September 28, 2008

Todd remains starter for Vandy

Tommy Tuberville didn't waste any time making a decision.

A day after backup quarterback Kodi Burns played significant snaps in Auburn's to a 14-12 win over Tennessee, Tuberville said Chris Todd will start his fifth consecutive game when the 13th-ranked Tigers travel to No. 19 Vanderbilt Saturday.

Todd got off to a hot start against the Vols, completing 9-of-12 passing attempts through the first quarter and a half including an 18-yard strike to Robert Dunn to give AU a 7-0 lead. It turned out to be AU's only offensive touchdown of the game and just the third in three SEC games.

Todd was less effective after watching Burns from the sidelines and returning in the second half, when he completed just 5-of-11 passes and threw a third-quarter interception that led to UT's only touchdown.

"(Todd) made some good throws," Tuberville said. "A lot of times you look at the quarterback when the play doesn't work, and it looks like the quarterback's fault when it's not.

"We made a ton of mental mistakes, outside on the corners, the receivers. If any other quarterback's in, it's kind of the same situation. It looks like he made an awful throw or something went awry and it looks like it's his fault, and it really isn't.

"Chris is growing up. He's getting better, too. It's good to have two guys that are still competing, making each other better in practice."

Burns finished the game 4-of-6 for 36 yards including a key 10-yard, third-down pass late in the fourth quarter that gave AU a first down and allowed the Tigers to run out the clock. Burns also carried the ball eight times for 16 yards.

"I thought Kodi did good," Tuberville said. "He played 25 snaps and made some mistakes. He came in and gave us an opportunity to get the fans all excited. He did make some athletic plays. The more he plays the better he's going to get. We need to get him in there. But you've got to have a starting quarterback and a backup."

Tuberville said Burns is still making some mental errors that are keeping him from being a full-time starter. But Burns' play against the Vols did earn him more playing time in the coming weeks.

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