Clint Moseley and Barrett Trotter have been neck and neck for the job all spring and neither particularly distinguished themselves in Saturday’s A-Day spring game, leaving the competition ongoing to find a replacement for Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Cam Newton.
“I think that they are very similar right now in nature,” said Auburn coach Gene Chizik. “I think probably the thing that stands out most after going through the past 14 days is the inconsistency from both of them. That is what we are trying to get out of our quarterback position right now.
“We are trying to find someone who can manage the game and manage the team and protect the football and things of that nature. They both do that fairly well.”
Moseley completed 9 of 15 passes for 82 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for eight times for minus 18 yards. He was sacked five times.
“I felt like I could have done better,” Moseley said. “There are a few plays I’d like to have back. It’s just one of those days.”
Trotter completed 6 of 12 passes 120 yards and one touchdown, a 19-yard scoring strike to tight end Phillip Lutzenkirchen.
He also rushed three times for minus 12 yards and was sacked once.
“You’d like for it to be done but you never can tell,” Trotter said of the quarterback competition. “I thought I did well.”
Although Auburn’s offense scored only one touchdown all day in the offense vs. defense format of the scrimmage, walk-on placekicker Chandler Brooks, subbing for an injured Cody Parkey, kicked three field goals.
Under Auburn’s complicated point system for an offense vs. defense type scrimmage, the defense won 63-32.
An announced crowd of 53,290 was in attendance.
The lack of actual scoring didn’t bother offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. Starting running backs Mike Dyer and Onterio McCalebb played sparingly on a day when the coaches were content to let a number of walk-ons play.
“Obviously we’d like to get in the end zone a little bit more,” Malzahn said. “But when you’re evaluating and trying to figure out guys you want on Saturdays. ...and we’re getting closer. And there were some good things. But obviously I’d like to get in the end zone a few more times than one.”
Although neither quarterback stood out, Chizik said he sees progress.
“There were some open balls out there today that we had, and we missed,” he said. “We just have to be more consistent at that position, but both of them have a very good feel for the offense. They understand that they have a good feel for it. I don’t think that that is an issue.
“Obviously the more they are in there with live fast reps, the more that it will help.”
Malzahn said he was not disappointed that the Tigers will exit the spring without deciding on a No. 1 quarterback.
“Until we know who gives us the best chance to win and it’s 110 percent, we won’t make the call,” Malzahn said. “The first year we were here we didn’t make the call. Last year, we did it a week after. It’s just like any other position, when we’re 110 percent certain sure we’ll do that.”
Charles Bennett covers Auburn University sports for The Star.