The magic of Auburn's offense

What makes Malzahn's offense so effective, and how Mizzou can defend it

Updated: December 5, 2013, 11:18 AM ET
By Brian Griese | ESPN Insider

Gus MalzahnAP Photo/Danny JohnstonGus Malzahn is one of the best coaches in the game at making offensive in-game adjustments.

The Auburn Tigers' 2013 Iron Bowl victory over Alabama will be forever remembered for Chris Davis' game-winning 100-yard return of the Crimson Tide's last-second field goal attempt.

But the biggest reason the Tigers were even in position to win the game was the success their offense had against the Bama defense, racking up 393 total yards, including 296 on the ground.

What is it that makes Gus Malzahn's offense at Auburn so difficult to stop? And what chances do the Missouri Tigers have of slowing them down in Saturday's SEC championship game?

Let's take a look.

What makes Auburn's offense so effective?

1. Power, speed ... but not the spread

For starters, let's get this out of the way: Malzahn's offense is not the spread! Far from it, in fact. Malzahn describes his attack as a two-back downhill power rushing attack. Just because the Tigers operate at a lightning-quick pace does not make them a spread team. Most of the game you will see fullback Jay Prosch and tailback Tre Mason in the backfield with quarterback Nick Marshall just before the ball is snapped. There will be many shifts and motions to try to confuse the defense, but the final formation will be some version of two-back.

• College football analyst for ESPN
• 11-year NFL QB and had a 17-5 record as a starter at University of Michigan