Gus Malzahn explains the evolution of his play-calling with Bo Nix's development
One of the major differences in Auburn’s offense this season has been that coach Gus Malzahn has returned to calling the plays. That, mixed with the development of freshman QB Bo Nix, is the story of the 5-0 start for the Tigers.
“I’m not as bored,” Malzahn said at his regular weekly press conference. “I got bored the last couple of years.”
Nix has completed 57 percent of his passes for 980 yards, with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. Malzahn noted that it’s been so long since he called plays, he couldn’t remember how it used to work. Ultimately, though, it’s what the quarterback is most comfortable with and what players are capable of doing around him.
While Nix is a coach’s son and capable, Malzahn added, “Still, you’ve got to get out there and you’ve got to do it. After things slow down a little bit, you can see progressions and you can see reads and you can see drops, execute. So it’s all above as far as that goes. You’ve got to go out there and do it, you can’t just know it.”
“It has a lot to do with learning what Bo Nix could and couldn’t do, what makes him different from other quarterbacks under him,” Malzahn said. “Each week, you try to give your guys the best chance to be successful with what you’re going to face. Our guys deserve all the credit. … It makes it easy to call plays.”
Malzahn added that each week he can see greater development as the coaching staff tries to build on what Nix learned the week before.
“Each week he feels more comfortable, you can add a few things,” Malzahn said. “We’re to a point now where he really feels more comfortable, and each week, each step he’ll feel more comfortable.”
Malzahn said this week at Florida would be the most hostile environment of the season, but they’ve worked crowd noise for six weeks, so hopefully that will help prepare Nix.