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AUBURN, Ala. (WIAT) — Auburn likes to play fast hurry up offense. That means somebody has to call the plays really quick.
Gus Malzahn used to call the plays when he was on Gene Chizik’s staff and that’s not going to change. Malzahn is the head coach. Rhett Lashlee is the offensive coordinator, but we start coach talk with how the play calling will work.
“Me and Rhett know each other very well,” said Malzahn. “We have our plan going in that we are both on top of. We are always thinking about adjustments…the what-if’s. If they do this, what if, so we do it together. I will be the one that will call the plays but he will be the guy that always on the sidelines looking at it from a different stand point. He’s a very good compliment and I have a lot of confidence in him,” said Malzahn.
In his first trip through Auburn, Malzahn’s hurry up offense really brought out the best in Darvin Adams. He was a stud on the National Championship team and Malzahn is looking for studs now.
“We need to find a go-to receiver,” said Malzahn. “You know in 2009 when we first got here we were saying the same thing. and we knew, we thought he had a chance to be, but he showed it on the field. that’s what I mean when I say I’m real curious to see how some of our guys respond, the receivers. We need somebody to step up and be a go-to guy. And how you do that is you prove it on Saturdays. It’s not just practice,” said Malzahn.
So we know the play caller. We’re looking for play makers. Now what about Washington State? Auburn won only 3 games last year. State won 3 games, but one was a conference win.
“Washington State, they finished the year beating their rival Washington, which is a very big win,” said Malzahn. “They got the majority of their guys back offensively and defensively back and so that definitely is a concern. Then the fact that it’s the second year in the system and they have a proven head coach who’s won just about everywhere he’s been. So we’re expecting those guys to be much improved and a very good opponent for us in the first game,” said Malzahn.
Both teams combined for six wins last year. So eliminating mistakes is a must do Saturday for Malzahn.
“It’s to protect the football and not beat ourself and to play extremely hard and to play together,” said Malzahn. “You know our theme this year is to play together so that’s my expectations for our team,” said Malzahn.