AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn coach Gus Malzahn promised "tweaks" would be made following a loss to Tennessee on Saturday that dropped the Tigers out of the top 25, but he said that Jarrett Stidham would not be one of them as he remains the team's starting quarterback.
Thus far, Stidham hasn't lived up to his high preseason billing as a possible first-round NFL draft pick. During the loss to the two-touchdown underdog Vols, the redshirt junior threw two costly interceptions.
All told, he has thrown just seven touchdowns and four picks this season as Auburn has fallen from top 10 in the polls to outside the rankings altogether.
"As a coach, you look at the whole picture," Malzahn said on Tuesday. "We've been close. But close isn't good enough."
He added: "Jarrett gives us the best chance of winning. He knows what he has to do."
Malzahn said he doesn't feel pressure to live up to the seven-year, $49 million contract he signed during the offseason.
But after saying he would take a long look at all aspects of the program over the weekend, Malzahn said changes were necessary and would come. He wouldn't say what they were, though, for fear of tipping off this Saturday's opponent, Ole Miss.
"I feel like I'm coaching for my players for the next game," Malzahn said. "We've got to finish this thing the right way."
Auburn (4-3, 1-3) travels to face the unranked Ole Miss Rebels this Saturday, but the most daunting part of the schedule is still to come as the Tigers close out the regular season with games against No. 17 Texas A&M, No. 8 Georgia and No. 1 Alabama during the month of November.