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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Burns finds his niche in Wildcat formation

I wrote a story for today's paper about how effective Kodi Burns has been in the Wildcat formation. Here's how it starts:

AUBURN, Ala. — When Kodi Burns graciously agreed to switch positions after losing out on the starting quarterback job in August, Auburn coaches promised that the junior would still be a major weapon in the Tigers’ offense.

So far it’s proven to be more than just lip-service.

Burns has thrived as the triggerman in Auburn’s Wildcat formation through the first two games, scoring four touchdowns and throwing for another. In the SEC, only Florida’s Tim Tebow has accounted for more points this season.

“Not only is he a great person, he’s a great competitor, he’s a great football player,” Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said of Burns. “We’ve got to find guys like that a place on our football team that can help us win.”

The Wildcat formation, which Tigers offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn helped popularize at the college level while at Arkansas and later Tulsa, is the perfect fit for Burns, a shifty runner whose ability to pass helps keep defenses honest.

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