Alabama Football: Gus Malzahn, the one-time labeled ‘Offense Guru’ does not understand how the game is played.
There is genuine concern across the Alabama Football world on the Sunday after the Iron Bowl. Crimson Tide fans are thinking the end is near for Gus Malzahn on the Plains. Alabama football fans share a deep disdain of Gus Malzahn as a football coach. He may well be a good man, but as a coach, he is no Guru of any legitimate offense. In contrast, Malzahn may go down as one of the worst head coaches in developing quarterbacks.
We acknowledge Gus has had more success against Nick Saban than other SEC coaches. The reality is two of his three wins over Nick were flukes. We are willing to give Gus credit for a kind of mad scientist’s boldness in introducing high school football gimmicks to college football back in 2006.
The bizarre approach worked until the rest of college football decided to throttle his rules-stretching and rules-breaking schemes. Hurry-up was effective until defenses were given time to sub. When offensive lineman downfield on passing plays was (mostly) taken away from Gus, all that was left was pre-snap deception. The problem with such eye-candy is after the ball is snapped, players must execute better than the opponent. Gus frequently does not have enough players doing that.
Drill down into the most recent Iron Bowl and the ineptitude of Gus’ offensive schemes are apparent. The Tigers ran 80 offensive plays in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide ran 53 plays. Per offensive snap, Auburn averaged gaining 4.3 yards-per-play, compared to 8.4 yards for the Crimson Tide. On the ground, Gus’ run-dependent offense averaged 2.9 yards-per-play, while the Crimson Tide got 5.3 yards. Thirteen points from 80 plays versus 42 points from 53 plays shows Gus’ hurry-up way of thinking is out-dated. Gus knows it. He does not ‘hurry-up’ like he used to. His problem is he has nothing to replace it.
Auburn, Defensive Coordinator, Kevin Steele carried Gus for four seasons. Perhaps he will again, but Auburn’s defense is not saving the 2020 season. The mood in Auburn is angry.
There are no vocal defenders of Gus Malzahn in Auburn. That concerns Alabama football fans because we want Gus to be the Auburn coach for life. Trying to help, we want to send Gus some short, simple advice.
You are not a wizard. Become a Head Coach in practice by doing the things necessary for winning, like recruiting enough capable offensive lineman. Cast aside your old voodoo and let a sharper offensive mind have actual control of schemes and play-calling. Beat the teams Auburn should beat and accept, as Pat Dye previously said, Auburn is hundreds of years behind Alabama in football.
Also, offer Auburn a 50 percent cut in your annual pay. Crimson Tide fans will gladly donate the difference.
Alabama football fans will be conflicted next Saturday. Just in case the Gators somehow upset the Tide, the Aggies continuing to win would aid Tide Playoff chances. The problem is another Auburn loss this season and Gus’ buyout might not save him.