AUBURN, Ala. — With Auburn’s red-zone woes, the possibility of alternative scheme and personnel has been a recurring topic this week.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said Tuesday and re-iterated during his Wednesday teleconference that there needs to be some adjustment in those situations to improve upon the 127th-ranked red-zone touchdown efficiency the Tigers currently have.
“What I was saying was we’ve just got to find more ways to score touchdowns,” Malzahn said. “Whether it’s scheme, whether it’s plays, whether it’s getting different personnel in, we’re evaluating all of the above.”
One possibility: the implementation of backup quarterback John Franklin III. The junior college transfer provides a different element from starter Sean White. His running threat has noticeably opened up running lanes for backs Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway, but few of those reps have come inside the 20-yard line.
With Louisiana-Monroe upcoming, it might be a convenient time for the Tigers to test some new strategies inside the red zone. Franklin saw a fair amount of live action through the first three weeks, but saw a diminished role in the LSU win.
Malzahn — without specifying scenarios — suggested Franklin will still be a piece of the puzzle for Auburn’s offense.
“(Against LSU), we were right in the middle of a game. And, really, we were moving the ball pretty well. We were just having trouble getting the ball in the end zone,” Malzahn said. “John is a guy that’s ready when called upon. From time to time, he will be called upon. The way the game unfolded, we felt good about the way we were moving the football.”