Moseley’s dreams come to fruition
by Charles Bennett
cbennett@annistonstar.com
Nov 24, 2011 | 2765 views |  0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AUBURN — Clint Moseley said he has thrown approximately 1,000 touchdowns against Alabama in his mind.

In a little more than 48 hours, the Auburn quarterback will get to try it for real.

While Moseley, a redshirt sophomore from Leroy, embarks on his first start in the biggest game of his career, he downplays the chance that he’s overwhelmed.

“I could put a lot of pressure on myself,” said Moseley. “I’m not going to let myself do that. I’m going to work hard so I’m ready for the moment; so I’m not scared, so I’m not nervous, so I’m not worried.”

Moseley will be stepping onto the biggest stage of his life, guiding a 7-4 Auburn team against 10-1, No. 2-ranked Alabama, a team whose formidable defense leads the nation in six major categories.

Adding to the hoopla, ESPN’s GameDay will be on campus, and the game itself will be broadcast nationally on CBS.

Moseley’s performance this season mirrors that of his team: Poor at times, steady at best, but not spectacular.

For the season, Moseley has completed 54 of 86 passes (62.8 percent) for 732 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions.

Saturday’s game will be his sixth consecutive start for the Tigers after taking over from Barrett Trotter at halftime of the Arkansas game.

“I don’t think there’s any question that he’s a little more comfortable back there,” said Auburn coach Gene Chizik. “obviously, than he was three or four weeks ago, whenever that was.

There are some things he’s done well. There’s times when he hasn’t had an opportunity to do some things well because he’s been under some duress.”

Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said Moseley’s stint as Auburn’s starting quarterback has been a learning process from both sides.

“From a quarterback coach standpoint, I’m learning more about him every game — how he reacts, how to prepare him better, not to ask him to do things he’s not comfortable with and ask him to do things he is comfortable with,” Malzahn said. “ … and, if you ask him, he’s learning more about himself, too, with the guys up front, the running backs, the receivers.”

Auburn is 3-2 with Moseley at the helm, with victories over Florida, Ole Miss and Samford and emphatic road losses at No. 1-ranked LSU (45-10) and then 14th-ranked Georgia (45-7).

“When bad stuff happens, you learn,” Moseley said. “We’ve had bad stuff happen every single game, we’ve just had a lot more happen in a few games. You learn from it.”

When asked how they think he will perform, Moseley’s teammates almost universally say “Clint is going to be Clint,” a somewhat mystifying explanation.

Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen tries to explain.

“It’s hard to tell with Clint,” Lutzenkirchen said. “… From what I’ve seen from him so far he hasn’t been rattled by much this year, he’s just taking it play by play, which is what you want from a quarterback.”

One thing in Moseley’s favor. He’ll be playing within the friendly confines of Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium with the home crowd rooting him on.

It’s a dream scenario for a small-town kid from Alabama.

“I never thought I would be here,” Moseley said. “I can’t really think of many who would’ve ever guessed that I’d get this opportunity besides my mom and my dad.”

Charles Bennett covers Auburn University sports for The Star. Follow him on Twitter @AUTigers_Star

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