After allowing nearly 40 points and 500 yards in its last six SEC games, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn finally realized that he must fix his defense. The changes began last Sunday when he fired defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, who frankly did not have the personnel he needed to be effective in his 4-2-5 scheme. TCU has had success with a similar scheme, but Auburn has not. There have been rumors all season that there were disagreements in philosophy that would eventually lead to Johnson being replaced.
The big question is who replaces Johnson? Former Florida coach Will Muschamp, who left Auburn after the 2007 season, is on the wish list according to Auburnsports.com. Other candidates could be Barry Odom from Memphis, Manny Diaz, the former Mississippi State and Texas coordinator who now works at Louisiana Tech, and current Mississippi State coordinator Geoff Collins.
Whoever gets the job has the unenviable task of replacing most of the defensive line starters because Gabe Wright, Jeffrey Whitaker and Angelo Blackson are all seniors. The bottom line is Malzahn like Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M must realize that they simply can’t outscore every team they play.
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