Tigers Hope To Put the Wraps on Mumme Ball

Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp talks about the problems defending Hal Mumme's fast-paced offense.

Auburn, Ala.--One thing Hal Mumme can do is teach an offense to move the football effectively. No matter the level he's coached at nor the opposition has kept him from putting up big numbers. He did it at Valdosta State.

He did it at Kentucky and now is returning to SEC country for a Saturday night game at Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium as his New Mexico State team faces the Tigers.

That makes for some tense times for Auburn's defensive staff as the Aggies enter Saturday's game with the Tigers averaging 32.7 points and 523.3 total yards per game. Boasting one of the nation's top passers in Chase Holbrook (6-5, 240, Jr.), NMSU has been almost unstoppable this season except when they stop themselves with turnovers.

Holbrook is second in the nation with 35.33 pass completions per game, fourth in total offense (390), passing yards (1,187) and passing yards per game (395.67) while the Aggies are 11th in total offense at 523.33 per contest. Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp says Mumme's offense is tough to defend because the Aggies do so many different things to create mismatches.

"They spread you out to create matchups and when you leave the box unattended they're certainly going to try you with the run," Muschamp says. "They've got a good back. He's a quick kid, about 5-8, 190 pounds. He's a powerful kid and very similar to what he used to have at Kentucky. He's getting his type players in the offense and fitting in what he wants to do."

Running the ball is Tonny Glynn, averaging 74.7 yards per game this season on just 27 carries. Averaging 8.3 yards per rush, Glynn has yet to score a touchdown and the Aggies have just one on the ground as a team, but they run the ball effectively when presented with the opportunity.

At wide receiver Chris Williams (23 catches for 388 yards, 7 TD's) is the gamebreaker of a group who has five receivers in double-figures in catches after just three games. Williams (5-8, 157, Jr.), A.J. Harris (6-0, 208, Jr.) and Derek Dubois (5-8, 174, Sr.) have a combined 66 receptions for 781 yards and nine touchdowns. Muschamp says that the reason for their success falls on the shoulders of Holbrook.

"We'll get our best rushers in the game, but you've got to be able to push the pocket inside as well," Muschamp says. "Their quarterback does a good job of stepping up and feeling pressure on the edge. We have to mix our guys and play a lot of guys. They are a high-tempo no-huddle. It's not a slow tempo. They want to get 80 snaps in a game. That's their goal. You have to be able to roll a lot of guys in there."

Auburn has faced two no huddle type offenses already this season with Kansas State employing some of that as the Wildcats threw 58 passes in the season opener. In game two South Florida used a slower version of the no huddle to keep the Tigers off balance while still running the football. However, Muschamp notes that this week will be unlike anything Auburn has seen in quite some time, but it's something they prepared for in preseason practices.

"We install through training camp to prepare for games like this," Muschamp says. "We've done quite a good bit of work not necessarily on New Mexico State, but on spread offense work. It's going to be a matter of inputting those things and getting those things rolling...we'll catch up with it. That's why we introduce it in camp, to make sure they're prepared for it when it comes up during the season."


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