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Auburn's offense on a faster pace, says Gus Malzahn
Nov. 4, 2014


Auburn's Sammie Coates makes the catch at Ole Miss

By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com

AUBURN, Ala.  Seventy-seven points and 1,058 yards in the last two games against Southeastern Conference opponents have Auburn's Gus Malzahn feeling pretty good about his offense.

Scoring 42 on South Carolina and 35 more on a good Ole Miss defense will do that, and Malzahn will be looking to keep things going when Auburn meets Texas A&M at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium.


Auburn's hurry-up offense, which kicks into gear after first downs, showed it can be tough to handle at Ole Miss last Saturday when the Tigers piled up points and yards against one of the top defenses around.


"I think we’ve improved as far as our pace and our execution," Malzahn said at his weekly Tuesday press conference. "Anybody in the county can go fast, but can you go fast and execute the play properly? I know we are improved. We're still working and we still need to improve, but that's the name of the game.

"I think what we can take from last season is when the game is on the line, our guys believe they are going to win the game. They’ve shown time and time again that they can win in different ways. It can be the offense, defense or special teams. Our guys really have that belief, and that is a confidence factor for later in the year if it’s a close game."
 Also…
• Receiver Sammie Coates is hitting his stride again after dealing with a sore knee early in the season. "Sammie is right at 100 percent probably for the first time since early in the season," Malzahn said. "All of our guys made some plays in the passing game. When you can do that, that definitely helps open each other up."

Coates, who had one catch against South Carolina, had five against Ole Miss for 122 yards and a touchdown. He has 18 receptions for 358 yards and two TDs on the year.

 • Auburn played a Top 4 game against Ole Miss last Saturday. Texas A&M isn't ranked. Malzahn doesn't care.

"We had a huge win on Saturday against one of the top teams on their home field. We've got another big one now," he said. "We still have four games left and we are focused on this game."

 • Long snapper Will Forrest suffered an injury last Saturday, so Ike Powell stepped in.

"Ike did a wonderful job in a very tough spot, especially making that snap in the last minute of the game when they knew that they had to come after it," Malzahn said. "That was a big-time play, so that gives us great confidence in him moving forward. We’ve got two guys that we feel very good about in that position."

Malzahn said Forrest is day-to-day, though "he will return."

•As he said on Tiger Talk on Monday, Malzahn predicted freshman running back Roc Thomas would return from the injured ankle that knocked him out of the Ole Miss game.

"He practiced the other night and he'll practice again today. We expect him to play, but we’ll see how he is later in the week," Malzahn said.

Malzahn was quizzed about the breakdance video making the Internet rounds ("I think I was 26 years old or 27 years old," he said) and admitting maybe it wasn't so good.

"I don't think Dancing With the Stars will ever want me to participate in that after that," he said. 

A little explanation? 

"We were at Six Flags with the family, with my dad and girls and we kept walking by this lip sync booth and they kept messing with me and I didn't want to do it and then finally had enough and so went ahead and did it. So I kept it and when I was coaching high school football at the end of the year I’d always bring my seniors over and I'd show it to them so they’d know I was a real person. That's kind of how that whole thing got started but, yeah, that was pretty ugly."

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

 

 

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