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October 30, 2012- -
AUBURN -- The Tigers will go into the New Mexico State game this weekend with its third new quarterback of the season.
Freshman Jonathan Wallace, who thrived in a reserve role against Texas A&M last weekend, will make the first start of his career this weekend. Typical starter Clint Moseley suffered an injury to his left ankle against the Aggies and could be out for a few weeks.
"He's one of those guys who is mature beyond his years," coach Gene Chizik said of Wallace. "He's just a little bit different. He's not into all the fluff and all the stuff around what (being the starter) means. He just loves football, loves to work at the game. His play was very positive Saturday night."
Wallace completed six of his nine passes against the Aggies for 122 yards and two touchdowns. He also gained 71 yards on 13 carries.
The freshman worked exclusively as the Tigers' Wildcat quarterback through September and into October. Wallace notched his first career completion against Vanderbilt two weeks ago, but showed surprising refinement with his passing against Texas A&M.
Chizik said Wallace has been working on a much wider array of plays during the past few weeks after focusing on Wildcat-based runs prior to that.
"This will be a little different for him because the playbook will expand some," Chizik said. "He'll have to execute all of those things."
Kiehl Frazier will serve as Wallace's backup this weekend if Moseley is ruled out. Chizik said freshman wideout Ricardo Louis, who moonlighted as the Wildcat last weekend, can serve as the Tigers' emergency quarterback.
BONUS PROSE: Read Justin Hokanson's touching profile of Wallace from earlier this year.
Mississippi State NEWS