Is 2013 a better situation for Malzahn than 2009?
Posted by Staff , 22 December 2012 · 1,557 views
- We already have a general idea of Gus Malzahn's philosophy on offense in terms of the no huddle & hurry up aspect.
- It's a north & south power running game, setting up the play-action pass. His pass-offense is designed to stretch defenses vertically and horizontally.
- He utilizes motion and misdirection to create space for his skill players and the "hurry up" makes it difficult to defend all the skill players on a given play.
- The excitement and anticipation will come from the fact we have yet to see his offense at Auburn the way he wanted to execute it but the base concept should be familiar.
- The 2013 offensive line should be better than the 2011 and 2012 versions but it will take a little more time for it to be as cohesive as the 2010 offensive line. Auburn should have 7 offensive lineman to work with right from the start. This will include previous starters, Reese Dismukes, Chad Slade, Greg Robinson, Avery Young and Patrick Miller. Christian Westerman got his feet wet late in the year and Jordan Diamond is itching to get on the field. Waiting in the wings are Tunde Fairiyike, Shane Callahan, Will Adams, Robert Leff, Alex Kozan and possibly Shon Coleman.
- Tre Mason and Mike Blakely should blend into the new offense very well and with the departure of Onterio McCalebb, Corey Grant could take over his role. Though Grant is not as fast as McCalebb he is a more physical running back. Jay Prosch will see a major role in the new offense just as Eric Smith did in 2009 and 2010. The addition of Cameron Artis-Payne, coming in early will give him additional time to learn the offense and to contribute, giving the Tigers 3 strong options at the primary RB position.
- Auburn must replace veteran Emory Blake but there is plenty of potential to work with. Sammie Coates and Ricardo Louis will have a major opportunity to step up big in this dynamic offense but they have to prove they are willing to work for it.. Quan Bray and Trovon Reed are both extremely familiar with Malzahn's offense. Jaylon Denson and Melvin Ray have yet to establish themselves on offense primarily seeing action on special teams. This position does lack depth for now but better coaching might cash in on the potential.
- Auburn loses the services of Philip Lutzenkirchen but C.J. Uzomah began to assert himself late in the year before he injured his hand. Brandon Fulse also has previous reps in Malzahn's offense and Ricky Parks will finally get to demonstrate his athletic ability as a redshirt freshman. No doubt Uzomah can be a deadly pass target but does he have the ability to block on the edge?
- The position which will make or break the 2013 offense is quarterback. Kiehl Frazier and Clint Moseley were last here when Malzahn was at Auburn and both struggled last season in a new offense. Kiel Frazier has yet to have a full opportunity to play in Malzahn's offense and Jonathan Wallace showed plenty of potential and upside during his freshman season. Odds are the likely starter will be either Frazier or Wallace with Malzahn having already started Moseley and with Jeremy Johnson not coming in until summer time.
- I really like the potential of Jonathan Wallace in Gus Malzahn's offense. He showed in his limited starts a willingness to throw vertical, which gave him an impressive ratio of impact plays in the pass-offense. He's also athletic enough to force defenses to honor his running ability, which will open up running lanes for the RB's. He's a hard working player, who picks up details quickly and should have no problem adapting to the new offense.
- You have to believe the players will be excited about returning to a more dynamic offense, which should aid their focus and preparation.
- Because he was only away from Auburn for one season, Gus Malzahn is very familiar with the personnel on the roster and installing his offense should not be as challenging as it was in 2009.
- Gus Malzahn will have an offensive roster consisting of 64.5 percent of his returning players rated as 4-stars or better according to Scout.com. This is a vast improvement to the 40.0 percent he had to work with in 2009.
- During the first 7 games of the season, Auburn's offense averaged 3.74 yards per play from the shotgun formation. With Jonathan Wallace taking the majority of snaps as Auburn's quarterbacks during the final 5 games of the season, the offense averaged 5.89 yards per play from the shotgun formation. Wallace's skill set will likely be more successful in a Gus Malzahn offense than a Scot Loeffler offense.
- A major complaint about his offense at Auburn was his high percentage of run plays on first down. It should be noted his offense at Auburn was 15-1, when running the football at least 78 percent of the time on first down and 15-9 in his remaining games. It's important to remember he is a strong believer in the running game and play-action pass. The benefit of running the football so much on first down is an extremely effective pass-offense on second down. Over the past 6 seasons, second down has been the most productive passing down in Malzahn's offense with a rating of 162.9. This includes a completion percentage of 65 percent and an average of 9.3 yards per pass attempt. It also includes 73 TD passes to just 27 interceptions.
- His offense is about generating explosive plays, which has averaged an amazing 9.5 plays of 15-yards or more per game over a 94-game stretch. The offensive goal being 8 per game, where his teams are 54-9, when reaching that mark.
- SEC teams from 2000-2012 have averaged 158-yards rushing per game. Gus Malzahn's offense has averaged 224-yards per game and 228-yards, while coaching in the SEC.
- During his 94 games as an offensive coordinator-head coach at the collegiate level, his teams were 53-5, when rushing for at least 140-yards and a QB rating of 125 or better.