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Gus Malzahn: 'I expect us to rebound in a positive way'
Oct. 13, 2014

Sammie Coates and Gus Malzahn are turning their attention to the second half of the season

By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala.  Gus Malzahn liked what he saw Saturday. No, not the score, not the 38-23 loss to Mississippi State.
He liked the way his players handled themselves after a rare regular-season loss.
"I saw our guys hustle on and off the field, there wasn't anybody with their head down, a defeated look," the Auburn coach said. "That's not what we're going to be about. I was proud of that fact."
Auburn wasn't punished too badly nationally, falling from No. 2 to No. 6 heading into this bye week. The Tigers will spend this week mapping out the second half of the season with a 5-1 overall record and a 2-1 mark in the SEC.
"I definitely expect us to rebound in a positive way," Malzahn said on Auburn's Tiger Talk call-in show Monday night. "It's really a good time for an off week. We're a little banged up, but from a coach's standpoint, it gives us a full week to really focus on us. Our coordinators are evaluating everything and really getting a great plan together for the next six games to finish this thing strong because we have our hands full with the opponents we have left. We're playing some of the best teams in America, a lot of them on the road.
"You find out your true character in adverse times. It's easy to have great character when you're winning everything, but our guys were very respectful, they used great sportsmanship, they went across the field, they shook their hands and they came into the locker room. We didn't have anybody run in the locker room, throwing their helmet down. No, they came in there and were disappointed. We knew we'd face some adversity this year. The special teams when they face adversity come together even closer. That's what we're going to do."
Malzahn said so much of this week's practice will be self-examination that the Tigers won't turn to their next opponent, South Carolina, until later in the week.
"The main objective will be about us." 
Malzahn also said…
• Freshman running back Roc Thomas impressed on his six carries. "Roc did an outstanding job. We had planned on playing him a little bit more in the LSU game. The situation really didn't present itself. We made that determination, 'Hey, we're going to go ahead and turn him loose against Mississippi State.' He's a natural runner. You can see that."
• On Mississippi State cowbells at expanded Davis Wade Stadium: "Those rattle things are a little big louder than they were in the past."
• "The one thing I know, we're not going to quit."

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



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