Malzahn Discusses Auburn's A-Day Offense

Comments from Auburn offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Gus Malzahn are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--If Auburn's 2011 A-Day football game is a good indication, the Tigers are still a work in progress offensively and they have a long way to go to be ready for SEC competition.

Using a scoring system that gives the offense and defense points for a variety of plays such as forced turnovers, three-and-outs, three consecutive first downs and explosive plays, the defense outscored the offense 63-32. Scored the traditional way in the offense vs. defense scrimmage, the offense managed just one touchdown and three field goals in four quarters of football on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The Tigers primarily ran their base offense and didn't take many chances in the game.

"You want to be somewhat vanilla because you don't want to give any of the other teams, especially the early teams, any kind of indication or advantage," explained offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.

Head coach Gene Chizik said the competition between junior Barrett Trotter and sophomore Clint Moseley for the starting quarterback position will likely extend into fall practice. Malzahn agreed that could be the case like it was two seasons ago when Chris Todd emerged as the starting quarterback.

Malzahn said he was not disappointed that the competition for starting quarterback may extend into preseason practice because he wants to be "110 percent sure" that the player chosen will give the Tigers the best chance of winning.

Gus Malzahn

Trotter, who entered spring practice as the presumed favorite to win the starting role, completed six of 12 passes for 120 yards, including a 19-yard strike to junior Philip Lutzenkirchen for the offense's only touchdown of the afternoon.

Trotter also led the offense on a five play, 47-yard drive in the second quarter, resulting in a 41-yard field goal by senior placekicker Chandler Brooks.

Moseley finished the game completing nine of 15 passes for 82 yards and directed a 10 play, 39-yard scoring drive against the second team defense. The drive resulted in the third made field goal by Brooks in the first half.

The offense was ineffective at times with the defense forcing six three-and-outs and two fumbles in the game.

"There was some good stuff out there, some sloppy stuff," Malzahn said. "We've been rotating quite a few people in and out and it's hard to get a lot of rhythm going. Obviously, we'd like to get in the end zone a little bit more."

With sophomore Michael Dyer and junior Onterio McCalebb the only returning scholarship tailbacks, Malzahn said developing depth at that position has been a focus this spring.

To further that goal, the Tigers moved junior Anthony Gulley Morgan from cornerback to running back. Morgan, who has seen limited action this spring because of injury, led the offense in rushing with 57 yards on six carries.

"He's got some tailback skills," Malzahn said. "He's still not 100 percent, but he did make some good runs.

"We think he can run between the tackles and also he's got the speed to get to the edge," noted Malzahn when describing Morgan as a combination of Dyer and McCalebb.

The Tigers have also been experimenting with Lutzenkirchen, moving him to the slot receiver spot which Kodi Burns played last season. "He's a very flexible player and we're trying to find ways to get him the ball," Malzahn said.

The Tigers will hold one final practice on Monday to correct mistakes from the A-Day game and prepare players for off-season workouts.


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