Oct. 22, 2013
Gus Malzahn says Auburn has turned its attention to Florida Atlantic (Todd Van Emst photo)
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Gus Malzahn says he isn't going to let Auburn's climb in the national rankings distract his Tigers from the job at hand.
"The only thing we talked about is this week: Florida Atlantic. We have not looked ahead. We haven't talked about anybody else," the Auburn coach said Tuesday.
Auburn plays host to Florida Atlantic at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium after moving to No. 11 in the AP poll and the BCS standings on Sunday. That came after a high-profile win at Texas A&M last Saturday.
"Once Sunday got here, that's behind us. We've got to get back to what got us here," Malzahn said.
Malzahn has downplayed Auburn's move in the polls.
"We're happy that people think that highly of us, but we're on to next week," Malzahn said. "'Hey, we're not changing anything that got us to where we're at.'"
But there are on-the-field changes. Malzahn confirmed safety Josh Holsey is out for the year after suffering a knee injury on the last play of the last practice last week. Ryan White replaced him at Texas A&M with no practice time at the position.
"He just did an outstanding job in a tough situation against one of the better offenses in college football," Malzahn said. "He'll kind of move into that role moving forward. He's an experienced guy and did a great job."
On quarterback Nick Marshall's progression: "There are things he is definitely getting more comfortable with. He was very calm during that game, he was very confident, but there are still some areas he needs to improve on and he knows that."
On backup quarterback Jeremy Johnson: "Our plan was… let him play a little bit. That's just not the way the game unfolded. Nick was playing well, too. That had something to do with it, too, but moving forward Jeremy will be a part of what we're doing. We'll have a plan each week. He's a good quarterback in his own right and he can bring some things to the table that can help us."
On receiver Marcus Davis: "We don't look at him as a freshman anymore. The moment is not too big for him."
On staying avoiding ups and downs over a season: "I think that's a challenge of any team in college football. You see it every week. Teams are on a high and they kind of lose their momentum. That's our challenge. We've got to keep moving forward."
On offensive lineman Avery Young in his second start: "Avery was a guy that banged his ankle up against Western Carolina. We were worried about him being ready and he wasn’t quite a 100 percent Saturday, but he played with a lot of guts. We ran behind him in the fourth quarter a lot. He did an excellent job."
Video: Gus Malzahn talks Auburn, Florida Atlantic and Texas A&M...
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine