Auburn coach Gus Malzahn guaranteed that he’d be making “tweaks” after the Tigers dropped out of the top 25 due to Saturday’s loss to Tennessee.
However, the Tigers’ starting quarterback will remain the same for their road contest at Ole Miss (5-2), according to ESPN.
Despite a difficult season so far, redshirt junior Jarrett Stidham is staying under center for Auburn (4-3), who tossed two critical interceptions in the loss to the two-touchdown underdog Vols (3-3).
Auburn HC Gus Malzahn: “There will be some tweaks this week. I won’t sit here and say what they are right now… But I will say that Jarrett Stidham will be our quarterback.”
— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) October 16, 2018
Prior to the season, Stidham was being touted as a potential first-round NFL draft pick.
Stidham has thrown for seven touchdowns and four interceptions as Auburn has failed to live up to the preseason hype.
Auburn is 1-3 in SEC play, with their lone victory vs. Arkansas on Sept. 22. Auburn lost to LSU by one point (22-21) and Tennessee by six (30-24).
“As a coach, you look at the whole picture,” Malzahn said to ESPN. “We’ve been close. But close isn’t good enough.”
Malzahn’s faith in Stidham hasn’t wavered.
“Jarrett gives us the best chance of winning,” Malzahn said. “He knows what he has to do.”
Last season, Stidham passed for 3,158 yards and 18 touchdowns (six interceptions) in his debut campaign at Auburn.
Meanwhile, Malzahn told ESPN he isn’t feeling pressure to justify his seven-year, $49 million contract he was rewarded in the offseason.
— Auburn Football (@AuburnFootball) October 13, 2018
Righting the ship will have to occur against a strong slate of Ole Miss followed by games against ranked opponents No. 17 Texas A&M, No. 8 Georgia and No. 1 Alabama in November.
As for the adjustments vs. Ole Miss, Malzahn is being coy but explained his priorities.
“I feel like I’m coaching for my players for the next game,” Malzahn said to ESPN. “We’ve got to finish this thing the right way.”