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Road trip! Auburn readies for record K-State crowd
Sept. 16, 2014

Auburn's first win on the road last season was a dramatic one at Texas A&M

By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Sure, there are new players making their first road trip to a hostile stadium for a big-time game. But there are a lot of veterans who have been down this road before.
Auburn's Gus Malzahn says his largely-veteran team should be ready for Thursday night's game at Kansas State.
Malzahn says the experience will pay off at the snap, where Reese Dismukes will make his team-high 40th career start at center, and at quarterback, where Nick Marshall has excelled in front of big crowds.
"From a coaching standpoint, you worry about the noise and environment, but the good news is we have our center back and we have our quarterback back. That'll definitely helps," Malzahn said. "It'll be a good test of going on the road. That's s one of the tougher places in college football to play so we'll see what happens."
What Auburn may see is the largest crowd at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, a venue that supposed to seat 50,000, but promises to have more Thursday night.
"This will likely be our greatest attended game ever," Kansas State athletic director John Currie told the Wichita Eagle.
Bringing a Top 25 non-conference team such as No. 5 Auburn to Manhattan is a rarity. This will be the first time a Top 25 non-conference team has played at Kansas State since 1969.
Kansas State, ranked 19th or 20th depending which poll you like, has asked and/or warned fans to arrive early.
Bring it on, says linebacker Kris Frost.
"I love away games just as much as home games," he said this week. "Being a defensive player, it's not really as hard as not being able to hear anything as an offensive player. The offense gets all the noise on the road. But it's a great opportunity. I love traveling with the team and just getting the experience of the adversity of going on the road and having to beat a Top 20 team."
Auburn received a rude awakening on its first road trip last year, suffering its only regular-season loss, at LSU. The Tigers beat Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M, Arkansas and Tennessee on the road after that. Auburn was 1-1 in neutral-site games, winning the SEC title in Atlanta and losing at the end in the BCS title game in Pasadena.
This non-conference test in Manhattan figures to prepare Auburn for its road work at Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama. Three of those four are presently ranked, too.
Auburn will check out Bill Snyder Stadium, named for the Kansas State coach, on Wednesday for a walk-through, an old custom that some teams have gotten away from. Not Malzahn.
"We like to have a routine if possible, and get our guys familiar with it," he said. "We would like for them not see it for the first time on game day. It will be the first time for all the guys who will be playing a game there. We want them to be familiar with where the 25-second clocks are and all."

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



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