October 21, 2008

Back to smash-mouth football?

Auburn's offense went back to basics this past week. But just how basic?

Head coach Tommy Tuberville said the offense, now under the direction of Steve Ensminger, will still utilize spread formations but it's clear they're also going to get back to more traditional AU power football.

"I think it will be smash-mouth," quarterback Kodi Burns said. "West Virginia is a great team and I think we're going to give our offensive linemen a chance to get in the three-point stance and fire off the ball a little bit more, and I think that will get them fired up and help out the running game a lot."

Under former offensive coordinator Tony Franklin, who was fired Oct. 8, the offensive line would line up in a two-point stance on most every play.

Defensive tackle Tez Doolittle said he's gone up against a more fired-up offensive line this week.

"They get to put their hand down on the ground and they come off the ball a little harder," Doolittle said. "I always heard (offensive guard) Tyronne Green crying about being in the two-point stance about how he can't get push and stuff like that."

Ensminger and the offensive staff have also spent the off-week implementing a less complicated system than before.

"I think everybody feels like they're on the same page, knows exactly what we're doing, what our gameplan is, what we're going to look for going into the game," right tackle Jason Bosley said. "I think before I kind of just feel like we were out there running plays. Didn't really know what our strategy going into the game would be."

Bosley said the players have a lot more confidence in the new offense, which should incorporate parts of both the spread and the West Coast system the Tigers ran under Al Borges from 2004-07.

Wide receiver Rod Smith said there's been an emphasis on execution this week.

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