September 21, 2008

Players gaining confidence in Todd

Ben Tate passed on a little advice to Chris Todd before the LSU game.

Tate told Todd, who started his third game as Auburn's quarterback Saturday, that big-time players make big-time plays and he had confidence Todd would get the job done.

"I was trying to let him know if he's going to be the quarterback, we're behind him," Tate said. "But you can't play scared. You've got to go balls to the walls.

"I think he stepped up and made some big plays."

Receiver Tim Hawthorne said Todd's increased confidence was evident in his play against LSU. Todd finished the night 17-of-32 for 250 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

It also paid off for Hawthorne, who caught a career-high two passes for 87 yards.

"(Todd) just took a lot more chances this time than he did in the last three games," Hawthorne said. "He knew that he was going to have to do some things to give the receivers and running backs a chance to make plays. I think that's what he did better than he's done all year long.

"It's even better that he'll do it in a game like this, of this magnitude, against LSU. If he'll do it against them, you know that he's more comfortable to do it against any other team we play this season."

Senior Rod Smith was on the receiving end of a team-high five Todd passes for 73 yards against LSU. Smith said he likes how Todd has taken on more of a leadership role for the offense.

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