Tigers Crank Up the Gus Bus In Nick of Time

After a slow start, the offense rallied in Auburn's season-opening victory over Utah State.

Auburn, Ala.--The offense stepped up and played a key role in Auburn's comeback victory over Utah State, but offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn watched his rebuilt starting group struggle for much of day in Auburn's 42-38 win on Saturday.

Malzahn said his team's lack of success running the football was the major issue vs. the Aggies. The Tigers rushed the ball 30 times for just 78 net yards.

"We have got to run the ball, no doubt about it," Malzahn said. "I think that was the big thing that stood out to me that we have to correct. We have to run the football if we are going to have an effective offense."

Malzahn said that when he studies the game video, he will likely find it wasn't just the offensive line that struggled. Instead, he said it will be a combination of a lot of things.

Commenting on the offensive struggles in the first half, Malzahn said, "We just didn't do a great job executing and we weren't able to get first downs. You have seen it before, when we can't get first downs and get the tempo in our favor we kind of get in a lull.

"In this offense, when you go three-and-out, it is no good," Malzahn said. "We have got to figure out a way to get first downs, get the pace going and get some momentum."

Malzahn said the Tigers finally got the pace going on their two fourth quarter touchdown drives. "That looked like our regular offense there," the offensive coordinator said.

Malzahn, who also coaches the quarterbacks, said he liked the fact that the Tigers did not have a turnover and that Barrett Trotter performed well in his first college start. The junior quarterback completed 17-23 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns.

"I thought Barrett did some good things, specifically at the end of the game," Malzahn said. "I was real happy with the way he responded. We have been working a lot on two-minute situations probably the past two weeks. For his first start, the way he finished, was real strong."

Malzahn said the Tigers need to get better before opening SEC play vs. Mississippi State. "The bottom is we have some things to correct and we have got to get better each week."

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