Gus Malzahn discusses Auburn getting more WRs involved in Chad Morris' offense
Auburn escaped Arkansas with a 30-28 win on Saturday, with an offensive outing that might not get it done against better SEC defenses.
Quarterback Bo Nix was 17-of-28 for just 187 yards and a touchdown, and would have lost the game on a mishandled snap and spike, were it not for an officiating error on Auburn’s game-winning drive. Distributing the ball to playmakers was an issue for Nix, who completed passes to just two wide receivers on Saturday, not including running backs Tank Bigsby and D.J. Williams, who caught five passes combined.
Head coach Gus Malzahn dove into Auburn’s offensive issues during his media availability on Tuesday, including what the group needs to do to better distribute the ball to its tight ends and receivers.
“I think that’s a part of developing the offense and expanding it more. Keep in mind that we weren’t able to go through spring,” said Malzahn. “I just told you about the offensive line issues and personnel as far as trying to get the five guys (together). I do know this, early on in the season we’ve really worked hard to get the ball to Flash (Anthony Schwartz).
“We felt like after looking at last season he needed more touches, so I think that’s a real positive. You could see him, and he’s really starting to come on, and then you look at Seth (Williams) and we think Seth has a chance to be one of the best receivers in the league—also trying to get him involved.”
Schwartz was Auburn’s lead receiver on Saturday, hauling in ten passes for 100 yards and a score. Williams was the only other receiver to catch a pass, with three receptions for 70 yards.
“So, what you’ll see is it’ll be a process and you’ll see more and more guys get the ball that a lot of the time if they single (coverage) those guys we’re going to keep throwing it to them,” said Malzahn. “If they do a little extra, we will use our common sense and start getting it to other guys. I think with both of those factors, you’ll see more and more touches for other guys throughout the next seven games.”
Malzahn went on to discuss some of Auburn’s younger receivers, and what needs to happen for him and offensive coordinator Chad Morris to get them involved.
“The more reps that those guys get, the better they’re going to be. We think they’re very talented,” he added. “I think those guys have done some good things so far. They practice extremely well. I think that’s a hungry group that, really, the moment is not going to be too big when they start playing more. It’s just a matter of time. I think their development is going really well right now.”
Auburn is lucky to be 2-1 with the way its offense has played at times this season, going back to last week’s dreadful performance in a 27-6 loss to Georgia.
Up next for the Tigers is a road matchup at South Carolina, who is fresh off a 41-7 blowout win over Vanderbilt.