April 18, 2009

Offense erupts for big plays

Gus Malzahn wants explosive plays from his offense.

At Saturday's A-Day game, Auburn's offensive coordinator got exactly what he's looking for as his offense racked up an impressive 501 yards.

Eleven of those plays went for 15 or more yards -- which is what AU's coaches define as an explosive play -- including touchdown runs of 70, 70 and 46 yards and a touchdown pass that covered 34 yards.

"There are still a lot of areas we need to work on, but it was nice to see guys make plays today," Malzahn said.

Just to put AU's A-Day output in perspective, Auburn's offense had just five plays of over 40 yards the entire 2008 season. Auburn equaled that mark in 55 plays Saturday.

The big plays were spread around with running back Ben Tate taking advantage of some excellent blocking on the first possession and sprinting 46 yards for the touchdown.

"It was kind of a counter play. It was just a big hole," Tate said. "The offensive line made me look good. I just ran straight ahead. I didn't have to do anything."

Tate scored again from nine yards out on AU's next possession, set up by a 41-yards pass from Kodi Burns to Mario Fannin, who came down with the catch after it bounced off a defenders hands.

Receiver Terrell Zachery capped off a big first half taking an end around 70 yards down the left sideline for a score.

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