By Jeff Shearer
AUBURN, Ala. - When Auburn checks in to its hotel Friday night in Montgomery on the eve of the season opener, offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey will review his call sheet one more time, making sure he’s prepared for every scenario.
When the sun comes up the next morning, the game plan goes in the backpack. It’s too late to tinker.
“When you get to Saturday, the hay’s in the barn,” Lindsey said. “You just let your guys get out there and play. Let them be loose and play fast. Try not to stress them out. I think that’s important. Especially at quarterback, you want that guy to feel like, ‘You’ve got all of the answers, man. Play with confidence. Let’s go have some fun.’”
After four weeks of preseason practice, Lindsey will narrow the list of plays he plans to call against Georgia Southern, preferring execution over volume.
“The key for us early on this week is to figure out what do we want to take in, and what do we really have time to rep?” Lindsey said. “Because there are a lot of really good plays out there, but you only get so many reps in practice.
“I think every coordinator in the country fights that battle of deciding. There are 10 things I like. We can really only rep six or seven of these things. What to throw out, what to keep in. I like where we are. I think we’re in a good spot. I think we know a lot about our team which is important when you’re developing a game plan.”
To develop that plan, Lindsey begins with plays his quarterback feels confident running.
“You focus on our team and what we try to be good at, and what our identity is,” Lindsey said. “I think we’ve done a nice job during camp of identifying where are strengths are, and how we can best utilize those no matter who we’re playing.”
Quarterback Jarrett Stidham impressed Lindsey with his knowledge of Auburn’s passing game.
“The most important thing is he knows where to go with the ball in every situation, versus every look we might see,” Lindsey said.
Calling plays from the field will allow Lindsey to communicate with Auburn’s quarterbacks face to face, providing what he calls a “huge advantage.” Offensive line coach Herb Hand will relay information from the press box, with Lindsey calling plays based on what defensive formations he and Hand observe.
“Our goal is to give our guys the best opportunity based on the defense we’re seeing,” said Lindsey, adding that, at other times, Auburn’s identity as a physical, run-oriented offense will dictate the selection. “Here it comes. Here’s what we’re doing.”
Auburn kicks off the season Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network. New coordinator. New quarterback. Same tempo.
“If we get the opportunity to play fast,” Lindsey said. “We definitely want to do that.”
Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @jeff_shearer
Ticket InformationA limited number of single-game tickets ($35) and Family Pack Tickets ($25) remain for the ULM game on Nov. 18. To purchase visit AUBTIX.com.