Experience gives Burns edge for Auburn QB job

April, 29, 2009
4/29/09
3:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach

AUBURN, Ala. -- New Auburn coach Gene Chizik won't name a starting quarterback until later this summer, but incumbent Kodi Burns has at least one advantage over challenger Neil Caudle.

Burns, a junior from Fort Smith, Ark., played in nine games for the Tigers last season.

"I think any time there's a quarterback who has game experience, I think there's an advantage over those who don't," Chizik said. "Starting out of the blocks, I think there's an advantage for him over the others."

Chizik said Burns and Caudle were essentially neck-and-neck while running new coordinator Gus Malzahn's offense this spring. Caudle, a junior from Hoover, Ala., threw the ball better than Burns during the April 18 spring game. He completed 11 of 16 passes for 161 yards with two touchdowns.

Burns completed three of eight passes for 48 yards.

Burns is a little more mobile than Caudle, but Malzahn's offense definitely requires a strong (and accurate) arm.

"There just hasn't been a lot of separation," Chizik said. "We've made progress with all of them, but not enough separation has taken place to make a decision at this point."

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