By Charles Goldberg
NEW ORLEANS -- Gus Malzahn welcomed his Auburn football team to the Crescent City on Tuesday and reported that all his players were academically qualified to play in the Sugar Bowl, that everybody made the trip and that everybody showed up on time.
Was that the third straight year of perfect attendance for Auburn? Or was it the fourth straight year on such as bowl trip? Malzahn wasn't sure, but he said even after a few curfews are imposed, he expects everybody to available when Auburn plays Oklahoma next Monday.
Malzahn said his players have handled themselves responsibility on other trips, and expects them to do so again.
"We'll treat it like a normal game week," Malzahn said. "They've done that since I've been the head coach. This group has great leadership. I really have a lot of trust in them."
Auburn reported back from Christmas break Tuesday with a Second Line jazz band providing the background music, and will begin practice in New Orleans on Wednesday. That comes after eight days of practice in Auburn that won accolades from Malzahn.
"When we left, we felt very good. We had eight practices and felt like we accomplished everything that we needed to," Malzahn said.
The first stage of bowl practice included the passing of Sean White, who missed the last two games of the regular season with a bad shoulder.
"He's handled it like a champ," Malzahn said. "He's really practiced well. It was really important to get his arm back in good shape. He threw every day. We expect him to be ready to go. He had a really good week of practice... really eight practices."
The Sugar Bowl officially welcomes Gus Malzahn and Auburn to New Orleans. Watch the video... pic.twitter.com/4wC3FfKGCt
-- Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) December 27, 2016
Malzahn also said...
Auburn is "playing a super team in Oklahoma. I know our guys are excited to be here and looking forward to a great week."
Malzahn said Oklahoma offense is "very explosive" with the likes of quarterback Baker Mayfield and receiver Dede Westbrook leading the way.
"It starts with the quarterback. He's an outstanding player. The Westbrook kid is probably as good as there is in the country. They have two very talented running backs, talented offensive line. They're one of the better offenses in all of college football. That's going to be a huge challenge, but we've faced good offenses all year, so it shouldn't be a shock to our system."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine