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Monthly Archive for December, 2008

Attorney general reviewing Andre Smith situation


Attorney General Troy King’s office today began a review of information of a sports agent’s alleged contact with former University of Alabama offensive lineman Andre Smith. “The next step would be one of two things, the review would not show us compelling evidence to investigate or it would, and we would act accordingly,” Bence said. “We don’t take these matters lightly and we intend to give them a thorough review.” The Alabama Uniform Athlete Agents Act requires sports agents to register in Alabama and prohibits certain contacts with athletes such as giving athletes money before a contract is signed. It also requires sports agents to notify university officials if a contract has been made with an athlete.


AU D-lineman to NFL


Marks said Tommy Tuberville’s departure from Auburn had nothing to do with his decision to leave. Marks said he had good discussions with new coach Gene Chizik, but is simply ready to leave school. Marks had 10½ tackles for loss, including two sacks this season and a forced fumble.


Malzahn press conference


On his offense A lot of people categorize me as a spread team. We’re going to be smash-mouth. We’re going to throw the ball vertically down the field. We’re going to do that quite often.”

On the season at Arkansas: “I got a chance to see the actual speed of the SEC. That’s very important when you’re out looking for players.”

On Ziemba and Burns: “I recruited both of them at Arkansas.” He talked with Burns today.
Will this be like Tulsa?: “You’ll see a lot of similarities. We’ll assess our strengths, see what we have here. You’ll see the same philosophies, same pace, same play-action.”
Play calling?: “Well, you got to be balanced, and you’ve got to take what the defense gives you. People tell me, hey, do you want to run more than throw? Really, it matters on what the defense is going to give you. Obviously, like I said earlier, you’ve got to be able to run the football. We are a run-play action team. You won’t see a whole lot of straight drop-back pass. It’s just not who we’re going to be. We’re going to run downhill. We’re going to have a physical, hard-nosed approach. I’m not talking about just the offensive line and just the backs. I’m talking about the receivers and quarterbacks, and I think that’s very important to establish that early.”
Does Auburn have talent?: “There definitely are some strengths. It’s early. I’ve been on this for only about 8 hours now.”

When did you hear from Auburn initially?: “Just before Christmas.”

How long did that decision take?: “About an hour.”

What are your plans?: He’s assessing Auburn recruits tonight, back to Tulsa tomorrow and will stick with them until the bowl.

On Tony Franklin: “I’ve never met him. I don’t know much about (his system).”
“I’ll be explaining everything we’ll do. We’ll have a good, sound plan. We’ll have extremely high goals. We’re going to achieve them and achieve them quickly.”

On Burns: “I know a lot about him. I know his family well. We know each other well. I really think he’s got a lot of potential.”

Link to Video here

Great read on the Malzhan Offense

But Malzahn is less spread and formation to run than he is infatuated with angles and geometry: he passes to set up the run, he uses a lot of shotgun, multiple receivers, and he does a lot of innovative things with wing-backs, tight-ends, fullbacks, and with guys in motion to get any advantage he can. In many ways Malzahn’s run game resembles Urban Meyer’s: Malzahn’s is based on four-run plays – the inside zone, the outside zone, the counter, and power – with reverses, fakes, QB runs, and jet sweeps and play-action all built off those four plays. He also throws in some quick traps and draws for good measure. Again, nothing revolutionary. He will play with formations, shifts, and motions. He likes wing-backs. He will line up with the quarterback in the shotgun and put both runners next to him as a sort of offset I-formation. He will use receivers in the running game. And his quarterbacks don’t run like Tebow but he runs some option and they are always a threat on the reads and counters. But, in the end, it is the tempo that defines Malzahn’s ludicrous-speed-Space-Balls offense. Time will tell both if he gets to run it (Franklin never got to install his up-tempo NASCAR, and Arkansas did not focus on up-tempo no-huddle while Malzahn was there under Houston Nutt), and, if he does install it, if it works.

SmartFootballBlog – Great site…always a good read

More on Gus

WHAT DOES HE RUN? It’s a spread offense in spirit. Malzahn likes to spread the field, run wide, run inside, pass quickly at times. It has a spread pace. This is not a passing offense. It’s a blend, though Malzahn’s Tulsa teams ran the ball far more often than they passed. This is the most run-oriented strain of spread offense. SO IT’S SHOTGUN STUFF? Yes, in some ways. Shotgun is a common formation, but the backs are used more creatively than what you saw with Tony Franklin’s offense. You’ll see backs in motion, end arounds, more driving runs between the tackles. There is an emphasis on quick reads and quick passes. It moves at a quick pace once the ball is snapped. Malzahn also liked to use the team’s quickest wideout, A.J. Whitmore, in Tulsa’s version of the “Wildcat” formation. That’s one of the new trends in football — using a skill-position guy at quarterback occasionally. Malzahn was doing that with Darren McFadden during his Arkansas days as well. He wasn’t the first coach to use that formation, but he brought it back to the mainstream in 2006. Many fans know the formation from watching the Miami Dolphins run it so successfully this season with former Auburn tailback Ronnie Brown. That system was installed by the Dolphins’ quarterbacks coach, David Lee. He worked with Malzahn at Arkansas.


Tulsa Offense Vs Auburn Offense in 08′

Auburn Total Rushing 2008: 1650 yards
Tulsa Total Rushing 2008: 3313 yards

Auburn Total Passing 2008: 1985 yards
Tulsa Total Passing 2008: 4033 yards

Auburn Total Offense 2008: 3635 yards
Tulsa Total Offense 2008: 7346 yards

Auburn Total Points Scored 2008: 208 points
Tulsa Total Points Scored 2008: 616 points

Tulsa in 2008 also had 3 starters with over 1000 yards in a season:
-RB Tarrion Adams with 1341 yards (no rating according to rivals)
-QB David Johnson with 3866 yards (2 star QB according to rivals)
-WR Brennan Marion with 1112 yards (no rating according to rivals)

Auburn Stats
Tulsa Stats

Malzahn can flat out coach. So everyone can just quit with the Gus Malzahn/Tony Franklin comparison. THERE IS NO COMPARISON! Tony Franklin had a gimmick offense and couldn’t coach a special olympics track meet. Not to mention he was impeded by a hard-headed coach and other assistant coaches who wanted to run things their own way. Malzahn will be given what Franklin was not: the outright ability to run this offense from scratch. Anyone saying that Malzahn “can’t coach” or is a “high school coach” needs to take a closer look at the stats above. Hopefully he will also be given the ability to bring in the guys he needs to run this thing unlike run-the-same-play-30-times-in-a-row-Franklin.

Anyone saying that Gus Malzahn is another Tony Franklin does not know football very well or is living in fear of what the Auburn program is about to become. He was successful at Arkansas in 2006 and everyone was saying that that Urban Myer’s offense wouldn’t work in the SEC when he came to Forida so don’t give me that argument either. Every player should take a hard look at Auburn right now cause the man behind the wildcat formation is about to bring something serious to the plains.

Chizik Defense + Malzahn Offense = Chizzahn on your face SEC

War Damn Offense

ESPN interview from July 08 w/ Malzahn

What makes your spread offense potent as compared to say, a Texas Tech or Missouri or a team like that?

Gus Malzahn
: We’re a run, play-action team. A lot of spread teams are pass first, run second. But we’re a run, play-action team. As a matter of fact, I think we ran the ball one more time than we threw it last year, which a lot of people don’t know. We like to be 50-50 and be able to do both well.

Link: part I

Did you feel last year was the coming out party for the offense you weren’t able to unveil at Arkansas?

Gus Malzahn: What we did last year, that’s what I’ve been doing in high school and all that. It was a lot of fun for me personally. It was what I was used to doing, put it that way.

Link: part II

Gus Malzahn interview on ESPN about Wildcat package

Gus Malzahn, the creator of the Wild (cat-hog-tiger) package:

Gus Malzahn


Tulsa co-offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, who has established himself as one of college football’s most productive offensive minds in just three years, has agreed to become Auburn’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach.

The Malzahn hire comes just two days after Chizik announced that James Willis would remain at Auburn as a defensive assistant.

Malzahn, 43, has engineered the nation’s No. 2 ranked offense at Tulsa this season averaging 565.1 yards and 47.4 points per game. The Golden Hurricane averaged 254.9 rushing yards per game and 310.2 passing yards per game.

Senior quarterback David Johnson was second in NCAA passing efficiency completing 243-of-375 passes (64.8%) for 3,866 yards and 43 touchdowns with 18 interceptions.

In 2007, his first season at Tulsa, Malzahn guided the nation’s No. 1 ranked offense averaging 543.9 yards per game. The Hurricane ranked third nationally for passing, fifth for pass efficiency and 10th for scoring offense.

Malzahn broke into college coaching as the offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Arkansas in 2006. He was named the National Offensive Coordinator of the Year as Arkansas had the nation’s fourth-ranked rushing offense and also ranked among the top-35 nationally in total offense and scoring offense and finished with a 10-4 record.

Under his tutelage, Arkansas had the nation’s top running back tandem with Heisman trophy runner-up Darren McFadden and fellow All-American Felix Jones.

Before moving to the college ranks, Malzahn spent 14 seasons as a successful Arkansas High School head coach, where he led five teams to the state championship game and won three titles.

In 2007, Malzahn’s first Tulsa offense ranked as the nation’s top offense, gaining 543.9 yards per game. The Hurricane also led Conference USA in passing, scoring, touchdown passes and passing efficiency, while ranking third nationally for passing, fifth for pass efficiency and 10th for scoring offense.

“Gus is one of the great offensive minds in college football and we are very excited to having him join the Auburn staff,” Chizik said. “His track record at all levels of coaching is remarkable and his offenses have been extremely successful both running and passing the ball. It’s truly impressive that he oversees an offense that is in the top 10 nationally in all five major offensive statistical categories. We’re looking forward to having Gus on board.”

Tulsa’s offense in 2007 established nine team school records and 12 individual records. The Hurricane also set nine Conference USA team records, while Tulsa quarterback Paul Smith established new C-USA single-season marks for total yards, TDs responsible for, passing yards and TD passes.

A Fort Smith, Ark., native, Malzahn will join the Auburn staff after Tulsa’s GMAC Bowl game versus Ball State on Jan. 6 in Mobile.

Malzahn spent the 2006 season as offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Arkansas. During his tenure, the Razorbacks finished with a 10-4 record, were SEC West Division Champions and were ranked 15th nationally.

Under Malzahn’s direction, Arkansas not only had the nation’s fourth-ranked rushing offense, but also ranked among the top-35 nationally in total offense and scoring offense. He was named the National Offensive Coordinator of the Year in 2006.

Malzahn spent 14 seasons as a successful Arkansas High School head coach, from 1991-2005, where he led five teams to the state championship game and won three titles.

Before becoming a college coach at Arkansas in 2006, Malzahn was the head coach at Springdale High School for five years (2001-05). He led the Bulldogs to two state championship game appearances, 2002 and 2005. Malzahn’s 2005 team posted a 14-0 record, won the state’s Class 5A championship, outscored its opponents 664-118 and was ranked among the top-10 teams in the country.

Malzahn has been an offensive coordinator for three seasons, with his greatest success during the past two years at Tulsa. He was offensive coordinator for one season at Arkansas, in 2006. At TU, Malzahn’s hurry-up, no-huddle offense, worked in conjunction with Hand, was the nation’s best in 2007, leading the country in total offense (544.0 yards per game) and was sixth in points scored (41.1). This season, it ranked second (565.1, 47.4) in those categories.


Former AU player chooses UGA

Offensive line coach Stacy Searels informed Georgia coach Mark Richt Friday that he is going to stay with the Bulldogs.Searels interviewed for the position of offensive line coach with the Tigers earlier this week before informing new coach Gene Chizik that he is remaining with the Bulldogs.

“From what he’s told me, he plans on staying at Georgia,” Richt said. “We’re excited about it. For us to keep him is big for Georgia.”

Monday, UGA athletic director Damon Evans indicated that he and Richt had spoken about a raise for the ultra-successful line coach.

Apparently that will be the case.

A UGA Athletic Association source later confirmed to UGASports that Searels, along with the rest of Georgia’s assistants, will receive raises.

The news coincides with what athletic director Damon Evans told UGASports Monday night.

“That’s something that Mark (Richt) and I have discussed,” Evans said. “Exactly what that is, I’m not at liberty to discuss.”

Searels’ current salary with Georgia stands at $235,400 per year, which ranks him fourth among Bulldog assistant football coaches.