AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn football players don’t want to talk about speed. The Tigers would prefer to get on the football field and let their actions speak louder than words.
Several defensive players responded to UCF running back Adrian Killins’ recent comments regarding what he sees as the SEC’s lack of speed and the “rude awakening” Killins says Auburn is in for in the Peach Bowl.
No return shots were fired by Gus Malzahn’s team. Auburn understands what the Knights have accomplished this season. Still, Kevin Steele’s No. 10 scoring defense knows there’s a New Year’s Six bowl to play.
“I give them credit,” senior safety Stephen Roberts said. “They’re a great team, they have good speed but we come out and play. That’s one thing: Speed and stuff and all that don’t matter to us as a defense. We still have 11 guys that are going to play. Trash talk is a lot, but it’s not much.”
Auburn will attempt to knock off the only remaining undefeated FBS team in the country in a return to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Malzahn’s team is opting to focus on itself rather than its opponent heading into the New Year’s Day matchup.
“We’re just trying to get ready for the game and just looking forward to the challenge,” said wide receiver Darius Slayton, one of Auburn’s fastest players. “They’re a good team, obviously. They’re 12-0, so they do have speed, and we’ll have to respect that, go out there and do our job.”
UCF ranked No. 5 in total offense this season, racking up 2,414 yards on the ground. Killins led the way for the Knights with 762 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. But Auburn isn’t paying any mind to what’s been done in 2017. All that matters is starting the new year on a high note.
“You just go have to go out there and play,” freshman defensive back Jordyn Peters said. “You know, do our job and see how the game goes out there. They’re a good team, though, obviously, but hey, nothing we can’t handle.”
Who’s faster is debatable, but one thing is for certain: Auburn football is ready to play.
“We’re very motivated,” Slayton said. “Obviously, like you said, it’s a chance for us to get 11 wins. I think this will be the seventh time in our school’s history. It’s still a big bowl, the Peach Bowl is a big bowl. We’re looking forward to it.”