The trickery of Auburn coach Gus Malzahn failed miserably on a key series in the first half of the SEC showdown on Saturday.
Let’s set it up: Auburn had the ball in UGA territory with around 10 minutes left in the second quarter, trailing the Bulldogs 7-0.
On third down and 3, there was the first trick play: Auburn quarterback Bo Nix walked up the line of scrimmage, and then looked over at the sidelines at his coach. While that was going on, Auburn did a direct snap to running back JaTarvious Whitlow. UGA wasn’t fooled, as Whitlow gained only two yards.
The next play on fourth down was the call that drew the ire of Auburn fans on social media. On fourth and 2, Auburn had Whitlow line up at quarterback in a shotgun formation for a direct snap.
It went bad from the start, as Whitlow ran into one of his offensive lineman. He kept trying to spin to get loose, and Whitlow was eventually tackled for a 13-yard loss and change of downs.
Malzahn, who has taken over the team’s play-calling duties this year, was put on blast by the media and Auburn fans on social media. Here’s a sampling:
Too many gadget plays in Gus Malzahn's playbook. None of that junk works against elite defenses. I can see why he has drawn the ire of Auburn fans during his tenure.
— Brad Crawford (@BCrawford247) November 16, 2019
BIG 👏 DUMB 👏 AUBURN 👏 FOOTBALL 👏
— Chris Fuhrmeister (@ccfuhr) November 16, 2019
When will the decision makers at Auburn realize that Gus Malzahn is an awful play caller and one of the most overrated coaches in college.
— Buck (@BuckyRyan32) November 16, 2019
Auburn, what was that?🤦♂️
— Eddie Timanus (@EddieTimanus) November 16, 2019
Not often you see a running back take a direct snap and lose 14 yards, but Auburn did just that.
— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) November 16, 2019