All in: Gus Malzahn speeds up Auburn, Ellis Johnson vows to keep pace

USA TODAY Sports

Before Gus Malzahn reinstalls his hurry-up, no-huddle offense at Auburn, he's already won something he's never had in the SEC: total support of a veteran defensive mind.

Gus Malzahn is Auburn's first-year head coach only by technicality, having served as the offensive coordinator for three seasons prior to 2012. Of the scholarship players still remaining from last year, only 17 weren't brought to Auburn while Malzahn was on the staff. Only three of those are offensive skill position players.

No other first-year head coach will enjoy this kind of expedited acclimation. So while there will be holes in Auburn football's 2013 edition, there is still cause for hope, and not the rarely honored three-to-five-year-plan kind.

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