January 1, 2008

Notebook: AU rolls with new offense

It started on the opening possession when Auburn lined up in four-wide and continued throughout the game. AU's new spread offense, which was installed in less than 10 bowl practices, produced 423 total yards and 23 points.

It wasn't always pretty but it was productive, especially in the second half and overtime when AU produced 276 yards and three touchdowns.

"It was hectic," said new AU offensive coordinator Tony Franklin. "There were a lot of things that happened tonight that will never happen again. The good thing is that we won in spite of it. Great players can overcome a lot of things and I think that's what we have here."

Auburn attempted a season-high 43 passes but also ran the ball for 190 yards. Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville watched from the sidelines as an offense that was built on a power running game was entirely transformed into a pass-first unit.

"In the first half, our running backs probably lined up out of 39 plays at least 10 times on the wrong side," said Tuberville. "We were screaming and hollering. It's hard to get in a different mode from the quarterback telling them what to do then all of the sudden they've got to make their own decisions. We had a lot of mental mistakes.

"It's going to be better than what we played tonight."

In his final Auburn game, quarterback Brandon Cox had a career-high 25 completions on 39 attempts, throwing for 211 yards. Cox said it took a little while for the starters to feel comfortable in the new offense.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!