The Tigers sputtered, fired first-year coordinator Tony Franklin at midseason and finished with the school's first losing season since 1999. The struggles also led to long-time coach Tommy Tuberville's departure.
But Auburn fans concerned the Tigers will run the Spread once again this season shouldn't worry, according to tight end Tommy Trott. The senior said the offense under new coordinator Gus Malzahn — the former Springdale High and Arkansas assistant coach — will be a success.
"You'll see we use the run to set up the pass a little bit more," Trott said. "Time has proven to be an effective offense in the SEC you have to be able to run the ball. That's the way it's been for years. With Coach Malzahn's offense you're able to establish a downhill running attack."
Malzahn was hired by new Auburn coach Gene Chizik after spending the past two seasons at Tulsa. Before Malzahn was hired, Chizik said he had to make sure he and the offensive coordinator were on the same page.
"Gus has a great, great record of being able to be balanced and productive both running and throwing," Chizik said. "So, we're on the same page."
Trott said the Tigers have been watching film of Malzahn's offense while he was at Arkansas and Tulsa. Trott said it's proof that Malzahn's offense does work and should breathe life into the group after a disappointing 2008.
"I feel like he's a great offensive coordinator," Trott said. "He's been successful everywhere he's been. ...
"We're excited about having him here and the opportunity he brings to this program."
Arkansas running back Michael Smith, tight end D.J. Williams and defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard earned spots on the Southeastern Conference Media Days preseason All-SEC football team on Friday.
Smith and Williams were named to the first-team offense, while Sheppard was named to the second-team defense.
The media also picked the Hogs to finish fourth in the SEC Western Division standings behind Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss. Florida was a unanimous pick to win the SEC East, while 63 of 64 voters picked the Gators to win the SEC title. Ole Miss earned the other title vote.
Florida also led the way with All-SEC selections with 12.
Mallett Gets a Vote
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was the overwhelming, but not unanimous, choice for All-SEC quarterback in the media vote. Tebow earned 61 of 64 votes and Ole Miss' Jevan Snead picked up two votes.
Who got the last vote? Arkansas' Ryan Mallett.
The SEC Media Days poll only announces a first and second team so Mallett was not recognized Friday. However, SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom confirmed the final vote did go to the sophomore.
Kiffin Keeps Going
Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin tried to get his dad, 69-year-old coaching veteran Monte Kiffin, to take some time off earlier this summer. He told his dad — who coached at Arkansas from 1977-79 — to go back home to Tampa, Fla., and relax before football season began.
The elder Kiffin didn't listen to his son, apparently.
"I think he's on vacation, then I find out the Tampa Bay Bucs set up an office for him," Kiffin said. "He's going in every single day in the morning, not coming home til night.
"My mom calls, says, ‘He hasn't been here one time.'"
Miles on Mistakes
LSU coach Les Miles is well aware that careless penalties proved costly in his team's 31-30 loss to Arkansas in the regular season final last November. When asked about it Friday, Miles said the responsibility fell on his shoulders.
"Those observations you made in our last game are observations that I also made," Miles said in response to the question. "I can tell you that will not happen again."
SEC Media Days: Day 3
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