AUBURN, Ala. — The last month of the regular season is going to be anything but easy for Auburn football.
The Tigers will take on Texas A&M, Georgia, Louisiana-Monroe and then finally welcome Alabama to Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Still, there’s one thing head coach Gus Malzahn isn’t concerned about as team prepares for its trip to College Station.
“I think first of all we’re getting ready to play three top 25 teams,” Malzahn said. “So we’ve got to be playing our best football. And then to go on the road at A&M, they’ve got a great atmosphere. The 11 o’clock kick,from the standpoint of we’ve got an off week, I don’t think that’s going to be a big deal at all.”
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Auburn has played one other 11:00 a.m. CT game this season when Ole Miss visited the Plains. The Tigers won the game without much of a problem and posted a final score of 44-23. Yet Malzahn’s team slowed down after jumping out to a 35-3 lead.
Kevin Steele’s defense allowed more than 14 points for the first time all season and didn’t quite look like itself.
Fortunately Auburn will enjoy its bye week at perhaps the most critical time. The Tigers played with their fifth different offensive line against the Razorbacks in Faeyetevile, something Malzahn said has never happened.
The week off will also give defensive leaders like Tray Matthews and Tre’ Williams a chance to get healthier and ready for the final stretch of 2017.
Auburn can expect an exciting atmosphere at Kyle Field regardless of what time the game kicks off, but Malzahn is hoping the early start time will benefit the road team most.
“When you’re playing on the road a lot of times you like playing early,” Malzahn said. “Hopefully their crowd won’t be woken up.”