December 28, 2008

Malzahn emphasizes balanced offense

The numbers literally speak for themselves.

In two years at Tulsa, Gus Malzahn helped engineer an offense that ranked first in total offense in 2007 and currently ranks second in 2008. The Hurricane is averaging 47.4 points per game this season, 27 more than Auburn's offense generated.

But exactly what type of offense will Malzahn bring to Auburn next year?

Yes, it's a version of the spread. But Malzahn's offense emphasizes a balanced attack with a run-first mentality. In 13 games this fall, Tulsa has rushed the ball 610 times, averaging 254.9 yards per game, and attempted 397 passes, averaging 310.2 yards.

Eric Bailey has covered the Tulsa football team for the Tulsa World the last two years and said Auburn made a good hire in Malzahn.

"It's going to be someone they can really get excited about simply because the offense. It's a hurry-up, no-huddle offense that's just really fun to watch," Bailey said. "When they're executing, you really expect them to score points every time they have the football.

"Everyone just assumes that it's a pass-happy offense and they just throw the football around, but if you look at it, Tulsa ranks in the Top 10 in passing and running the football, which is remarkable how everything is balanced."

Bailey said Tulsa mainly runs a no-huddle, shotgun attack and tries to snap the ball within 10 seconds of the referee downing the ball. But you never know exactly what to expect once the ball is snapped.

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