Frazier’s role in Auburn’s offense increasing

Frazier will continue to see his role in the offense grow

Kiehl Frazier took a snap from Reese Dismukes in the third quarter of Auburn’s 30-14 win over Florida Atlantic on Saturday, on a second-and-5 from the Owls’ 14.

The dual-threat quarterback faked a step toward the line, like he was going to bowl his way through the middle.

Just like Cam used to do.

He stepped back to throw instead, firing toward an Auburn receiver in the end zone.

Just like Cam used to do.

Frazier’s throw — into double coverage — fell short of Emory Blake, bringing up a third down and bringing Barrett Trotter back onto the field.

Not quite like Cam. But Frazier’s got time to learn.

“I was so nervous going in,” Frazier said. “I had two options so even though it was double-covered, I had to try to get it in there.

“It was definitely fun to get my first pass, though.”

So Kiehl Frazier’s 0-for-1 in his collegiate career.

The act of passing in a game itself was another stepping stone toward one of Auburn’s most anticipated recruits of the Class of 2011 finally starting to make a meaningful intervention in Gus Malzahn’s offense.

Frazier allowed himself more opportunities to stretch his legs against the Owls, keeping three times on read options for 30 yards.

In previous games, those carries had gone to a sweeping Onterio McCalebb or Tre Mason.

“I was a little bit surprised,” Blake said. “Practice he doesn’t really get hit because he’s the quarterback, and I really hadn’t had a chance to see him run yet. He ran plays well when he got out there.”

Frazier took one snap against Utah State in the opener, throwing a lateral to Clint Moseley, who then threw to McCalebb. He took two or three against Mississippi State, handing off each time.

He took four or five against Clemson — running once for 3 yards — then took six against FAU, with three runs and a pass thrown in.

His reps have been steadily increasing as the weeks progress, along with his willingness to stick his nose into the teeth of the defense.

Get ready for more of that, Mazlahn said.

“He has impressed us and has handled himself well,” Malzahn said. “He’s a real calm kid and we’re just trying to expand his package each week and add to it.

“But just so far, so good. He’s got a chance to help us.”

Frazier says he’s been working about half-and-half in the Wildcat and in regular formation this year, but always behind Trotter, except for certain packages in which he’s the first option.

Head coach Gene Chizik said Tuesday that the quarterback pecking order had not changed: Trotter, then Clint Moseley, then Frazier.

Still, Frazier’s seen the field more often than Moseley because of his skill set.

“I think he has been growing as a player in terms of knowledge of the game,” Chizik said. “He has been getting some interaction on the field and getting some participation time on the field. The experience, as we all know, there’s no substitute for it, but he’s getting better.

“He’s getting more confident. Again, that’s why his role has expanded some.”

Chizik said the team is making a “concerted effort” to work Frazier in the Wildcat and maximize his potential in that set.

Malzahn seemed less convinced in his future as a purely Wildcat quarterback.

“He can throw it, there’s no doubt,” Frazier said. “We’ve just got to be selective on what we feel like he’s ready to do. Each week that expands more and more and we’re getting to where we can really trust him.”

Frazier wouldn’t be averse to having more responsibility.

As long as it’s OK with the man in charge.

“Whatever Coach Malzahn thinks,” Frazier said. “He’s going to go in with the guy he has the most trust in, and that’s been Barrett so far. Barrett’s been doing a good job.”

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