Jan. 2, 2014
Auburn fullback Jay Prosch says he is a glorified offensive lineman and loves it (Todd Van Emst photo)
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- When Auburn tailback Tre Mason scores, the offensive linemen, receivers and most everybody celebrates.
Auburn had a lot of celebrations stored up.
"We really didn't score a lot of points last year," center Reese Dismukes remembered Thursday. Now, "you really take advantage of every opportunity when you score points."
Auburn has 64 offensive touchdowns this season as it practices toward Monday's BCS Championship Game against Florida State. Last season, it scored 24.
-- Charles Goldberg
The Hulk meets the media
Five players and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee met the media Thursday. One of the attendees was fullback Jay Prosch.
“I don't think enough can be said about him,” Dismukes said. “He's the all-around guy. He's like Hercules. He looks like Hulk. I don't know if you all have seen him, but he's like a statue. He's a great football player, and he's one of the reasons we are very successful at offense. I don't think we could do what we do without him.”
Prosch has a touchdown catch, but he doesn't have a carry all season.
"I do a lot of blocking, as most of you know,” Prosch said. “I'm just a glorified offensive lineman.”
Prosch likes to work out. That's not a secret.
"I feel like we're the best conditioned team in the country," Prosch said.
-- Charles Goldberg
Lashlee: Malzahn accepts only the best
Lashlee knows Malzahn better than most, probably better than anybody in football. He played quarterback for him at Shiloh Christian School in Springdale, Ark. He coached with him as a graduate assistant at Arkansas and at Auburn, worked as his offensive coordinator at Arkansas State and now is his offensive coordinator at Auburn.
Lashlee says Malzahn’s attention to detail and drive for perfection set him apart.
“The core of who he is hasn't changed,” Lashlee said. “He's a perfectionist, works extremely hard. The details are all that matter. I think what he's done has been be very true to himself, which has helped him be successful. Coach has always been great at taking a team of players, a team of coaches and getting them to all do what they do best and probably getting you to perform maybe better than you could on your own.
“I remember that as a player. I felt like he always got the best out of us, pushed us to be better than we thought we could be. When I played quarterback for him, 9 of 10 wasn't acceptable. I thought it was pretty good, but he said it wasn’t 10 out of 10. He's always pushing you to be the best you can be.”
QB Nick Marshall bonds with offensive linemen
Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall doesn’t look like an offensive lineman, but he says he has a kinship with them.
“They let me in their group because those are my guys,” Marshall said. “They protect me with everything they have in them. I just believe in them and they believe in me. I believe we've got the best offensive line there is because they work so hard at what they do. It’s just something that's just like a brotherhood we have with each other. It's just like another family. I'm just proud to be an Auburn man.”
Comparing QBs? Winners
Lashlee begged off comparing quarterback Marshall to former Auburn Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton.
"It's always unfair to compare one player to another," he said.
But Lashlee said Newton and Marshall are similar in these ways:
"They got us to the national championship game and they know how to win," Lashlee said.
Pruitt has seen it all before
National championship games are nothing new for Florida State defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
Pruitt left the Hoover High School staff to join the Alabama staff as an administrator. He later moved up to coach the secondary and joined Jimbo Fisher’s staff at Florida State after last season.
“This the fourth time in the last five years I've had an opportunity to be a part of the national championship game,” Pruitt said. “I've been very blessed and very fortunate to be around really good programs, a lot of good guys, and I'm excited to be around this group here. This is probably my favorite group I've ever been around."
More from Auburn …
The low point of 2012's 3-9 season?
"It was all low," Dismukes said.
• Lashlee said, "We came out of spring ball and we weren't very good … but they bought into Coach … we did a lot of things together. We've got a team. We don't have one guy who gets all the glory."
• Auburn QB Nick Marshall on this season: "What means the most to me is Coach Malzahn and Coach Lashlee gave me a second chance to play SEC football."
-- Charles Goldberg
Pruitt says his defense is at the forefront, too
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has gotten a lot of attention as the Heisman Trophy winner, but Pruitt says his defense isn't bothered by that.
"We were excited for Jameis. We don't feel like we've been overshadowed. It's a team thing for us," he said.
Auburn luck? Florida State says Tigers have confidence
Florida State linebacker Christian Jones was asked if Auburn has been lucky to win games with last-minute heroics. He downplayed that thought.
"They're a team that plays all four quarters. That's the way I look at it," Jones said. "They don't lose any confidence when they get down."