Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Auburn Tigers' Chris Todd closing career at Outback Bowl on a strong note

A big game against Alabama helps Chris Todd rank third in SEC passer rating (146.5).

Associated Press

A big game against Alabama helps Chris Todd rank third in SEC passer rating (146.5).

TAMPA — Auburn QB Chris Todd, somewhat maligned last year during a 5-7 season, has closed his career in style.

When Todd, a senior from Elizabethtown, Ky., threw two touchdowns in a 26-21 loss to Alabama in the regular-season finale, he set Auburn's season mark for touchdown passes with 21. And he has 2,377 passing yards and a passer rating (146.5) that ranks as the third best in the SEC and 20th overall in college football.

That's not too bad for a guy who battled shoulder problems as a junior while finishing with 903 passing yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions.

Making his 2009 success more impressive is the fact Todd had offseason surgery, missed spring practice and didn't begin working with first-year offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn until the start of fall workouts.

"I'm really proud of him," coach Gene Chizik said. "He's overcome a lot of adversity. He's a leader. He's got everybody's respect in the locker room."

Sunshine presence: Three Floridians are on the Northwestern roster — DB Hunter Bates (Ponte Vedra Beach Nease), DT Marshall Thomas (Miami Belen Jesuit) and TE John Plasencia of Jesuit.

Bates, a redshirt freshman who has played plenty on special teams, has two interesting ties.

The first: His father, Bill, spent 15 seasons as a safety with the Dallas Cowboys. Before that, he was a star at Tennessee.

The second: Bates played two years (2004-05) at Nease with QB Tim Tebow, who would later win the Heisman Trophy at Florida.

"My father is excited (about attending the Outback Bowl)," Bates said Monday.

Bates expects to have 15 to 20 family/friends at the game.

A lengthy drought: Landing in the Outback Bowl was a big deal for Northwestern, but just getting to the game probably isn't enough.

The Wildcats are only 1-6 in bowls.

Their last win?

That came at the 1949 Rose Bowl, when Northwestern defeated Cal 20-14. Last season, Missouri beat the Wildcats 30-23 in overtime in the Alamo Bowl.

Of the six bowl losses, all of which have come since the 1996 Rose Bowl, Northwestern led in five of them.

NU's special fan: Tammy Walker, widow of former Wildcats coach Randy Walker, will attend the game, which isn't a surprise. She's at most Northwestern games.

Walker's husband died in 2006 of an apparent heart attack at age 52, leaving behind Tammy and two grown children.

Walker is heavily involved in Northwestern athletics; she works in the athletic department as a development associate.

Odds and ends: Northwestern is stout on the field and solid in the classroom. The team had an overall GPA above 3.0 in the 2009 spring quarter for the first time. … Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is expected at the game. He attended law school at Northwestern.

Fast facts

Outback Bowl

Auburn vs. Northwestern, 11 a.m. Friday, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

TV: ESPN

Line: Auburn by 7

Tickets: Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com or call toll-free 1-800-745-3000. Prices start at $70.

Today's events

• Debartolo Team Luncheon at Tampa Convention Center, 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

• Team Night at Gameworks at Centro Ybor, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Auburn Tigers' Chris Todd closing career at Outback Bowl on a strong note 12/28/09 [Last modified: Monday, December 28, 2009 8:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Why Ryan Fitzpatrick may solve the puzzle for Bucs at backup quarterback

    Blogs

    Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to leave One Buc Place following Thursday’s off-season workout and fly home to New Jersey in time to teach a class of 10 second and third grade students how to solve the Rubiks Cube.

  2. For starters: Rays vs. Angels, with Cobb leading the way

    Blogs

    Rays veteran RHP Alex Cobb had a lot to say Monday about the team needing to focus on getting past .500 and building a winning record.

    And after the disappointing 3-2 loss that …

    Alex Cobb will start tonight when the Rays play the Angels.
  3. Family a driving force for University of Tampa pitcher David Lebron

    College

    TAMPA — For University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron, baseball reminds him of family. He uses it to help honor the memory of his father, who taught him the game. One day, he hopes his career can help support his mother and allow her to rest.

    University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron (Courtesy of University of Tampa)
  4. L.A. delay could re-open Super Bowl chance for Tampa in 2021

    Blogs

    Construction delays on the NFL's new stadium in Los Angeles mean the Rams and Chargers won't be playing there until 2020, a year later than expected, and the ripple effect could give Tampa another …

    Tampa and Raymond James Stadium last hosted a Super Bowl in 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Arizona Cardinals.
  5. Bucs' Gerald McCoy, Jameis Winston honored in NFL top 100

    Blogs

    Helping fans pass time through the offseason each summer, NFL Network has been unveiling its top 100 players for 2017 as chosen by the players, and the Bucs' Gerald McCoy and Jameis Winston are the first Tampa Bay players revealed, coming in at No. 52 and 57, respectively.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis WInston and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, shown in the 2016 season finale against the Panthers, have both been named to the NFL Network's top 100 players for 2017.