September 15, 2012

Five to Thrive: ULM @ AU

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AUBURN -- The Tigers find themselves at a crossroads.

The Clemson game included plenty of bright spots, but losing in the Georgia Dame provided an emotional setback. Then came the mess in Starkville last season, which prompted even the most assured sunshine pumper to wonder how things fell so far so fast.

It may have been a mirage.

Mississippi State players and a coach boasted that they'd learned the Tigers' signals and knew every play before the snap. That may help explain a five-turnover day from quarterback Kiehl Frazier and what must be considered a poor effort almost across the board.

Still, Auburn appears to have an advantage this morning when Louisiana-Monroe comes to town. The Warhawks beat Arkansas in overtime last weekend and immediately became darlings on the national scene. Can their strong passing game an unorthodox defensive tactics foil coach Gene Chizik's team?

That seems unlikely. This remains a powerful team with plenty of ambition.

With that in mind, here's this week's Five to Thrive.

Kiehl Frazier, QB, sophomore

He was a mess last weekend, completing 13 passes to his own team and three to Mississippi State defenders. Two fumbles complicated matters.

Yet Frazier isn't panicked. He acknowledged that the MSU pass rush was a distraction, which offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler believes is a correctable problem. Frazier still has excellent arm strength, dedicates himself toward improving and has come to grips with his weaknesses.

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