Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Injury fun

Except by fun, I mean, "hair-pulling anxiety." With the news just arrived that Khrisodi Burn-Stodd has been surgically separated into his two component quarterbacks and Chris Todd has been named the starting component, the injury picture isn't just getting fuzzier, it's just had its "brightness" turned down another notch.

To wit: Burns was the better quarterback the other night. You know it, I know it, the American people know it, I'm willing to wager Auburn's players and coaches know it. He should be our starting QB.

But if he can't practice, and Tubby says he couldn't yesterday (and might not today), I guess he's not going to be prepared as Todd. That's enough, apparently, to overturn the hypothetical deficit Todd was running after Saturday--particularly since according to Charles Goldberg (in the comment section of his blog??!?*) the plan has always been to start one half of Burn-Stodd in Week 1 and the other half in Week 2. Plus, Burns might not be able to play at all, Tubby's saying.

Now, I can admit the tone of that last paragraph is a little bit unduly ... skeptical. My ignorant jerking knee says that there's no way a laceration, even one flowing deep and wide, could keep a grade-A athlete like Burns out of action completely a full week after it happened, but I'm not a doctor. I don't even play one on TV. If Tubby's telling us Burns can't play, he can't play, and we should just move on and invite Todd to that little get-together we're having next week. He'd enjoy it.

But, dammit, I want Burns there. It's true that before last Saturday, I wouldn't have lost any sleep over it; for starters it didn't seem as if playing Burn-Stodd, Burns, or Todd would make any dramatic difference in the level of quarterback play. Also, as I said in my Cheese Puff piece, in the offseason Southern Miss didn't look like much more of a threat than ULM was: they're replacing a ton of folks, are undergoing their own offense transplant, and weren't very good to start with last year.

Yes, well. Nevermind all that now. USM's shiny new offense took on a Sun Belt team and punted thrice; our shiny new offense took on a Sun Belt team and punted twice that many times in the first half alone. This was a battle I'd have been comfortable saying before we could probably win a few hands still stationed below decks; now that's not the case. They're coming for us, cap'n. All hands should be at the ready.

And now that Burns's all-around dynamism and Todd's occasional channeling of the spirit of Evil Brandon the other night has me convinced Burns is the man for the job, taking on what suddenly looks like a very dangerous bunch of Golden Eagles sounds like a scary proposition indeed, since either

a) Burns won't be available
b) he'll be available, will enter the game, will likely exit it again, and both quarterbacks will look ragged and haphazard for a second week.

We walloped one opponent via sheer brute force. We can defeat another. But the odds get a whole lot better if Auburn gets something substantial out of the quarterback position, and the odds of that get a whole lot better, if you ask me, when Kodi Burns gets better.

Elsewhere on the injury front, it doesn't sound like Billings or Swinton is going to make it onto the field this weekend, which along with Pierre-Louis's demise means Auburn is now apparently scrambling for wideouts and is ready to burn a couple of redshirts. But I have to ask: as wideout-crazy as this offense is, is it still really about to be plunged into chaos because it only has Smith, Trott, Dunn, Zachery, Slaughter, Hawthorne, Fannin, and Carr to work with? Forgive me if I think we'll be OK.

Some good news: the Theory of Tristan Davis was put into practice at, uh, practice. With Smith looking as bona fide as he did Saturday it doesn't look like we'd need him at running back, but geez louise would having him back on kickoffs again--particularly with his replacement now also needing to be replaced--would be nice.

*Whoops, feed reader spat out more traditional confirmation while I was working on this.


Anonymous said...

I believe the name is "Chrodi Torns"

Jerry Hinnen said...

Says the anonymous fan of the Auburner. Tomato, tomahto.