He read it on the Internet, so it must be true.

Now this is what I call cutting edge preparation.

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn played the role of mad scientist Saturday, sending out myriad personnel groupings in hopes of confounding Clemson’s defense. He employed three different quarterbacks, switching with reckless abandon and, at times, having all of them on the field at once. Auburn threw deep balls and ran the option. It played in spread formations and, believe it or not, ran a bit of old-school wing-T.

Clemson had answers for everything — even if some of those answers came in an unlikely way.

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables had been “tipped off” — that was the extent of his explanation — that Auburn might run some Wing-T, and he hadn’t the slightest clue on how best to defend an offense rarely employed beyond the high school level. So, a day before the game, Venables sat down at his computer and did what we all might do in such situations.

“I literally Googled, ‘How to stop the wing-T,’” Venables admitted afterward.

Hey, whatever works.  And it must have, as Auburn’s running game was limited to 87 yards on 41 carries.


Filed under Science Marches Onward, Strategery And Mechanics

39 responses to “He read it on the Internet, so it must be true.

  1. The Barn is awful on offense, and the jury is out on the defense. Gus is going to have to find a QB if he’s going to have a job in January.


  2. Puffdawg

    Or, maybe, more likely, Auburn’s offense is just not very good.


  3. Gene Chizik – offensive mastermind: shut down by a Google search.


  4. Dawgy1

    IMO, Allbarns O is bad, but have to be pretty impressed with that Defense. That front is scary.


    • McTyre

      Holding Clemson O down is obviously an achievement and Auburn DL is talented. However, that game could be as much a case of their DC’s inside knowledge of that O as a sign that they’re making a quantum leap in 2016.


  5. 81Dog

    I guess we should all hope Saban doesn’t find out about the Googles. Unless….they’re already working for him, doing his bidding.


  6. @gatriguy

    “Tipped off”, huh? Sounds like someone at Auburn has it in for Gus. I wonder what Bobby Lowder is up to these days?


  7. Argondawg

    I’d say with both UT and TXAM winning over ranked teams this weekend that the Barn could be in the lead for Herman but they are gonna have to fire Gus early and often to stray out front.


  8. Athens Dog

    “Tipped off”. Better than our secret agents.


  9. Bulldog Joe

    Regardless of the formation, Gus’ offense fails if he does not have a QB capable of running over people (Newton) or around people (Marshall).


  10. WarD Eagle

    I said it earlier, I’m pretty sure AU didn’t play this weekend.


    • Got Cowdog?

      Your offense WAS bizarre, but I for one am concerned about having to play against your defense.


      • WarD Eagle

        It’s early, but it seemed the D played really well against the run. Those linebackers played like linebackers should play – violently. I think they may have lost another DB and there are some babies back there already. If your guys get the passing game cranked up (and there’s plenty of time to do that) it might be another W in what has become an uncomfortable pattern lately.

        On the offense, I think Gus plays it by ear a little too often. He has a pretty good bruiser back that never got a carry. I know he was trying to go sideways and gas their D a bit, but you can’t do that if they get to site down every three plays. I’m a big fan of Jeremy Johnson as a person – he’s a great kid – but he cannot get it done on the big stage. I’d just as soon not see him take another snap. Lead with White and get Franklin in there to run plays.

        Gus interrupted the momentum too many times by switching QBs and this is the second year in a row AU can’t seem to score inside the 20. Some of that is line play, those guys looked like world beaters on one play, then like me on the next. Might be a long season.


  11. DawgFlan

    Just dropping by to offer my $0.01 take on Chad Kelly: Brett Favre ego and confidence, but more easily rattled and not quite as talented. Ole Miss is very good, but FSU and Alabama show that if you can hang close for a while, the outcome is basically a coin flip. If Kelly’s ego is rewarded, they win. If the dicey decisions result in turnovers or multiple a few back to back 3 and outs, they can lose to anyone (cough, cough Memphis). Bad Kelly + Freeze puts too much pressure on their defense. We’re not on a Bama or FSU level, but hopefully we can do just enough to frustrate Kelly. PS I can’t stand Freeze.