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Todd moves in as Auburn's starting quarterback

Posted By ESPN.com's Chris Low

I sensed back in July, even before preseason practice began, that first-year Auburn offensive coordinator Tony Franklin was struggling with how to divvy up the snaps at quarterback.

He was pretty candid that he wasn't a two-quarterback guy and never had been. But he also felt like he had two quarterbacks who could win for him.

And that may still be the case.

Unless they have to, though, it sounds like the Tigers would prefer to play just one the rest of the season and get away from the quarterback carousel that looked uncomfortable for everybody last weekend. The Tigers finished with just 85 yards passing (28 through three quarters) in a 34-0 win over Louisiana-Monroe.

Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville announced on Tuesday that Chris Todd would be the starter this weekend against Southern Miss. Kodi Burns, the starter last week, is questionable with a leg laceration.

Tuberville's not picking sides at this point, but he wants to see either Todd or Burns take this job and run with it. In other words, if Todd plays well against Southern Miss and is more consistent throwing the ball, it's likely his job to lose the rest of the way.

"We're going to find a quarterback and somebody that's going to get the job done ... and give them a long leash," Tuberville told reporters Tuesday.

Todd has been around Franklin's offense since he was a sophomore in high school. Todd's high school in Elizabethton, Ky., put in Franklin's spread offense, and Franklin spent some time there as a consultant.

"There are some basic concepts to this offense, and you've got to get those down," said Todd, who started his career at Texas Tech before spending last season at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College. "Really, where you make the difference is understanding how to take those concepts and put them in different situations."

As a pocket passer, Todd gives the Tigers a better chance to throw some of the precision routes that are necessary in this offense. Burns has been too inconsistent with his accuracy.

What Todd doesn't do as well as Burns is scramble and make things happen when everything else breaks down, but that doesn't mean Todd is a bad athlete, either. He also played basketball and baseball in high school.

The Tigers only have a few more weeks to get it right before LSU comes to town on Sept. 20. If you can't throw the ball some against LSU, then you can forget about it.

And even the Sept. 13 trip to Mississippi State won't be easy against the Bulldogs' defense if Auburn doesn't improve its efficiency throwing the ball.

Here's Todd's chance to show that he can pump some life into the Tigers' passing game.