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April 2, 2011

Trotter, Moseley even in QB race

After seven practices, including a full scrimmage, offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is no closer to finding a starting quarterback than he was two weeks ago.

Battling for the position are junior Barrett Trotter and sophomore Clint Moseley.

"They both know the offense so well," Malzahn said. "And they're both fairly close going into this scrimmage. So hopefully we'll learn a little bit more. But it's going to be hard to distinguish one from the other I believe after this scrimmage."

Both Trotter and Moseley received equal reps on the orange and blue teams in today's scrimmage at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

"I guess it was 100-120 plays," Malzahn said. "When you're playing so many experienced guys, it's hard to evaluate the quarterback today after we get through, because there are so many things that go on. With the orange group, with the main group, that's where they'll be evaluated most. And I'm really going to have to watch film to get a grip on it. There were some good things that happened that I remember, some good throws. See the protections, see if there were any breakdowns and how they responded. They protected the football fairly well for the first scrimmage. Both of them had a good attitude and competed."

Head coach Gene Chizik said he was evaluating the way the two quarterbacks managed the offense and how well they protected the football.

"We had some quarterback-center exchanges today that were definitely in need of improvement," Chizik said. "There's no question about that. I think our quarterbacks did a nice job for the most part of protecting the ball. I thought they did a nice job of that. Managing the offense, just getting everybody set, making sure everybody is aligned, still trying to keep a good pace, are obviously our objectives.

"We wanted to run the football today. The quarterbacks got a chance to throw today, some. Again today we wanted to run the ball a good bit and kind of get the tempo of that down. But I thought overall both quarterbacks did a nice job. again, we'll know more with those two as we go back and look at the film."

Earlier in the week Malzahn noted that he didn't believe Moseley was mentally prepared to compete for the starting quarterback job in his first two seasons at Auburn. Now, after spending those two years learning the offense and watching the success of Chris Todd and Cameron Newton, Malzahn believes he is ready.

Moseley believes he had a good outing in the scrimmage.

"Today was the first time I really felt I was playing football instead of trying to remember everything," Moseley said. "Today I was actually competing. It was a lot of fun. It was different than any mindset that I had. It was very good to get out there and compete like that."

Trotter, who was last year's backup, feels comfortable in the offense.

"There's really not much," Trotter said. "I don't really feel like it's new material for me; it's just kind of re-learning and getting a foundation back again. It's not so much learning anymore, it's just getting the ball where I want it every time."

Both Trotter and Moseley said some mistakes were made, but overall they were pleased with their respective performances today. They said they are going to continue to compete and wait to see what Malzahn decides.

"He's given us even reps," Mosley said. "You can't judge it off one day. He's going to judge it off who takes the ball the whole spring."


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