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Gus Malzahn says he's looking for balance in Iron Bowl

Nov. 25, 2013

Auburn's Gus Malzahn talks Iron Bowl on Tiger Talk with host Rod Bramblett (Todd Van Emst photo)

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn leads the SEC and is second in the NCAA in rushing. Alabama counters with the top-ranked defense in the SEC that's ranked No. 3 in the country. 

Auburn's Gus Malzahn says the Tigers can't depend solely on the run against the Tide in Saturday's Iron Bowl. 

"Anytime you play a good defense, you're going to have to be balanced. You're going to have to be able to throw; you're going to have to be able to run to be effective. We understand that. We've been working extremely hard in the passing game," Malzahn said during a special Tiger Talk radio show Monday night. "We hit a couple of passes in the last game, but we're going to have to get better."

Auburn is second in the SEC in total offense, mostly because of the running game. Auburn is averaging 499.9 yards per game, of which 320.3 yards of it comes from the rush. That leaves 179.6 yards for the pass. 

Some other notes from Tiger Talk: 

•Auburn will practice early Thursday, then break for a Thanksgiving meal with family or, in the case of players being far from home, with coaches. 

•Malzahn on all the RVs arriving on campus last weekend a week before the Iron Bowl: "It was a great feeling. It felt like we were playing last Saturday." 

•Malzahn on Auburn's surprising season: "I think it's one of those special seasons, there's no doubt about that." 

•Malzahn on little-used freshman quarterback Jeremy Johnson: "He's a very talented quarterback. I think everybody sees that. If needs to be, he can step in and run our entire offense. We do have a plan, package-wise, for Jeremy this upcoming game." 

•On the last game in Jordan-Hare Stadium for the seniors: "It'll very emotional time at the first of the game. It couldn't be any better for the Iron Bowl. 

"I'm one of those guys who always puts it on the's their last hurrah, and this group has done a great job stepping up and bringing the others up to the level we needed." 

•Malzahn said he didn't even see the now-famous tipped touchdown pass to Ricardo Louis that beat Georgia in the closing minute. 

"I didn't actually see him catch the ball. I was kind of shielded in between and then I heard the crowd erupt. Coach Lashlee said, 'He caught the ball, touchdown.'"

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



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