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No mistaking it: Auburn looks for better start at Georgia
Nov. 12, 2014

Gus Malzahn will be looking for a mistake-free game at Georgia

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala.  The similarities are easy to see. Two turnovers on the first two plays at Mississippi State. A turnover on the first play against Texas A&M. 

Two losses.

"We got ourselves in a hole. It was uphill the rest of the time," said Auburn's Gus Malzahn on Wednesday night. 

The slow starts are what mars Auburn's 7-2 record. The turnovers that led to such slow starts that Auburn trailed Mississippi State 21-0, got back in the game, and still lost. Auburn trailed Texas A&M 35-17 at the half and came within a couple of late fumbles of possibly winning.

Auburn doesn't want to put itself in such a hole in Saturday's 6:15 p.m. at Georgia.

"Turnovers are definitely going to be a factor in this game," Malzahn said. "We've got to do a good job protecting the football and, really, getting off to a better start.

"I've got to do a better job of preparing our team to get off to a better start because the two losses are very similar."

Georgia is fourth in the nation in turnover margin, a plus-13. Auburn is 30th in the nation in turnover margin, a plus-5.

Penalties haven't helped Auburn's cause, either. The Tigers have been penalized a league-worst 602 yards.

"We've got to do a better job with that. That starts with me," Malzahn said. "We've got to be more disciplined. We've got to be more accountable. We're working hard to do that."

On the very-plus side: "We had two solid practices, yesterday and today. We had solid practices last week, too. The big thing for us is to carrying it over to Saturday. Our guys are committed to that. They've had good energy, they've had good focus. They just need to carry it over Saturday."


• Malzahn said injured receiver Duke Williams hasn't practiced this week because of an injured knee.  When asked if Williams would travel to Athens, he said, "we'll see."
• Injured starting deep snapper Forrest Hill could return.

"I'm not ready to say 100 percent for sure, but it is possible," Malzahn said.

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



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