Auburn "D" Ready For Air Raid Offense - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Auburn "D" Ready For Air Raid Offense

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After it's worst season in sixty years, Auburn University cleaned house and hired new head coach Gus Malzahn in the off-season.

The Tigers take their first step Saturday in creating a new identity against Washington State.

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Malzahn's biggest concern when facing Washington State, is that it's head coach, Mike Leach has his players in the second-year of his pass-happy offense.

"We're playing a good offense, they're going to be much improved from what they were last year," Malzahn said.  "When they're quarterback had time they were effective. We have to get a pass rush."

A pass rush can create turnovers, and that has a defense, that only intercepted two passes last season, licking its chops.

"I'm hoping to get one or two interceptions that first game," Auburn cornerback Jonathon Mincey said.

"Any opportunity we have to go against an offense that is pass first, that's something we want to take it.  Be willing to make a play."

The air raid offense of Leach is not completely foreign to the Auburn players.   They see a slight comparison with a second-year SEC school.

"We've seen a little with Texas A&M," linebacker Jake Holland said.  "But it's definitely different from what we've seen in the past in the SEC.  We don't see it every week, but we've had plenty of time to prepare."

When sizing up the Cougars, Malzahn looks at one game last season when coaching at Arkansas State. Leach and Malzahn shared a common opponent.

"They played Oregon extremely close," Malzahn said.  "Of course, I got a chance to see Oregon up close last year.  I can kind of relate to their talent. Playing good football."

Auburn and Washington State will kickoff at 6:00pm at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday.


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