Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Moseley ready for backup role

By Charles Bennett

AUBURN – Auburn quarterback Clint Moseley said he has bounced back from the disappointment of losing the starting job to Barrett Trotter.

Moseley was involved in a battle with Trotter that lasted all through spring and most of fall camp before the Tigers named Trotter the starter on Aug. 18.

“I was just kind of blank for two days,” Moseley said. “I wouldn’t say I was upset or mad. I was just like … here. I didn’t know what to think. I couldn’t grasp anything. I was just really confused, really just blank.”

Moseley said he eventually accepted the decision and is now trying “to be the best backup in America.”

He and Trotter, who have been best friends, are on good terms again.

“Our relationship was real tough for two days,” Moseley said. “Because what do you say to me if you’re Barrett? He didn’t know what to say? I called up Barrett, told him I’d accept it. He is my best friend no matter what. We’re great. Nothing’s really changed … off the field.”

More situations work

Auburn practiced Wednesday night in preparation for Saturday’s season-opener against Utah State, and coach Gene Chizik liked what he saw.

“I thought tonight was a really crisp practice,” Chizik said. “There was a lot of high energy as you would expect getting close to game time. We worked a lot of situations, which we’ve been spending a lot of time on lately. But overall, focus was really good. And I think we’re getting close to being ready to play.”

Niles won’t play

Auburn defensive line coach Mike Pelton says the Tigers will rotate a lot of players up front in Saturday’s opener, but freshman Jabrien Niles won’t be one of them.
Pelton didn’t give a specific reason, but stated that Niles won’t dress for Saturday’s game.

“Right now, Jabrien Niles is not on our dress squad,” Pelton said. “He’s not dressing for this game. Coach Chizik hasn’t decided what we’re going to do with him yet, but right now he’s not in our rotation. Jabrien is a great kid. He’s going to be a good player at auburn. I saw some great things from him this fall, but right now he’s just not ready to get in there.”

First and second is clear

After ongoing battles at different positions, offensive line coach Jeff Grimes said he’s satisfied he’ll have his best five players on the field on Saturday

“There was enough separation that we didn't have to flip a coin for it,” he said.
“The five guys who earned that job earned them. The five guys who are starting clearly deserve to be our five starters right now. That doesn't mean it can't change at some point. I've been in a lot of seasons where a guy isn't performing well and another guy, maybe a young guy, comes on and beats the guy out and starts Game 4 or Game 5. That could still happen. At this point, I feel very confident that we've got the right five on the field.”

Grimes said Blake Burgess, who lost the starting center job to Reese Dismukes, will be first off the bench at the three interior line positions.

“He'd probably be the first guy in the game right now,” Grimes said.
“That's an important role. It takes a special type of person to be able
to do more than one thing like that. He's smart enough conscientious
enough and reliable enough that I'm completely confident in him
handling that.”

About openers

Auburn is riding a 15-game-winning streak heading into Saturday’s season-opening game against Utah State.
The Tigers are 91-25-2 in season-opening games. Auburn’s 91 season-opening victories is one behind Alabama’s for most in the SEC.

Attacking the WAC

Auburn is 15-0-1 against teams from the Western Athletic Conference. The Tigers have never played Utah State.

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