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Friday, September 18, 2009

Auburn impressed by West Virginia QB Brown

I wrote a notebook for today's newspaper. Here's the first item.

AUBURN, Ala. — Pat White is gone, his four-year run as West Virginia’s quarterback coming to an end last season. But if you talk to anyone around the Auburn football program, the Mountaineers don’t lose much in his replacement.

Players and coaches have raved about West Virginia quarterback Jarrett Brown, who through two games has 719 yards of total offense, sixth most in the country.

“He is very athletic,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. “He can throw it and run it. … We say that you have to cover him twice.”

Brown has thrived in the Mountaineers’ opened-up passing attack. He’s completed 75.4 percent of his passes (43 of 57) against Liberty and East Carolina for 577 yards and four touchdowns.

But that’s only half his value. Brown has 19 carries this season for 142 yards and another score. At 6-foot-4, 223 pounds, he’s a load to take down.

“The thing is you see this guy throw people off him,” Auburn defensive line coach Tracy Rocker said. “The football doesn’t look like it’s college sized. It looks like a little miniature ball in his hands. I’m going to assume the guy has gigantic hands, just the way the ball looks in his hands. He’s so strong, he’s slinging people off and the thing you see is he can run. We’ve got a big challenge there.”

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