Daily Archives: February 25, 2009

On the Plains, history is bunk.

There was a time when Auburn had a head coach who hired an offensive coordinator who ran an offensive scheme that was far removed from the Dye-esque, manly, three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust approach that Tiger fans were accustomed to.  But the head coach had it all under control.  Remember those heady days?

Many people see the spread as being a finesse offense, but not Mr. “You’ve got to run the ball in the SEC”:

The biggest difference, Tuberville said of Franklin, “is he’s going to set up the run by passing the ball. We’ve set up the pass by running the ball. I don’t doubt it’s going to work, but we’re still going to be a physical team. We’re going to run the ball more than we’re going to throw it.

Auburn will remain a physical offensive team.

“I’m a defensive coach and I know you have to be physical in practice to help your defense,” Tuberville said. “You can’t get better in games on defense. You have to practice hard and practice physical. We’ll have a lot of two-back in our offense next year.”

Exit Tuberville.

And now, Auburn fans have another head coach and another spread attack genius ready to boldly go where no Tiger offense has gone before.

Eh, maybe not.

… As far as new coaches, the hiring of Tulsa co-offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn might on the surface imply the Tigers are leaning toward an all-out spread passing attack, though Chizik is not so sure.

“Well, there are so many different versions of the spread and what that means,” said Chizik, who won the Frank Broyles Award as the country’s top assistant (defensive coordinator) when Auburn finished the 2004 season undefeated. “I really see us more of a run-the-football type of team, so I’m not sure what the appropriate name of the offense is. Obviously, we’ll do some one-back, two-back things of that nature. It’s still going to be a downhill, physical running game.”

Hey, that worked great last year.  Just ask Mississippi State.

And Malzahn ought to be hearing those alarm bells going off right about now – he’s got experience with his head coach overriding his offensive scheme.

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UPDATE: Over at The Joe Cribbs Car Wash, Jerry is hopeful that history won’t repeat itself.

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Filed under Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit

Wednesday morning buffet

Morning, campers.

  • In case nobody told you, spring practice is already underway at three schools.
  • I’m surprised that this hadn’t been done already, but Jerry does an entertaining job with it.  Auburn’s staff takes the early lead in the duel, but we haven’t heard from the likes of Coach O yet, either.  Stay tuned for part two.
  • For the life of me, I can’t figure out why anybody cares about the NFL combine.
  • You’ve got to be vewy, vewy careful these days finding just the right patsy to fill in that twelfth game on the schedule.
  • And in case you hadn’t seen this, the GPOOE™ engaged in a little smack talk about our boys to raise some cash.  We can only hope it proves to be as bad an investment as what’s been in our 401Ks for the last year.

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Filed under College Football, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, The Blogosphere, Tim Tebow: Rock Star

Missing you

Chris Low posted something the other day that made me think of a question.  Here’s what he wrote:

3. Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford: As great as running back Knowshon Moreno was, strong-armed quarterbacks like Stafford, who’ve started since their freshman season, are invaluable. His leaving early for the NFL draft also means Georgia will be going with somebody at quarterback (whoever it is) that has little or no experience in SEC competition. With Stafford’s ability to make every throw, he kept defensive coordinators honest. He could beat you a number of different ways. Some of the Georgia fans got down on him at times because of untimely interceptions, but he led the SEC with an average of 266.1 passing yards per game last season and was second with 25 touchdowns, while completing 61.4 percent of his passes. Those numbers won’t be easy to replace…

So what I wonder is this:  who is Georgia going to miss more in 2009, Moreno or Stafford?

Low makes a good point about Stafford’s ability keeping defensive coordinators honest.  Gary Danielson, he of the admittedly severe man-crush on Stafford, gave a clinic during last year’s broadcast of the LSU game about how Stafford’s arm forced a complete change in the Tigers’ pass coverage.  Matt’s quick release and just-enough mobility in the pocket also saved his team from a few sacks.

But Moreno’s ability to turn nothing into something – Mark Richt talked constantly about Knowshon’s great three and four yard runs – can’t be underestimated.  And it was he, not Stafford, who provided the spark in 2007 when the team went on its run beginning at Vandy.

Low’s point about Stafford’s arm keeping defensive coordinators honest notwithstanding, I can’t recall a defensive game plan last year deployed against Georgia that didn’t start with trying to slow down Moreno.  Some of that was due no doubt to the Georgia offensive scheme which relies on the run to set up the play action pass.  But some of that was also a tribute to Moreno’s skill set.

But what those two brought to the table is only half the story.  The other half is what Georgia is able to deploy at quarterback and tailback this season.  And that’s a much tougher question to evaluate at this point.  Certainly on paper there’s plenty of talent at both positions, but it’s relatively inexperienced and it’s never been counted on to carry the team over the course of a season.

The X-factor is the offensive line.  Does it stay healthy and stable enough to allow the offense to coalesce around it?  Give Cox or whomever else may get the chance to play time to execute and you can make up for a lot of what you lose from Stafford’s off-the-charts arm.  Give the running backs solid blocking and you won’t miss as much Moreno’s uncanny ability to turn a two yard loss into a four yard gain (and maybe you can also pick some of what you lose from Moreno’s skill in blitz pick up, too).  With the emergence of a solid offensive line you also put the tight end position back into the passing game and provide Bobo and the quarterbacks with an option that was sorely lacking in 2008.

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Filed under Georgia Football