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Scouting the BCS: 'All the information, and then some...'

Jan. 5, 2014

All smiles now: Auburn's Gus Mazahn, left, and Florida State's Jimbo Fisher pose with the BCS trophy Sunday (Todd Van Emst photo)

By Charles Goldberg

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Thirty days between football games? Auburn's Gus Malzahn and Florida State's Jimbo Fisher are guarding against information overload heading to Monday's BCS Championship Game in Pasadena. 

"I think any time you have 30 days you're going to have all the information, and then some," Malzahn said Sunday. 

Fisher says he has a book on every coach he's played, and that means he's called on his coaching staff on the times they've faced Malzahn, and studied Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, who studied Malzahn's high school ways. 

"We see everything," Fisher said. "We have a lot of guys on our staff that have played against Gus for a long time. They know a lot of his high school roots, they know a lot of people he was around and things he did. 

"You see a lot of the Gus stuff Chad did at Clemson, he'll have all those trick plays and different things in which they do and they've run them tomorrow night." 

Don't get Fisher started on knowing Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, either. 

"I played against Ellis for a long time back when he was at Mississippi State, when he was at South Carolina, we research all the way back on all those guys and I keep a running record of all the guys we've played against," Fisher said. 

He said he had "books on all the guys we've ever played against for the last 10, 15, years. We've got a running record of all those guys and we check all that stuff." 

Information overload? 

Malzahn said he's just try to "predict the best you can on what they're going to do offensively, defensively and special teams." 

"I think it's very important that you self-scout yourself. So we've tried to do a great job of that, even like we're our own opponent just to see what they're seeing, and then you match up." 

Malzahn and Fisher shared a photo shoot Sunday with the BCS trophy in between speaking to the media for the last time before the game. 

Malzahn said Auburn has stayed the course that took the Tigers to this game, even Sunday on the game's eve, even when they wake on game day. 

"We already have the game plan in, but we'll hit the film room early -- me and Coach Lashlee and Kodi Burns and we'll try to go over and make sure we're not missing anything…try to look at each situation that can possibly come up in the game and have an answer, make sure we're on the same page, and just be as prepared as we can," Malzahn said. 

Malzahn was asked Sunday about his "trick" plays, though you could probably count on one finger the number he's run this season. 

"A lot of people say we run trick plays, but from our players' standpoint, we call them special plays because we actually work on them and we have certain situations we like to run them," Malzahn said. "It's just all a matter of putting pressure on the defense and, really, the bottom line is scoring points, no matter how you do that.

"We'll always carry some things that we feel like will have a high chance of being successful if given the right situation."

Sunday, Auburn visited the Rose Bowl, the site of Monday's game, for a team photo shoot. Monday, Malzahn can take in the moment, if he allows himself to.

"I think when you first go out there on the field, you get the environment around you and you're able to reflect a little bit. And then when you go back out there for real, you've got to flip the switch and get your mind on your business and don't let anything distract you."

Video: Gus Malzahn talks BCS in a Sunday press conference...

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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