Auburn's Gus Malzahn talks up the Birmingham Bowl
By Charles Goldberg
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Coach Gus Malzahn had to hurry up and wait Thursday, deciding the computer on the airplane that was to ferry him to a Birmingham Bowl press conference wasn't right, and then deciding the trip was best served by car.
"We hustled up as quickly as we could," Malzahn said.
There was a 30-or-so-minute delay of game, but Malzahn hit the press conference at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in time to praise Memphis, his Dec. 30 opponent in Legion Field, and to say his search for a defensive coordinator will end when he's satisfied he has the right candidate.
"Our team is extremely excited to be here, staying in our home state playing a bowl game," Malzahn said. "We can't wait to play very good Memphis team."
Malzahn said Auburn's goal is "to win the bowl game to get some momentum. If you look at our roster, we've got a lot of young guys that will come back, recruiting is going very well and even thought this year we had some losses that were close, that tells me that it's going to be a short period of time and we're going to get this thing going in the right direction."
Auburn will have to beat a Memphis team that beat Ole Miss "and beat them convincingly," Malzahn said. Auburn lost to the Rebels.
Auburn will begin bowl practice Monday. Auburn could have a defensive coordinator to replace Will Muschamp by then, but Malzahn said he'll search until he finds the right coach. He also said he'll have a better idea Monday whether quarterback Sean White will be healthy enough to play. White has missed the last two games with a knee and foot injury. He'll know more about the injury status of offensive linemen Austin Golson and Avery Young by then, too.
"The goal is to get a defensive coordinator and get some continuity. We're going to do that," Malzahn said. "The future's going to be very bright at Auburn."
Malzahn also said the Tigers "will have a good plan for our guys. The big thing is keep building upon what we’ve done defensively" as he looks to replace Muschamp and secondary coach Travaris Robinson. Malzahn said former linebacker and graduate assistant Travis Williams may be asked to coach in bowl practice for the second straight season. He's also on the road recruiting.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine