October 9, 2009

Todd a difference-maker for Auburn

There are a number of reasons for Auburn's vastly improved offense. But none has been bigger than the play of quarterback Chris Todd.

The senior is a leader of an offense that's averaging 512.8 yards and 41.4 points per game, which both rank No. 5 nationally. It's quite a turnaround for a player that was benched and lost his offensive coordinator a year ago.

"We were hoping it was going to happen last year, but it didn't happen like that," Todd said "It's been a crazy road. It's been exciting thus far this season. What we've done as a team has been good. Hopefully, we can keep the same roll."

Todd started five of the Tigers' first six games last year before offensive coordinator Tony Franklin was fired just days before the Arkansas game. Todd played sparingly in just one game the final six weeks and many thought his Auburn career was over.

But offseason shoulder surgery and an entirely new coaching staff gave Todd a fresh start and he's taken full advantage.

"He's the kind of the guy where he wouldn't blame anything on his arm," tight end Tommy Trott said. "He tried to stick it out and battled through some shoulder pain. We all had respect for Chris the way he battled through that and took a lot of that criticism that he received last year. He took a lot on the chin and kept going because he wasn't really listening to it -- he was trying to win football games.

"We saw him during the summer and especially during two-a-days is when you really took notice of how well he was throwing the ball and he's continued to do it."

Through five games this season, Todd has completed 81-of-138 passes (58.7%) for 1,230 yards with 12 touchdowns and only one interception. Todd threw for 903 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions last year.

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