I know there’s a lot of unbridled optimism on the Plains right now about Malzahn’s new, supercharged offense… and I know we heard a lot of the same stuff about Tony “Troy racked up 488 yards on Georgia” Franklin’s scheme… and I know that we’re being assured that it’ll be different this time…
but as a Georgia fan, I’ve got a responsibility to rain on their parade. A little, anyway.
So take it away, Chris Brown.
… One brief thought on Malzahn, however. Gus’s big thing is that he believes in tempo. Of course, he hasn’t really had a chance to go breakneck speed yet at Auburn (at least by the reports of those who have seen both Tulsa, his former stop, and Auburn practice), though the offense is apparently looking much better already. Ironically, he’s improved — over both Tuberville’s prior offense and the Tuberville Franklin mash-up — by just bringing some sound, simple schemes. Sure he has a lot of window dressing, but that offense had just gotten bad. Yet, at least in year one I’ll be surprised if he works miracles.
What they did at Tulsa was wonderful, but Herb Hand — who brought the zone blocking aspect of the running game to go with Malzahn’s pace and power game schemes — was an integral part of the Tulsa attack: they were co-offensive coordinators for a reason. And though Malzahn seems reasonably committed to the running the ball, he was always a pass first guy, so we’ll just have to see how that flies without a true quarterback. And the X factor is Chizik, the head coach. Even if Malzahn’s offense is good, there are few defensive minded guys who appreciate a three-and-out (which can happen to any offense) that takes about eight seconds to occur. How long is his leash? Time will tell.
That strikes me as pretty accurate. Auburn was a team last year that didn’t have the personnel to run the scheme. The fact that the coaching staff couldn’t get on the same page just added to the train wreck. So even if everyone is full of peace, love and understanding now, they still need a quarterback.
Is there a quarterback? Bueller? Bueller?
… Chizik, who was in Robertsdale on Tuesday for the Mobile and Baldwin County Auburn Clubs’ annual scholarship dinner, said before the event that it could be late August before a starter is named. Kodi Burns and Neil Caudle got most of the reps during spring drills, but Chizik said he expects incoming freshmen Tyrik Rollison and Clint Moseley to join an ongoing competition this fall.
“The position has not been won; that’s the main point of emphasis,” Chizik said. “We’ve got some young guys who will come in and challenge for the job. Certainly the ones who have been on campus have an advantage of 15 days anyway, but the quarterback situation probably won’t be solved until right before the season starts.”
Uh, that’s “solved” in the sense that somebody has to trot out there on September 5th and take snaps from the center. “Work in progress” might be a more accurate description.
Ironically, since he’s the new kid on the block, Chizik will have more time to allow the offense to round into shape than Tubby was granted a year ago. The odds are he’s going to need it, although Auburn’s early schedule of four home games against two non-BCS conference schools, a diminished West Virginia team and SEC bottom dweller Mississippi State should give his team plenty of opportunity to start sorting things out at the position.