Gus Malzahn Should Start Fresh at Quarterback for Auburn Tigers in 2013

By Tyler Brett
JD Mercer – USA TODAY Sports

Gus Malzahn will make his return to the Auburn Tigers as their new head coach. He will try and get the Tigers quickly back to the level of their BCS National Championship run when Malzahn was running the offense. The first step in his rebuilding job is finding a quarterback to run his system in 2013. While he has two returning quarterbacks with significant experience from 2012, Malzahn should strongly consider starting fresh next fall under center.

Auburn used multiple quarterbacks in 2012, rotating in Kiehl Frazier, Jonathan Wallace and Clint Moseley to try and find the right guy to lead them. Instead of anyone emerging as the playmaker they were looking for, the trio combined for just eight passing touchdowns, 15 interceptions and three wins. Moseley left the program shortly after the 2012 season, meaning Frazier and Wallace return looking to improve on their lackluster effort a year ago.

But with spring practice over, Malzahn has left the quarterback competition open, saying that it could continue two to three weeks into fall camp. That indicates that the new head coach has not been blown away by what was waiting for him at quarterback when he took over the helm and opens up the possibility for junior college transfer Nick Marshall and freshman Jeremy Johnson to make a push for the starting job in August.

If one of the newcomers makes a splash early in fall camp, Malzahn should roll the dice and roll with them in 2013. Frazier and Wallace have had ample opportunity to show what they can do and were found insufficient in 2012. While some of that could be attributed to the team falling apart under outgoing coach Gene Chizik, at least part of the problem was the ability of the quarterbacks.

As Malzahn transforms the Auburn program, he will want to get a clean slate at some of the more important positions, including quarterback. While he has experience returning under center, the new Tigers coach should roll the dice on a fresh face next season.

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