AUBURN, Ala.: The tempo was faster, the coaches were loudly demanding perfection and Auburn offensive coordinator Tony Franklin was even running pass routes to show his players how it’s done.

The 20th-ranked Tigers are trying to shake up an offense ranked among the nation’s worst.

“It felt like we were in two-a-days all over again out there,” receiver Rod Smith said after Tuesday’s practice. “It’s a good thing. I definitely think we need that as a team, to light a fire under us. Something needs to be done to get this offense going, just get the whole team going back in the right direction. Something has to be done.”

The Tigers (4-2, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) are trying to fix an offense that has oscillated between old-style smashmouth and spread offense finesse, prompting some players to express confusion after a 14-13 loss at No. 13 Vanderbilt.

Smith said Franklin warned players before the game “the old Troy guy’s back,” and coaches had receivers running routes several times until they got them perfectly and showing a more in-your-face style. Franklin even offered demonstrations personally.

Auburn hasn’t been able to reprise the fast-paced, productive spread offense Franklin ran the past two seasons with the Troy Trojans.

Quarterback Kodi Burns said the Tigers spent Tuesday “learning a lot of the basics back over again,” working more on the things they have excelled at and scrapping a few they haven’t.

“All you’re really going to see is a little more basic offense and us executing things a lot better,” Burns said.

The defensive players didn’t need to see the difference in practice. They could hear it from more vocal, intense offensive coaches.

“Everybody turned around looking, ‘What’s going on?'” defensive tackle Tez Doolittle said. “I see everybody getting down and running plays real quick and fast. Just a lot of noise out there today.”

International Herald Tribune