Who Will Call AU's Plays in Bowl Game?

Auburn, Ala.--With a new offensive coordinator on board at Auburn, a major question for the Tigers' bowl game is who is going to call the plays and what system will Coach Tommy Tuberville's Tigers use.

Tony Franklin, the new offensive coordinator the Tigers hired away from Troy University this week, is a spread offense proponent. He takes over for Al Borges, who directed the West Coast Offense that Auburn used the past four seasons.

Tuberville says he discussed that subject for several hours with Franklin as soon as the new coach arrived on the AU campus Wednesday night.

"I want him to start looking at the players," Tuberville says. "He knows nothing about the talent or what positions he is going to want them to play so he will use the next two weeks and look at the players and give ideas."

Commenting on starting QB Brandon Cox, Tuberville said the fifth-year senior will continue to be number one at that position for the bowl game. "Brandon is not a spread offense quarterback," Tuberville says. "We tried a little bit of that during two-a-days when were putting some of that in with Kodi Burns."

Auburn's players will return to the practice field on Friday for the first time since beating Alabama for a sixth straight year to close the regular season.

"He will be involved in it," Tuberville says of Franklin's role on calling the plays in the bowl game. "We will probably decide in three or four days in what direction we are going in terms of what he is going to do during the game. We will probably try a few things if he thinks he can get it in.

"The whole thing about his system is his terminology is going to be totally different from what we are doing," Tuberville points out. "It is going to be like learning a different language. You can't learn a different language in a couple of weeks. It is just impossible, but we want to get a head start on spring practice and let him kind of understand what we are doing, what our guys can do and their limitations--strengths and weaknesses are.

Tommy Tuberville

"After that we will progress on," Tuberville says. "It will also help us in focusing on recruiting of what he (Franklin) thinks we are going to need that we don't have on this team to run this offense."

Auburn will take on Clemson at the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve in Atlanta. Tuberville says the decision has not been made on who will call the plays for the Tigers that night.

"It just depends on how much he can learn on what we are doing with Brandon," Tuberville says. "It is very different. It is going to have to be a team running this whole thing for the next couple of weeks. I think it is going to work. We will make it very basic in terms of what (Franklin) can learn, but we are going to have to go a little bit beyond that for the other coaches to have an opportunity to win the game. We can't just be vanilla. We will have (Steve) Ensminger, (Greg) Knox, (Eddie) Gran and Hugh Nall. They will all have their two cents worth of what we are going to run in terms of the two-back stuff and what we ran all season. Tony will have a little bit to say on what he can put in."

The Tigers are scheduled to practice each day through Tuesday before taking a beak for Christmas and resuming bowl practices Dec. 26th in Atlanta.


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