It'll be practice as usual for Auburn for the next several days during this bye week
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Call it a strategic off week this week.
Auburn didn't really need to rest after playing just two games, but in doing so, it is avoiding what would have been a short week of practice for Kansas State next Thursday night.
"If it was this Thursday, it would be a big effect," says coach Gus Malzahn. "The fact we have a week off, then we play Thursday, it's really not that big a deal."
Malzahn likes the idea of having extra time to study Kansas State's "unique" offense. Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson calls it an "unorthodox offense," and having that extra time is a plus.
Of course, some would argue Auburn's offense is unique, too, and so it is no coincidence that Kansas State has a bye week this week, too.
Johnson will take this time to take his time to prepare for the Wildcats.
"One time I had an open week after an opening ball game and I didn't like that," Johnson said. "That's the time you finally get out of preseason and get going. But we've had two ball games and the next is a Thursday night kickoff, and I kind of like how it sets up.
"We've got a few extra days to try to look at what they do, because it is very different in some aspects. And then we'll have a couple, three extra days for the next opponent. So it's an open date, but it's really kind of like two extended weeks. If we have an open Saturday and didn't play until the following Saturday, I've never really liked that this early in the season.
"You have a chance to get some young guys more work, and if it happens in the late part of the year, you have time to give some kids some rest. So you just have to use it to the best advantage you can. But I like the way this one's falling being a Thursday game."
Auburn's second bye week involves an open date on Oct. 18. That's after a game at Mississippi State and before an Oct. 25 home game against South Carolina. That's when the Tigers begin a six-week, non-stop run against the Gamecocks, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Georgia, Samford and Alabama.
Auburn will practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the rest of this week before taking off Friday and Saturday. The Tigers will return to practice Sunday for a serious practice session.
"Once we get back, I don't have a problem with our routine," Malzahn said.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine