AU's Burns can pass, too

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Kodi Burns rolled out toward the left sideline, spotted a receiver coming open on the opposite side of the field and fired a 50-yard strike on the move.

The Auburn freshman's high school coach was showing film of that play to a recruiter for a PAC-10 team one day, and not just to show off Burns' powerful right arm.

Coach Darrell Henry said the impressive thing was that Burns found the receiver.

His point? Burns isn't just a runner playing quarterback who happens to have a strong arm. He also has the vision, mind-set and aim of a passer as well.

The Tigers (1-2) are relying on Burns to put all those attributes on display starting Saturday night against New Mexico State, trying to end a two-game losing streak. He mostly just ran and threw short passes in his college debut against Mississippi State, filling in for a struggling Brandon Cox.

Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville says Burns will be a fixture in the backfield the rest of the season, sharing time with Cox and possibly claiming the starting job.

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