Auburn offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler expressed guarded optimism regarding his expectations for Jonathan Wallace as starting quarterback against New Mexico State on Saturday, November 3. As reported by Charles Goldberg at AL.com, Loeffler was quick to praise the freshman's talent and work ethic during an interview, but reminded listeners that Wallace is still a freshman and is bound to make mistakes.
When speaking about his expectations for Wallace, Loeffler stated, "Saturday, he will not be perfect. That will not occur. He's a true freshman who needs to improve in a lot of areas. Where he's earned the right to have the opportunity is because he's a guy who's extremely coachable. He's not a mistake offender. Once he's made a mistake, he'll make sure that doesn't occur again. You're going to make mistake. However, you try like heck to make sure you don't become a repeat offender."
I believe Saturday's game represents a great opportunity for the freshman quarterback who, in my opinion, seems to have stolen the show from fellow quarterbacks Kiehl Frazier and Clint Moseley. As Scot Loeffler pointed out, Wallace is still a freshman and has a lot to learn. However, he has shown not only a great deal of talent, but a level of confidence and command that appears to be missing when his fellow quarterbacks take the field.
Since New Mexico State represents one of Auburn's less challenging games of the season, it will be a perfect time for Wallace to settle into the starter role and work on some of the weaknesses that come with a lack of experience. I hope to see him live up to my own expectations and then go on to truly prove his mettle when Auburn faces Georgia on November 10.
It would be unrealistic and unfair to Wallace to expect him to fix Auburn's problems - no matter how well he performs as a starting quarterback. The team has a young, inexperienced offensive line that will probably continue to serve as a weak point throughout the remainder of the season. Luckily, Wallace has proven quicker on his feet that either Frazier or Moseley and therefore may be able to better salvage those broken-line situations and turn a potential sack into some positive yardage.
Auburn's defense has also suffered a great deal this year, at times seeming to lack even the fundamentals such as tackling. Given the number of things that need to be fixed, I don't expect a better quarterback to solve all the problems. But at this point, I'm thinking about next season more so than harboring fantasies about Auburn turning things around in 2012 (not that it would be possible this late in the season anyway).
My hopes now lie in coaches giving Jonathan Wallace and the offensive line a chance to gain more experience with what's left of 2012 so that 2013 can perhaps usher in some much-needed improvements.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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