Auburn freshman Jonathan Wallace will serve as starting quarterback against Georgia on Saturday, November 10. As reported by Charles Goldberg at AL.com, head coach Gene Chizik stated on Sunday that Wallace would make his second start as quarterback against the Bulldogs next weekend.
When asked about Wallace’s performance against New Mexico State and the decision to again start him against Georgia, Chizik stated, “I don’t think we’ve ever made a decision right after a game. You’ve got to go back, evaluate what each player did. As we’ve gone back and really looked at it, he made some improvements and I think he’ll learn from it because he’s one of those kind of guys.”
As a fan, I’m happy to see Chizik announce a starting quarterback early in the week rather than waiting until Thursday to make the decision official. I realize this could be seen as inconsequential, but the recent delays in announcing a starting quarterback has seemed to highlight the team’s struggles. For a change, fans will know all week who will lead Auburn’s offense after the next kickoff.
Jonathan Wallace got off to a slow start during his first game as starting quarterback, only passing for a total of 50 yards by halftime. The tempo quickly changed, however, when Wallace and the rest of the Auburn offense took to the field in the third quarter. Wallace turned his slow start into great success, throwing for 164 yards with a 56.3 completion percentage and a touchdown pass to Trovon Reed.
Wallace also threw one interception during the game, but that’s not surprising or disappointing for a freshman in his first NCAA start. Although the game against New Mexico State is not very representative of the sort of challenge Auburn will face this weekend against Georgia, it still served as good practice for Wallace. He now has a start under his belt, a learning experience through which he can further hone his game, and a bit more confidence than before.
Georgia is currently 8-1 and is obviously favored to win. However, if Auburn can play the entire game against the Bulldogs the way they played in the second half against New Mexico State, I believe they can at least force Georgia to truly earn their next “W.”
Also, the fact remains that Georgia has enjoyed an extremely successful season and could possibly be due for an upset. With the home-field advantage and enough stars lining up in their favor, perhaps Auburn could pull off one of those rare Saturday miracles. I know… but a fan can dream. War Eagle!
Christopher Brown is an avid, almost rabid college football fan. More importantly, he is a fan of the Auburn Tigers, a team that always seems to provide its fans with an unpredictable and even frustrating roller-coaster ride.