If Auburn’s offensive performance against Purdue in the Music City Bowl was any indication, the Tigers offense is set to explode with Gus Malzahn once again taking over the program’s playcalling duties.
The Tigers scored 56 points in the first half of that game and appeared to be on the way to scoring 100 before Malzahn took his foot off the gas in the second half against Purdue. That performance has given Auburn fans confidence that the team’s offensive woes from last season will be a thing of the past with Malzahn back calling plays, as he did in the Music City Bowl.
During a recent appearance on Birmingham-based WJOX 94.5 FM radio show “The Roundtable,” Malzahn was asked about excitement and comfort level calling the offensive plays for the Tigers next season.
“That’s who I am, I’m a football coach at my core. I love calling offenses,” Malzahn said on the show. “This job is a big job and you live and learn as you go. Felt strong about three years ago that I needed to not do that anymore and just kind of went full circle. So really, I’ve got a new step and real excited. It’s been a good spring so far and I think we have a chance to be pretty good on offense if we will grow in some areas, of course, our big thing is identify our quarterback.”
Malzahn also hit on the biggest topic on The Plains this offseason, the quarterback competition. Coming out of spring camp, which will end this weekend with Auburn’s A-Day Game, the four-man competition appears to be narrowing down to true freshman Bo Nix and redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood.
During his appearance on the program, Malzahn was asked if it’s realistic for Nix to be ready to play in the SEC next season.
“First of all, it’s more and more popular for these freshmen to come in early and the guys that do, it gives them a great advantage (with) 15 spring practices and everything that comes with it. Bo is one of those guys,” Malzahn continued. “He had an outstanding high school career, winning two state championships, being the MVP and everything. He has that desperation to win the job and that’s what we’ve noticed so far, the other guys are the same way. It’s a real healthy competition right now.”
That’s classic Malzahn right there, keeping things close to the vest when it comes to his program. While that’s typical of Malzahn to do publicly, it’s hard to imagine he’s doing anything differently inside his program at the moment. Expect this quarterback battle to play on through the summer and into fall camp as the Tigers aren’t going to tip their hand leading into a tough season opener against Oregon in Arlington, Texas come Aug. 31.