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New approach in bowl preparation


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Auburn coaches taking new approach in bowl preparation

Updated 6:36 PM; Posted 6:36 PM

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn gives directions during practice Friday. Auburn bowl practice 2 on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018 in Auburn, Ala. Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics (Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics)

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By Sam Blum | SBlum@al.com

SBlum@al.com

Auburn started off its bowl practices on Dec. 13 with head coach Gus Malzahn showing tape of the team’s 34-27 loss to UCF in the Peach Bowl to end last season.

The Tigers (5-7) have ended each of the last two seasons with losses in bowl games, and so they’re making sure not to take the Music City Bowl for granted.

“It’s like someone sticking a fork right inside of you,” senior HB Chandler Cox said on Monday. “... We kind of used that as motivation this week to push us through these practices. It’s been tough, it’s been hard practicing. But it’s exactly what we need. Anytime you’re pushed, you’re gonna be successful.”

Auburn and Purdue (6-6) will play in the less-than-stellar bowl game in Nashville on Dec. 28 at 12:30 p.m. CST. Auburn has, by every measure, had a very disappointing season. Still, there’s a chance to salvage something in this game, and to use the extra practices to build on the future.

But by all accounts, this week of practice has been about more than just the future. There’s an apparent concerted effort to take this game seriously. The Tigers took a rare step in having Friday’s practice out in the pouring rain.

“You could tell they want to win,” said senior linebacker Darrell Williams. "You could tell Coach Malzahn’s doing a good job of emphasizing how we need to stay locked in and focused, and everybody’s carrying that on from top to bottom.”

Cox said the specific focus has been on improving the preparation from last year. Malzahn spoke about the importance of the game as a springboard for the future, so it makes sense that there’s more of a drive to win a game that, on the outside, looks like an unspectacular ending to a season that started with expectations of playing a far more important postseason game.

And Cox would have some idea, as someone that’s been there for four years. This is type of practice more physical than in the past.

“Our approach is that this is a big game for us," Malzahn said on Thursday. "And our guys understand that, and not just for the seniors and the older guys and finishing the right way, but for next year and the offseason and everything that goes with it. So we’re really looking forward to playing Purdue in Nashville.”

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Wow, I didn't know we were 5-7. Season was worse than we thought. Does anybody proofread anymore? 

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I'll be interested to see how the team responds.  I think it's very important for us to dominate this bowl game and set the stage for a great spring practice season.

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It’s always important to dominate in a bowl game and set the stage for the spring and the future, nothings changed.  Auburn needs to win this thing, just like every game.

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43 minutes ago, fredst said:

Does this mean that we’re actually going to try to win a bowl game under Gus?

592BBE6D-B571-4B04-848F-0A81B4B09172.gif

When his ass is on the line  he is actually a decent coach. 

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1 hour ago, gr82be said:

Wow, I didn't know we were 5-7. Season was worse than we thought. Does anybody proofread anymore? 

Yep,. We apparently need to win the bowl game in order to be eligible for it.   

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I find it odd that the "new approach" is actually coaching to try and win the game.  SMH...

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2 hours ago, gr82be said:

Wow, I didn't know we were 5-7. Season was worse than we thought. Does anybody proofread anymore? 

I’m sure it was proof read. al.com style

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6 hours ago, JDUBB4AU said:

Ole Gus trying to win ? Or trying not to lose 

This bowl sucks ass . Thanks Gus . 

I’m just bitter 

I will hang up and listen 

Hi Paul. How ya doin?

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10 hours ago, gr82be said:

Wow, I didn't know we were 5-7. Season was worse than we thought. Does anybody proofread anymore? 

It was intended. 

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The only thing I got out of that article was how much I have liked Chandler Cox during his 4 year career.  Gonna miss him. 

Anyone know what his chances are of getting drafted in the NFL?

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Congrats Gus for deciding to do your job. Idiot

Just shows how stubborn and blind he is to reality. Clemson and Tennessee say hello.

"Cox said the specific focus has been on improving the preparation from last year. Malzahn spoke about the importance of the game as a springboard for the future, so it makes sense that there’s more of a drive to win a game that, on the outside, looks like an unspectacular ending to a season that started with expectations of playing a far more important postseason game."

Auburn, one of the worst prepared teams in football under Gus

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13 hours ago, auskip07 said:

When his ass is on the line  he is actually a decent coach. 

Problem is, his ass isn't on the line until we've had a disappointing season.

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23 hours ago, keesler said:

It’s always important to dominate in a bowl game and set the stage for the spring and the future, nothings changed.  Auburn needs to win this thing, just like every game.

But I think we need it even more this year to help move on from the terrible season.  I think a lot of us are still a little shell-shocked and sure could use a big bowl win on top of a good recruiting class to relieve our dread for next year.

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On December 18, 2018 at 10:03 PM, Eagle-1 said:

Wow! I guess we'll have an excellent week of practice then.

Good one. Seems like we heard that before each game this year. That is all Gus talk. 

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