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Gus Malzahn isn't saying who'll start at quarterback in bowl
Dec. 29, 2015

Kris Frost
Kris Frost fires up the crowd at Auburn pep rally Tuesday night

By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.  Rain or shine, Auburn's Gus Malzahn says everything is set for Wednesday's Birmingham Bowl against Memphis at Legion Field.

Well, except the small matter of naming a starting quarterback.

Malzahn said Tuesday he'll announce the starting quarterback — either Sean White or Jeremy Johnson  just before the 11 a.m. kickoff, making it yet another game-time announcement on a quarterback this season. White has been limited by a knee and foot injury, and didn't play in the last two games.

Malzahn says he's good with whether it rains or not, and there's a 60 percent chance it will around kickoff; and said he's good with either quarterback as well.

"Both the guys have had good practices since we've been here," he said. "Sean White is close to being 100 percent healthy. Jeremy Johnson is healthy. We feel good about both the guys."

He previous said both could play.

The middle of the Auburn offense hasn't been in flux, with the injury to White, who started in the middle of the season before getting hurt; and a knee injury to Austin Golson, who missed the last game. Malzahn said Devonte Danzey would again start again at center, but Golson could play.

Malzahn shrugged the changes, and the prospects of rain.

"Whatever happens, we need to be prepared," Malzahn said. "Our guys' mindset is good. If it's raining, we're going to be ready for it. We're not looking at it negatively, put it that way. Whatever it is, we're going to be ready to go."

Linebacker Kris Frost said he wants to make the most of his last college game.

"To go out there one last time with that AU helmet on is going to be really special for me," Frost said. "We're all excited, pumped up and ready to go. It's kind of like the day before Christmas for all of us players. We're prepared. We trust the system. We trust the plan that we have. That's all we really need."

Auburn will play the game without a full-time defensive coordinator or secondary coach after the departures of Will Muschamp and Travaris Robinson. Malzahn said he'll have a new defensive coordinator "pretty soon." He hopes he'll have a more consistent offense Wednesday.

"We've had a lot of time to look back and evaluate everything from an offensive standpoint. We feel good about our plan," he said. "We're playing a very unique defense that presents a lot of challenges. Our guys have really practiced well and really worked hard. They are ready and we'll see what happens."

Overall, he said, "our kids have had a very good week."

Also...

• Malzahn has had 22 straight winning seasons as a coach. Auburn is 6-6. Malzahn said the bowl game isn't about that streak.

"It's not about me, it's about this team doing everything they can do to win a bowl game," he said.

• Auburn visited Legion Field, briefly Tuesday, after going over its final preparations during a walk-through at Hoover High School. Auburn bused to Legion Field for a quick team photo, a few minutes of walking the turf, and left.

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


 

 

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