Video: Gus Malzahn Wastes No Time In Getting ASU Red Wolves To Think ‘Big-Time'

by Chris Bahn  on Tuesday, Jul. 17, 2012 12:00 am  

Arkansas State head football coach Gus Malzahn returns to his home state. (Photo by Mark Wagner)

This story is from the archives of

Hugh Freeze significantly changed the pace the Red Wolves played on offense in his two seasons at the school. Freeze spent a season as offensive coordinator, then worked as head coach as Arkansas State and finished the season among the nation’s best in total offense (No. 24) and passing offense (No. 16). Aplin quickly worked his way up to the top of the school record for single-season passing offense and total offense.

During the Red Wolves’ 10-win season in 2011, they averaged 32.4 points per game. In Freeze’s first season at ASU the offense averaged 403.4 yards per game.

The foundation for Freeze’s success was a version of Gus Malzahn’s Hurry-Up, No-Huddle offense.

That was Freeze’s version. It apparently has nothing on Malzahn’s version.

Arkansas State players are still catching their breath after going through a spring with Malzahn at the helm.

“It’s like on fast-forward it seems like sometimes,” defensive back Chaz Scales said. “… It’s no-huddle, a rapid pace.”

It’s fair to say the offense hasn’t yet been seen in its purest and most rapid form since Malzahn’s days in high school. College head coaches have been leery of total selling out to it in full.

Results at his college stops suggest success is possible when even small parts of the offense are implemented.

Running back Darren McFadden was a Heisman runner up at Arkansas in Malzahn’s one and only season with the Razorbacks. Tulsa quarterback Paul Smith set NCAA passing records under Malzahn. Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy and led Auburn to a BCS title with Malzahn running the show.

Auburn set nine school records in 2010. In two years the Tigers improved from 110th in scoring offense to 7th. Tulsa topped the nation in total offense in 2007 and 2008, Malzahn’s only two years with the Hurricane.

NFL coaches have adapted elements of the philosophy. Colleges — not just small schools — are running no-huddle.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.