Posted by Jerry Hinnen
For the third time in three games, LSU will be facing a quarterback making his first start of the year. But unlike the injury-forced situations at Florida and Tennessee, Auburn will be debuting a new signal-caller by choice.
Gene Chizik announced Tuesday that after leading the previously moribund Auburn offense to 10 second-half points against Florida, redshirt sophomore Cint Moseley would get the call Saturday against the Bayou Bengals. For the season, Moseley has completed 6 of 9 passes for 120 yards.
"We need a spark there," Chizik said of the quarterback position. "He made some throws in the [Florida] game that were good throws. They came at the right time. Putting it all together, giving us the spark we need, we feel he’s earned the opportunity," Chizik added.
Of course, that opportunity is coming on the road against one of the nation's best defenses--not the best way for a new quarterback to get his feet udnerneath him, as the Gators' Jacoby Brissett found out two weeks ago. Moseley at least didn't seem to have any illusions about the size of the task he was facing.
"Maybe it's the best defense I'll probably ever face in my first start. But that's why you come to Auburn, " he said. "I know they're probably going to come right for me. It couldn't get any better."
No doubt that Chizik and Gus Malzahn wish they had an easier opponent for Moseley to test himself against first. But they also must have felt like they didn't have much choice after Barrett Trotter's performance had steadily declined in recent weeks following a bright start. At halftime of the Tigers' Week 3 matchup against Clemson, Trotter was completing 68 percent of his passes for the season for 8.9 yards an attempt, with a 6-to-1 touchdown-to-interception. Since that point, the junior has completed just 45 percent of his passes for 5.3 yards an attempt and more interceptions (5) than touchdowns (4).
Moseley was a lightly-regarded recruit coming out of Leroy (Ala.) High School in 2009, but drew positive reviews as the Tigers' scout team QB that fall. He battled Trotter throughout spring and fall camp this year for the starting job, only for Chizik and Malzahn to settle on Trotter some two weeks before the start of the season.
Unfortunately for Moseley -- particularly given the opponent he's about to face -- his offensive line could be in better health. Chizik also announced Tuesday that starting senior guard Jared Cooper has had surgery on his injured ankle and will miss the remainder of the season. The surgery will end Cooper's Auburn career. He will be replaced in the starting lineup by redshirt freshman Chad Slade.