Iron Bowl QBs Have Bumpy Rides

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Auburn's Brandon Cox and Alabama's John Parker Wilson have alternately thrilled and exasperated.

The two quarterbacks have coolly led game-winning drives, gamely risen from countless hits and won big games. Then there's the flip side: Misfires, interceptions and assorted mistakes that have made both the targets of boos and criticism.

Cox was intercepted four times for the Tigers (7-4, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) in their last outing at No. 6 Georgia two weeks ago. He's also the guy who has led Auburn on scoring drives to take the lead five times in the final 4 minutes of games this season, including winning drives at Florida and Arkansas.

Wilson has been frequently off-target for the Tide (6-5, 4-3) in the Tide's last three games, all losses. He has been intercepted five times in those games and had a costly fumble in the final minutes against No. 1 LSU.

He's also the guy who picked Tennessee's secondary apart for 363 yards and three touchdowns and threw the game-winning touchdown pass against Arkansas.

Cox ranks 79th nationally in pass efficiency rating, throwing for only nine touchdowns against 11 interceptions. Wilson is 12 spots behind him. He has 15 TDs and 10 interceptions but is completing a modest 55 percent of his passes.

All that makes for one of the more tantalizing mysteries leading up to Saturday's Iron Bowl at No. 25 Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium. Which Wilson will show up? Which Cox?

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)