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SEC Video

October 4, 2013

AUBURN FOOTBALL: Tigers, No. 24 Ole Miss like hurry-up offenses

AUBURN — When the Auburn and Mississippi offenses are really clicking, first downs come in a blur, the plays pile up and defenses are run ragged.

The Tigers and 24th-ranked Rebels will match hurry-up, no-huddle offenses Saturday night. Auburn's Gus Malzahn and Ole Miss's Hugh Freeze share backgrounds and philosophies as former high school and Arkansas State head coaches and offensive innovators.

Freeze, quarterback Bo Wallace and the Rebels (3-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) have had an extra year to assimilate, though.

"Watching them play, it's eerily similar to what we were going through last year," Freeze said.

The Tigers (3-1, 1-1) and junior college transfer quarterback Nick Marshall are still learning in his first season running Malzahn's offense.

Neither offense is clicking on all cylinders yet. Both rank in the middle-of-the-pack in the SEC in total yards, and they're tied for 11th in scoring offense.

Both coaches would also rather you not call their offense a "spread" system. It's all about the tempo.

The similarities make it easier for both defenses to prepare for the basics of the opposing offense this week.

"Their offense is really similar to our offense, so we've really seen a lot of things they do on tape is the same thing our offense was doing in team camp and in the spring," Auburn defensive back Josh Holsey said. "We're going to be really prepared for what they come in here and try to do."

But Freeze said that only takes you so far, especially since the Tigers have had two weeks to prepare and iron out the kinks.

"We certainly can look just alike offensively, if we wanted to," he said. "We'll be able to simulate their looks very efficiently for our defense. Having said that, both of us can change a lot during the course of the week. He's got two weeks to do whatever he's going to do. I know that he'll dress things up and have some wrinkles we haven't seen."

Here are five things to watch when these two SEC West teams meet:

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