Another game on the LSU schedule. Another new starting quarterback on the opposite sideline.
Auburn sophomore Clint Moseley will become the latest newbie to face LSU’s vaunted defense on Saturday afternoon at Tiger Stadium, making it three straight weeks the top-ranked Tigers have faced an opponent breaking in a different starter behind center.
Moseley gets his first career start in place of junior Barrett Trotter, who was benched at halftime of last week’s victory over Florida after starting Auburn’s first seven games.
“I feel like we need a spark there. I feel like in the second half of the Florida game, Clint came in and gave us somewhat of a spark when we needed it. I think he’s earned the right for the opportunity to start, so he’ll be starting in Baton Rouge,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said Tuesday at his weekly news conference.
Moseley, who earned Alabama’s Mr. Football as a Leroy High School senior, had attempted only two passes before going 4-of-7 for 90 yards in the second half against Florida.
Trotter served as a backup to Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton on last year’s BCS Championship team, then beat out Moseley and freshman Kiehl Frazier in a hotly contested race to begin 2011 as Auburn’s starter.
Despite leading Auburn to a 5-2 start, Trotter has struggled to get the offense going in recent weeks.
“I think obviously they want a little more production out of the quarterback,” LSU coach Les Miles said, “so it appears they’re making a change.”
LSU’s coaches have little film of Moseley since he hasn’t played much, but it’s not like the Tigers haven’t been here before.
Two weeks ago, Florida gave freshman Jacoby Brissett his first college start at LSU after Alabama knocked regular starter John Brantley to the sideline with an ankle injury. Saturday at Tennessee, LSU faced the Volunteers with sophomore Tyler Bray, who suffered a thumb injury late in the Georgia game a week earlier, out of the lineup and senior Matt Simms making his first start of the season.
Last month, Northwestern State junior Brad Henderson made his first Division I start against the Tigers after Paul Harris, a preseason All-Southland Conference selection, was suspended by coach Bradley Dale Peveto for violating team rules.
Moseley does the honors this time.
A multi-sport standout at Leroy who won three state championships in football and one in baseball, Moseley arrived at Auburn as the nation’s No. 19 dual-threat quarterback, according to Rivals.com.
He played in only one game last year as a redshirt freshman, seeing limited time against Louisiana-Monroe without attempting a pass.
Chizik turns to him now hoping the 6-foot-4, 223-pounder can elevate an Auburn passing attack that has faltered in recent weeks. He turns to him just in time for the LSU game, the way it seems to happen every week for LSU’s next opponent.
“I think he’s really stayed focused along the way,” Chizik said. “I feel like putting it all together and looking at where we are offensively and the spark that we need, we feel like this is the best decision.”