If it’s close, Auburn should give the reins to Burns

Is there a quarterback controversy in Auburn? Not yet. But a battle is certainly brewing between multi-talented sophomore quarterback Kodi Burns and transfer Chris Todd. Fortunately for the team, both quarterbacks stepped up to play well at Auburn’s annual A-Day game this past Saturday.

Todd completed 18 of 27 passes on the day for 190 yards and a touchdown, while Burns was 14 of 21 for 142 yards and a score.

Of course, as good as that sounds, it doesn’t make the jobs of new offensive coordinator Tony Franklin or head coach Tommy Tuberville any easier when it comes to naming a starting quarterback for the club.

“They were both good, and they were both bad. The things that I liked were that they (both) moved the team,” said Franklin.

“They got the ball in the end zone a few times. Not as many as I would like.”

On the other hand, Franklin also noted that Todd was much better in the second half; in the first, said Franklin, “he had nothing on the ball.”

In fairness, Todd’s coming back from an injury, so some inconsistency in regard to his throwing, as he rehabs, is to be expected.

With that said, let’s assume these two keep playing right at the same level. What should the team do then?

Give the reins to Burns, that’s what.

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The hope is that someone will separate himself, obviously. If that happens, then the position will be much easier to decide for Auburn’s coaching staff. But if not, there are two reasons to give Burns the job.

In specific, his running ability and upside.

The first is obvious. Burns is not as accurate a passer as Todd is. But he can make plays — as he did last season when Brandon Cox was benched — out of nothing with his legs. In a conference such as the SEC where the defenses are so fast, that means something.

Not to mention that the spread offense does well with someone who can run.

Another thing in Burns’ favor is that Todd has had more time to learn the offense, having worked in it and with Franklin before. Burns, on the other hand, hasn’t had the luxury. And there’s something to be said for the fact that if Burns can keep things close without as much time in the system, imagine what might happen once Burns really starts to understand it.

Regardless, the competition here is healthy and good for the team. Further, it’s usually the case that one of the quarterbacks in a battle such as this one will distance himself.

If not, though, give it to Burns. The last time the Tigers had a starter with wheels — Jason Campbell — they went undefeated.

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