What Gus Malzahn said on Tiger Talk about Alabama State, Devan Barrett's move to defense
By Tom Green
Gus Malzahn will make his weekly appearance on the Tiger Talk radio show this evening at approximately 6 p.m. to preview Auburn's home opener against FCS Alabama State.
Tonight's show will be Malzahn's final media appearance before Saturday's matchup, which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Below is a recap of Malzahn's segments on Tiger Talk, which were broadcast on these affiliates and streamed online at AuburnTigers.com.
-- First on the Washington win: Sometimes it's how you win.... It was a very quality win.
-- Both defenses were outstanding in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Malzahn and Auburn "have a lot of respect" for Washington.
-- Malzahn was most pleased with the manner that his team won, and the fact the Tigers pulled out a close game. Penalties were a negative, obviously.
-- First question from Kim: ASU gave up 273 rushing yards last weekend. Does that give Auburn a chance to run well?
Malzahn: "It's more about us.... We'll grow each game, and it's really more about us. We know for us to be as good as we need to be, we need to run the ball effectively and pass."
-- Offensive line is different than any other position; need five guys working together as one unit. "That group will improve."
-- Calls SEC the "best conference in college football. You got to bring your lunch every week.... At the end of the year, you're battle-tested."
-- Question from Herb: Going to do situational punters or stick with most consistent?
"Right now, they're in a competition. The good thing is we got two quality guys." Says situational punter usage "is a possibility."
-- On Anders Carlson's debut: "Kicking the ball in the back of the end zone is huge. That was his first time, but we know he's talented.... Really happy." Says Carlson told him before the game he would drill them from 56 or 57 yards on either side of the field.
-- How to stay locked in after big win? "You got to have great leadership. It was a big, emotional win, but the championship teams, it doesn't matter.... It's a challenge to our leaders, and really I expect us to come out and play good football."
-- Goal in Week 2 is to be better than Week 1. "That's our challenge." Says team has had a good week of practice, players are locked in.
-- On Nick Coe and Darrell Williams: "They're both well-deserving (of SEC honors).... Nick just made a lot of really good plays.... It was a great defensive effort overall, but those two guys led the way."
-- Defensive front "played a really good game" especially considering it went against a running back that has rushed for 1,300 yards each of the last three seasons. Also contained quarterback well.
-- Washington went after Noah Igbinoghene in his first game at corner, but he stood his ground well.
-- Correcting penalties but not dwelling on them? "There's not a lot of balance. Correct them is what you do. There's not a lot of discussion with that." Has no doubt Auburn will do better from a penalty standpoint in the future.
-- Why go for 2-point conversion after first touchdown vs. Washington: "Sometimes you just want to set the tone of the game.... We have an aggressive mindset. We've been talking to our team all offseason that, hey, as coaches, we want to be aggressive."
-- How much does RB size matter when recruiting/gameplanning: "It depends. I think there's great strength in running backs being different.... Yeah, you take into account their size and speed.... You just try to play to each one of your running backs' strengths."
-- On JaTarvious Whitlow's touchdown: Decided at halftime they needed to run the football in the red zone when Washington dropped seven or eight men into coverage.
-- See Shaun Shivers and Asa Martin more on Saturday? It's a possibility. "Both those guys will definitely help us this year.... They're both talented and they're both going to be really good running backs."
-- Offensive line play late vs. Washington was huge. "They played their best ball the last drive, then we're trying to put the game away" and they get the first down to seal it.
-- Any trick plays (some "razzle dazzle") this week? "I'll ask Coach Lindsey about that.... We'll see. We'll see."
-- Chip Lindsey "is an aggressive guy," so expect some trick plays throughout the year. There's specific ones they will run, but others will depend on the situation.
-- On Devan Barrett: "Devan had a chance to help us at defensive back too.... He's a real versatile guy. We'll see how that goes."
-- Has Allen Greene worked out a series with his alma mater, Notre Dame? "We'll see where that goes."
-- Key areas to improve against Alabama State: Penalties, execution -- "the little things" -- and getting better at finding team's identity.
-- Keys to the game: Wants to avoid putting the ball on the ground offensively, continue to improve defensively and improve on special teams.