Most of the coaching positions are starting to be filled around college football. Today, news broke that Ellis Johnson, the former defensive coordinator for South Carolina, is being named the new head coach at Southern Mississippi. This news may have a different meaning to Auburn.
We reported last week that before the season started last year, the USM coaching staff visited the AU staff to see how the Tigers were running things since Gene Chizik became the coach. It was then, that Gene became impressed with Blake Anderson, the offensive coordinator for the Golden Eagles. I am sure coach Chizik has had Anderson on his mind as a replacement for Gus Malzahn, who will be leaving Auburn right after the Chick-fil-A Bowl to take over the Arkansas State team.
Under the eye of Anderson, the Golden Eagles finished with their highest rankings nationally in rushing offense (No. 20) and passing offense (No. 35) in three years. Anderson's offense was also No. 18 nationally in yards per game with 453.38 while averaging 36.85 points per game. Even with his duties expanded, Anderson's quarterbacks were still among the most efficient in the nation with only eight interceptions thrown including one by a wide receiver in 2010 to 24 touchdowns.
The above is from the USM website.
Anderson spent two years as the quarterbacks coach, before taking over as the OC, which he held for the last two seasons. Before that he was the OC and QB's coach at Louisiana-Lafayette, where we get the next bit of information
The Cajuns posted the No. 6 rated rushing offense nationally (251.6) in 2007 and became the Sun Belt's first ever 3,000-yard rushing team (3,019). The team averaged a Sun Belt-record 5.6 yards per carry en route to producing two 1,000-yard rushers. UL ran for 250 yards or more in seven games and scored at least one rushing touchdown in all but one contest.
Now, will Auburn and Chizik try to go after Anderson?