In Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn’s recollection, he hasn’t faced a triple-option offense since his high school coaching days against Farmington High School in Arkansas. This season’s opener against Georgia Southern will be interesting, to say the least.
The Tigers begin the 2017 season on Sept. 2 with a home game against Georgia Southern. The Eagles are one of the foremost triple-option teams in college football, and although they’re coming off a 5-7 season, they may prove a thorn in the Tigers’ side.
Though Malzahn hasn’t faced a triple-option defense in a while, that’s not the same for defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. Steele spent three seasons at Clemson defensive coordinator, during which time Clemson played Georgia Tech three times.
“Anytime you’re facing a triple-option team, especially one that’s good at it and well-coached, you’ve got to started working on it earlier,” Malzahn said. “Kevin’s got a good plan. He’s somewhat familiar with that (offense). We have started thinking that way and need to.”
The good news for Auburn is where Georgia Southern falls on the schedule. Since the Tigers open the season against the Sun Belt squad, the Tigers have a considerable amount of time for scheming how to stop the rushing attack.
That would be far from the case if the game against the Eagles fell later on in the year.
“That’s important, that you have a long period of time,” Malzahn said. “Three days to get ready for something, especially if they’re talented and well-coached, that’s a challenge. It’s probably a blessing we have them when we do.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports