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Quarterback race heats up

AUBURN – For sophomore Clint Moseley, it was a Saturday like none other since he arrived at Auburn in the summer of 2009. He was on the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium, taking snaps that mattered in race of his athletic life.

Clint Moseley cuts loose during Saturday scrimmage/Todd Van Emst photo

Moseley and junior Barrett Trotter are locked in close competition for the opportunity to replace Heisman Trophy-winner Cam Newton as Auburn’s starting quarterback. They had their biggest test to date in a 120-play scrimmage.

“Today was the first time I really felt like I was playing football instead of trying to remember everything,” Moseley said. “Today I was actually competing. It was a lot of fun today. It was different than any mindset I’ve had so far here. It was good to get out there and compete like that.”

Trotter, Newton’s backup last season, also felt good about his performance.

“I feel really comfortable with everything we are doing,” Trotter said. “There really isn’t much I feel like is new material for me. It’s not so much learning anymore as much as getting the ball where I want it every time.”

Trotter said the race with his friend Moseley is too close to call

“I’d say we are about the same,” Trotter said.

He got no argument from offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, who is eager to name a leader.

“We are trying to figure out our top 11,” Malzahn said. “It’s going to be a little harder for the quarterbacks. They both know the offense so well. They were fairly close going into this scrimmage. Hopefully, we’ll learn a little bit more, but it’s going to be hard to distinguish one from another, I believe, even after this scrimmage.”

Malzahn said the evaluation process is made more difficult because large numbers of inexperienced players are getting opportunities as spring goes on.

“There are so many things that go on,” Malzahn said. “With the orange group, the main group, that’s where they’ll be evaluated. I’m going to have to watch the film to get a good grip on it. There were some good things that happened. I remember some good throws, but I really have to see the protections, see if there were any breakdowns and how they responded.

“They protected the football pretty well. Both of them had good attitudes and competed.”

According to Trotter and Moseley, neither threw an interception. Moseley threw touchdown passes to Philip Lutzenkirchen and Emory Blake.

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