Not if he is going to continue to use Gus's 5-6 play handbook.
If he allows his OC to run more than a 5-6 playhand book, then he is already leaps and bounds above Gus.
Uh, yeah Steele's record as a HC was 9-36 at Baylor when Baylor was a bottom feeder in the Big 12. They already had 3 losing years before he took over and 2 of those were 2-9 teams. Not like he had much to work with. Even after Steele got fired, it would be another 8 years before they finally got past the .500 mark. Not saying that I want Steele to take over, but if he has the respect of the players I would certainly take that over Freeze any day of the week. Just bring in an OC worth their salt to bring some life back to the offense.
I wish Gus the best but his time was done. Games like the State game were just too common. Games that Auburn should be winning handily and we have to sweat through them. Last year Ole Miss driving late for a game-winning TD until the last second pick? Losing to Minnesota in the bowl game, losing to Tenn and Miss St in 2018? Sweating it out against Mercer in 2017 and losing to UCF in Peach Bowl? Granted the overall record against UA,UGA and LSU was poor, but too many times we struggled in games that should have been easier wins. Then there is the stagnant 5 play handbook on offense, even with Chad Morris running the show, it was still Gus's playbook. One series against State, they threw 3 consecutive bubble screen passes to WR on a 3 and out series. That play, other than the line plunge on 1st down, is the biggest waste of a down when 9 out of 10 times the defense is already set to blow the play up for nothing. Play action practically non-existent, TE play wasted. All that in addition to everything else mentioned. A couple of 10 win seasons would have kept Gus around. But 9-4 and 8-5 is what fans hope for in places like Kansas and Indiana.
The key really is to make Nix a game manager style QB and let Tank, DJ and Shiver do the heavy work. For the passing game, stop locking on Seth/Schwartz, use the TE's and play the short/medium pass game. Plus most of all, get rid of the bubble screen WR pass since it gets blown up 90% of the time and puts in constant 2nd and long situations.
Gus, lets talk about the 12 or so bubble screen passes Nix threw in the game, mostly on 1st down. Yeah Nix completed the majority of them, but I believe only 2 of 10 completions gained significant yardage. The rest went from +2 to -2 yards catch. Why this delirious decision to keep using this low-risk, low-reward play is why we constantly have 2nd and long downs Listening to the commentators constantly remind us during the Ole Miss game "This is building Nix's confidence" was also delusional. The slant passes worked when executed properly. I'd much rather them try a slant pass on first down for 5-6 yards and have an incomplete, then the bubble screen that is routinely blown up by the defense because Gus/Chad consider it a bread-n-butter play.
Gus calling the plays is not good because he uses like 5-6 plays all the time. Today we had our usual Gus-esq plays like constantly running into the middle of the line on 1st down. Throwing a WR screen behind the line on 3rd and long. Throwing 50-50 balls to Seth when others are open for possible short gains. The first quarter looked good and then the rest of the game looked like Gus told Morris it was time to use Gus's playbook. That's what Gus did in the past, he would bring these OC's yet the same 5 plays got called over and over again. Then when the "O" did poorly and fingers got pointed at Gus, he would say he is not calling the plays. Sure all these different OC using the same 5-6 plays every year?
If I was the SC DC, all he had to say to Horn was to watch Nix right after the snap and you'll know when the ball is coming your way since he locks on Seth like a hunter with a scope on a big buck.
We can see why all the WR should have been frustrated. If Bo could hit a receiver in stride instead of constantly throwing behind them, we'd have more receptions and yards after the catch. Oh that also includes all the ball he throws at the WR feet too. Gus needs to answer why he and Morris have not yet corrected Nix's glaring problems that are still there from last year. Gus also needs to answer why he recruits talent and then refuses to use it. Bo should have been benched for a series after the 3rd pick to get straightened out.
Same ole Gus after a loss and next week will be the same ole Bo Nix: - Locking in on Seth and not throwing good balls (= 3 picks today) - Running out of pocket with no pressure and throwing bad balls on the run - throwing passes behind his WR instead of infront of them - throwing those idiotic balls while six inches from the ground Also, what was Bo told on the last play with 9 seconds left? Was he not told to throw for the endzone? Also on the last FG drive, why was the offense going in slow motion calling plays and wasting even more time, down by two scores? We wasted another great 1st quarter performance and gave the game away. Congrats to SC who did what they had to win.
Gus Malzahn won’t reveal the name of Auburn’s Wildcat package for 300-pound TE J.J. Pegues but teases that it could be expanding
He wasn't calling the plays, but the ones being called against Arky certainly resembled his 5 play handbook for the past 5 years. Running into the middle of the line on first down, no TE throws, Nix looking for big plays downfield, Nix keepers, WR screen passes that are blown up 95% of the time, especially on 3rd and long and of course the mildcat. Those are Gus's trademark bread and butter plays. Also a trademark of Gus's prior years is to get ultra conservative in the redzone and play for the FG, if we get a TD then that's a "boom" bonus. A 50-50 ball to SEth one on one with a defender is okay, not when he has 3 defenders on him, but you have a wide open WR 10 yards behind the play. Which means Nix is still not being coached about locking on to strictly Seth or Schwartz if Seth is off the field.
Gus Malzhan needs to be added as well. He hires a new OC and we still see the same 5 play handbook we've seen for the past 5 years. Nix looks no different than last year, locking in on Seth when you can find other guys open. TE play non existent. Throwing screens passes behind the line of scrimmage on 3rd and long and running stupid wildcat crap which fools nobody. The other disappointment was Steele not adjusting to focus on watching and containing Smith who was dominant. Constantly drifting out for wide open passes. Yeah the refs ruined the game but it's Gus's fault we were even in that situation that late in the 4th are.
Noles fans are telling us that their big bad "D" is going to stuff Auburn's running game like a Thanksgiving Day turkey because their D has stopped the run all year (sans Boston College). Here are the year end rankings of the teams they played: PItt - 101 Nevada - 60 Beth-Cook - 12 in FCS (gained 182 yards against Noles) BC - 26 Maryland - 74 Clemson - 66 NC State - 73 Miami Fla - 64 Wake Forest - 116 Syracuse - 30 Idaho - 97 Florida - 88 Duke - 48 So the Noles only played two teams that finished in the top 30 of rushing teams and they came in at #30 and #26???? Really???? That is supposed to have Auburn quaking in its boots after the Tigers steam rolled the NFL caliber running Ds in Georgia, Bama and Mizzou???? Never mind the fact that after the Noles opponents probably spent more time passing after falling so far behind. Yeah okay Noles fans, keep drinking the Kool-Aid. LOL