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Malzahn’s System A Good One, But The QB Still Matters

Not knowing exactly who Auburn’s starting quarterback will be this fall — Clint Moseley, Barrett Trotter or true freshman Kiehl Frazier — a lot of Auburn supporters are saying that Gus Malzahn’s system is more important than the team’s choice of signal-caller.  And Malzahn’s scheme certainly thrived last year as the Tigers’ captured the national crown with a 14-0 record.

Here’s what Moseley says of his offensive coach’s system:


“What makes his offense different are the options he gives us as quarterbacks.  If you’re going to stop us on any play, it’s going to have to be a blown assignment on our part.  It’s going to take almost perfect defense.  Some of these plays, he’s got an answer for anything.  He gives us a great opportunity to be successful.”


No doubt.  But if one of the “options” presented is a quarterback draw in which the QB has to bull his way over and through linebackers… will Moseley, Trotter or Frazier be able to duplicate Cam Newton’s amazing ability?

Malzahn has had great success over the years including what would be a career-capping season for most coordinators in 2010.  But once inside the SEC, Urban Meyer’s system looked better with Tim Tebow on the roster than it did before or after him.  The same could be true of Malzahn sans Newton.

Last season, Auburn scored 24 or fewer points in just two of nine SEC contests.  The Tigers averaged a hard-to-fathom 40.2 points per game against SEC defenses.  Final league mark: 9-0.

But in 2009 with Chris Todd in the quarterback role, Auburn scored 24 or fewer points in five of eight SEC games.  They averaged just 25.0 points per game and finished with a conference record of just 3-5.

So were those extra 162 points versus SEC foes in 2010 more a product of “an extra year of study in Malzahn’s offense” or of “the Cam Newton effect?”  I think most would agree Newton was the bigger difference.

That’s not to say Auburn can’t succeed offensively in 2011.  But the wise fan remembers that transcendent athletes are hard to replace.  Georgia wasn’t the same after Herschel.  The 1980s Auburn Tigers weren’t the same after Bo.  And Florida wasn’t the same after Superman. 

Malzahn’s system or not, it’s hard to picture the Tigers being as prolific on offense post-Newton.

 


4 comments
D-Ram
D-Ram

8 wins for Auburn, at best. QB matters. 3rd and short (and especially long) are going to be so much harder this year than last. Frazier might surprise everyone but I can't remember the last time a true freshman came in and wow'd the nation. We'll see. For the record, I get that Alabama's defense is good, but National Champions? If you hold teams to 13 points per contest, you have to score more than 13 to win, right? Stack the box against the Tide and make the QB manager win the game. I just don't see Bama going 14-0. LSU is questionable to be awesome and Arkansas has to make sure the O-line is solid to make a run. It's played on the field. Let's play.

KAK
KAK

neither of the QBs on the AU roster can do what Cam did....but they can certainly do what Chris Todd did. I don't get why everyone thinks our offense is just what we ran last year. It was tweaked to do what Cam does best. The 2009 offense looked nothing like the 2010 offense. We were something like 13th in the country on offense in the SEC with Chris Todd at QB. I'm sorry but option A, B, and C are all better than Todd.

Travis
Travis

I couldn't list team stats, but the 80s Auburn teams after Bo Jackson won or shared the SEC title in 87,88,and 89.... I thought that was pretty good.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Travis...

Went back and looked at records. The numbers for Auburn post-Jackson were better than I had recalled. I stand by my overall point that it's awfully hard to replace once-in-a-lifetime athletes, but AU post-Jackson was not a good example. You can make the case, in fact, that Auburn got better because of the hype generated on the recruiting trail by Jackson and AU's success.

But I humbly tip my cap to you on the Jackson line.

Thanks for reading the site.
John

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  1. [...] Auburn | MrSEC.com But once inside the SEC, Urban Meyer's system looked better with Tim Tebow on the roster than it did before or after him. The same could be true of Malzahn sans Newton. Last season, Auburn scored 24 or fewer points in just two of nine SEC contests. If you hold teams to 13 points per contest, you have to score more than 13 to win, right? Stack the box against the Tide and make the QB manager win the game. I just don't see Bama going [...]

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