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Daily Archive for December 29th, 2008

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