Auburn wants a more balanced offense. The question is why.

This kind of talk drives me crazy.

“That was really probably the No. 1 priority in the spring, to be more balanced,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “We led the country in rushing last year. When you do that, defenses have to take some chances. We’ve got to do a better job this year of making them pay when they do take chances. … We feel like we have some receivers that can stretch the field and make some plays.”

The article is about the addition of stud WR D’haquille Williams, and I get that it never hurts to add more talent to an offense.  But Gus directed an offense that was second in scoring and second in total offense in the SEC last season, despite throwing the ball less than 30% of the time.  Why should he care about balance?

The answer is he shouldn’t.  At least not until opposing defenses begin to show they’re getting a handle on what Auburn’s doing.

I’m guessing this is simply random, meaningless coachspeak, because he’s got a pretty sharp offensive mind.  But if he wants to try to show otherwise, I won’t complain.  That’s the kind of thinking that worked so well for Chizik.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Strategery And Mechanics

17 responses to “Auburn wants a more balanced offense. The question is why.

  1. Bad M

    I think this is the kind of thinking that helped us win a few games against Tech. They were running it at will against us when PJ decides they need to throw it three straight downs at the end of the game.


  2. Normaltown Mike

    This has to be coachspeak.

    If Gus had continued to run the ball against Georgia in the 2nd half, I don’t think we have enough clock to get back in the game.


  3. 81Dog

    Seems to me Gus is starting to sound mighty full of his own genius and infallibility. Heard him on ESPN radio last week curtly dismissing the win over UGA as lucky because, “well, we were up by 20 in the 4th quarter and let off the gas a little bit” but they made sure it ended up right. I notice he skipped mentioning the non-call on Dee Ford spearing Murray in the earhole on the last offensive UGA play of the game, knocking on the door for what would have been the winning UGA score.

    Like AU fans need a more inflated view of their own innate awesomeness (sic). They all better hope “regression to the mean” doesn’t kick in for them this year like it did in 2011 and 12.


    • 81Dog

      I meant curtly dismissing the idea that the win over UGA was lucky. Sheesh.


    • I Wanna Red Cup

      Let off the gas? The idiot stopped running the ball and started passing, That is not letting up the gas. It was poor coaching on his part for sure. They weren’t very good at passing for sure and we got some stops quickly with little clock being used. Looked like to me Gus an co. panicked a bit and we took advantage of it. Only a miraculous bone head play allowed them to win. Luck is exactly what it was. Their receiver made no attempt at the ball, which just bounced into his hands as he ran by.


  4. Keese

    The offense he runs is catching up with WR recruits. Just giving lip service for recruiting purposes


  5. Bulldog Joe

    Jeremy Johnson threw for over 8,000 yards in HS and has Cam Newton size and inside running ability.

    Nick Marshall, as good as he is on the zone read, has limitations in his passing accuracy and his durability on the inside runs. Defenses can cheat on this.

    Gus does a very good job in adjusting the offense to his personnel and wants to prepare his QB successor who has a much greater upside. This may his a big part of his reasoning.


    • Good reason for wanting more balance after Marshall’s gone, but this year? Eh.


      • Will (the other one)

        He also lost his best run-blocking O-lineman, plus TE/FB. That, coupled with a year of film, greatly reduces the chances of putting up similar numbers.


      • Mayor

        I don’t see the fallacy here. All Malzahn said was he wanted to be able to throw it better to make defenses that stack the box pay. The problem is you interpret balance to mean what Bobo thought it meant several seasons ago–equal run and pass. That’s not what Malzahn said.


  6. Cousin Eddie

    I believe Gus will need to throw more this year. The SEC DCs have had all off season to study his plays so he will need to throw in a few more wrinkles before the DCs knock the old wrinkles out.


  7. I really hope Pruitt comes up with a strategy to defend the read option unlike his predecessor, who hoped that WRs going in motion and knocking down the running back would happen every play.

    Eventually, if you only throw 30% of the time, wide receivers and tight ends eliminate you from consideration and put even more pressure on the running game. College QBs who have NFL ambitions also decide they don’t want to get hit every play and go places that develop their talent to play at the next level.


  8. What fresh hell is this?

    As far as I’m concerned, the more Nick Marshall throws the ball the better.


  9. Macallanlover

    I interpret it as him saying “more balance in the play book” to take advantage of defenses that overplay the run. He is much too smart to change the formula until he has to but he will have to. Every defense will play that option better, and he will not have the available talent required every year. We will be watching the adjustments made by every opponent against Auburn before they come to Sanford (finally). Our team owes them another butt-kicking for that “blind hog” event last fall, I hope that is a night game. We need all hands on deck.