Auburn QB Keihl Frazier could snag the starting role before the Tigers' bowl game Dec. 31, and likely could hold onto it for next season if he has a good showing against Virginia.
AUBURN, Ala. -- Kiehl Frazier appears to be becoming more than just Auburn's wildcat quarterback.
It remains to be seen if the Tigers freshman can jump all the way to the role of starter -- and next year's front-runner -- in time for the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl against Virginia.
Frazier is getting more of a chance to run the whole offense in practice alongside Clint Moseley.
"He's getting more reps in the regular offense, because he understands it better," Auburn coach Gene Chizik said Tuesday. "He understands different concepts. It's kind of like spring practice No. 1. So you're expecting all of the young guys to come in and have a better grasp of what we're doing. So he's not the only young guy that is happening to."
Chizik said the quarterback pecking order hasn't changed, but adds that, as with every other position, "we're evaluating everybody every day."
The Tigers (7-5) have had season-long quarterback issues. A passing game that ranks 10th in the Southeastern Conference will bear more of a burden with All-SEC tailback Mike Dyer missing the bowl game because of a suspension for violating team rules.
WHO: Auburn (7-5) vs. Virginia (8-4).
WHAT: Chick-fil-A Bowl.
WHEN: Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m.
LINE: Auburn by 1.
Moseley replaced Barrett Trotter as the starter for the final five games, but he has had interceptions returned for touchdowns three times, including one in the regular-season finale against Alabama. Neither Moseley nor Frazier got much done against the nation's No. 1 defense.
Moseley passed for just 62 yards while Frazier failed to complete either one of his attempts but ran eight times for 28 yards.
"I didn't throw the ball very well," Frazier said.
He's had few chances. Frazier is 5 of 12 passing for 34 yards with a couple of interceptions while playing in every game.
"It wasn't that he wasn't growing; he was growing," Chizik said. "He was getting a better grasp of it. What you find many times is young guys play the season, take a couple of weeks off, and the light kind of comes on. So with all our young guys, we hope that's happened."
Moseley said he and Frazier split practice repetitions pretty evenly in the first bowl practice on Monday.
"This is a great time for him to get reps and learn the offense," the sophomore said. "It all happened so fast with him coming in he didn't get a chance to get used to it before he was asked to play. This is a really good time for him. For the younger players, it's a great time to learn."
Moseley has been learning under fire, too, since making his first start at No. 1 LSU. He has completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 794 yards with five touchdowns against three interceptions for a team that has been short on consistent wide receivers. Frazier is the team's No. 3 rusher with 272 yards.
He said he's not spending time daydreaming about potentially starting the bowl game.
"That's not really something we think about," said Frazier, who was the USA Today National Offensive Player of the Year as a high school senior. "As quarterbacks, whenever we go to practice, we go in really as a unit, as one person. We're all working to get the team better."
The first order of business for the Tigers is finding a quarterback who gives them the best chance to win in the bowl game. But Moseley, Frazier and Trotter -- who has his degree and is in graduate school -- are all eligible to return next season.
Plus, Auburn has a verbal commitment from one of the nation's top quarterback prospects in Kentucky's Zeke Pike.
Seeking to replace Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, the Tigers pursued North Carolina State transfer Russell Wilson during the offseason before he landed at Wisconsin and became an instant starter.
That left Frazier as the presumptive quarterback of the future.
He said he continues to approach practices as if he's competing for the starting job.
"I try to do that every day just because for our team to get better, I've got to get better personally," Frazier said. "So I definitely go out there every day and compete like I'm going out there to start."