Hype the Iron Bowl? 'Already big enough,' says Gus Malzahn

Nov. 26, 2013

GusMalzahn
Auburn's Gus Malzahn takes his turn with the media Tuesday (Todd Van Emst photo)

Feature Coach Malzahn Press Conference Transcript (PDF) 

By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com

AUBURN, Ala. - Tre Mason says he likes talking about Auburn's turnaround season, even if that means remembering last year's struggles. 

"I don't really get tired talking about it because that's what keeps us motivated," said the Auburn tailback.

Mason heads to Saturday's Iron Bowl as the SEC's leader in rushing yards. That's after 11 games. But Mason says he got a sense of a positive year the day Gus Malzahn showed up as head coach. 

"One of his first sentences was, `We're going to have the biggest turnaround in college football.'" 

And so Auburn has. The Tigers are 10-1. Alabama is 11-0. The big game was the talk, of course, of Auburn's meeting with the media Tuesday. 

"We're not going to hype up things. It's already big enough," Malzahn said. 

No hype necessary. Auburn expects 100,000 to 150,000 on campus Saturday, even though Jordan-Hare Stadium seats 87,451. Campus will open at 6 a.m. Friday for tailgating. 

Some of the other highlights (many from our tweets): 

Malzahn on his optimistic tone at SEC Media Days in July: "I just knew our mindset was getting better. It was just our overall attitude. And we had talent here, also." 

Malzahn on quarterback Nick Marshall: "He is a tough customer. He is mentally tough, physically tough."

Dee Ford's take on Marshall: "He is the catalyst. It's definitely a team effort, but what he has brought to the table he's brought that athleticism back to the position." 

Malzahn on Alabama: "Extremely talented at every position." 

On Malzahn during Iron Bowl week: "We've got a job to do...we can't let anything distract us. We need to do exactly what we've done that got us here." 

Mason on Alabama's defensive front: "Great football team. They are sure tacklers." 

Mason on the Iron Bowl: "We're ready. We're excited. We're just looking forward to Saturday." 

Mason on Gus Malzahn's personality heading to the Iron Bowl: "Coach doesn't change." 

Center Reese Dismukes on facing Alabama's defensive line: "They'll be the best we've played." 

Auburn is warning fans of possible counterfeit tickets for the Iron Bowl. The school discovered counterfeit tickets for the Georgia game.

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