chizik cited Wallace's recent performance against Texas A&M and injuries suffered by Clint Moseley and Kiehl Frazier as reasons for starting Jonathan Wallace this weekend. Moseley was taken out of the game against TAMU due to an ankle injury that still limits his ability to play, and Frazier's performance remains hampered by a shoulder injury that he incurred a few weeks ago.
Wallace will make Auburn's third starting quarterback of the season. Frazier was selected as the starter just before the opener against Clemson, but was then replaced by Moseley during the second half of the 24-7 loss against Arkansas. Now that both Moseley and Frazier are temporarily side-lined by injuries, Wallace will take the reigns.
In fairness to Jonathan Wallace, however, I think it does him a disservice to cite injuries as the most obvious reason for giving him the keys. He's a freshman who still has a lot of work to do before competing with the conference's stronger quarterbacks, but he has already exhibited plenty of talent on the field.
Earlier in the season, he made quick appearances to run wildcat plays, managing to average roughly five yards per carry. When he played against Texas A&M, however, Gene Chizik and offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler expanded his role to include some passing plays - to positive effect. Wallace completed six of nine attempts for 122 yards and two touchdowns. On rushing, he continued his running average of just over five yards per carry, proving himself as a double-threat.
I have thought for several weeks that Auburn should give Wallace a chance at the helm. He seems to have vindicated my "gut feeling" with his passing and rushing success against Texas A&M. TAMU handed a stinging defeat to Auburn in that game, but the loss was not due to any failure on Jonathan Wallace's part. To me, his performance outshines that of both Kiehl Frazier and Clint Moseley, and I for one am excited that his efforts will finally be rewarded with the starting position against New Mexico State.Christopher Brown is an avid, almost rabid college football fan. More importantly, he is a fan of the Auburn Tigers, a team that always seems to provide its fans with an unpredictable and even frustrating roller-coaster ride.
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