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ASU's Andrews accustomed to offensive changes
At this point in his Alabama State career, senior receiver Nick Andrews isn’t fazed by a change of offensive coordinators. He’d be surprised if there wasn’t one.
This is Andrews’ fourth year at ASU. Fred Kaiss, hired prior to spring practice, is his fourth offensive coordinator.
“It’s not unusual at all,” Andrews said, smiling. “In a way, I think it’s kind of helped us. We’ve learned a lot of different styles and techniques, and I think we’re better off. And really, it’s not that big of a deal. Football’s football, you know. The terminology might be a little different, but we’re still trying to do the same stuff out there.”
What the Hornets are trying to do, of course, is work their way back to Birmingham and the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship Game. They were there last year and fell to Texas Southern.
“We’re going back to win it this year,” Andrews said. “We don’t want to just go. We’ve done that.”
Andrews, teammate Kejuan Riley and head coach Reggie Barlow will be in Birmingham today for the SWAC’s annual media day, where they’ll explain their plans for a return trip in December.
To get there, part of the plan undoubtedly involves gelling quickly under new leadership.
Former offensive coordinator Melvin Spears departed for the head coaching position at Alcorn State after last season, and Kaiss has taken his place.
There are differences in philosophies.
Kaiss runs a more balanced attack – as opposed to Spears’ “vertical passing game” – and features more plays for the running back. While ASU rushed more times than it passed last season, nearly 150 of those rushing plays were by the quarterback.
This year, Quendarius McKibbon and the rest of the ASU backs will get most of those carries.
“I’m looking forward to getting more of an opportunity,” McKibbon said. “I think we’ve got a better offensive line, and we’re gelling together. I expect big things.”
For his part, Andrews said he thinks the offense can be better than last year’s. And that wouldn’t be hard.
Despite the trip to the title game, the Hornets offense ranked eighth in the 10-team league in scoring and ninth in total offense.
“We need to improve some things and stay focused,” Andrews said. “We’ve been working hard together. I think we’re closer this year. I think it’s different. We just have to show it on the field.”
By Josh Moon, Montgomery Advertiser