Gus Malzahn: Auburn offensive line in ‘better shape’ for showdown with No. 1 Georgia
AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn coach Gus Malzahn was proud of the effort his offensive line exhibited last week at Texas A&M.
Darius James and Mike Horton tried to go, but continued to deal with nagging ankle injuries. Fortunately, the Tigers feel better about their offensive front heading into their matchup with No. 1 Georgia on Saturday.
“We talk about the depth that we’ve had. For two weeks in a row, Marquell Harrell and Prince Tega really came in and did a super job,” Malzahn said. “We expect everybody to play Saturday. We’re not ready to say who’s starting and all that, but we’re in better shape than we were last week.”
SEC Country team prediction: Auburn looking to take down No. 1 Georgia
Auburn still appears to be finding its perfect lineup amid recent injuries.
“We’ve had injuries up front, but we’ve never had injuries up front and been this successful,” Malzahn said. It says a lot about our depth. It says a lot about [offensive line] coach [Herb] Hand.”
Malzahn again praised senior Austin Golson, who’s continued to shuffle around and play different positions on the line.
“Austin has started at four different positions; he’s played five different positions,” Malzahn said. “I’ve never heard of that — especially in our league. And he’s done a good job of it.”
Malzahn didn’t shy away from the fact that Hand’s group will be a big key to a win on Saturday. He didn’t tiptoe around what Auburn is has to do to be successful against the Bulldogs, who topped this week’s College Football Playoff rankings.
“We’ve got to run the football,” Malzahn said. “We’ve got to have explosive plays and we have to play with tempo. The offensive line is a big part of that.”
Georgia is currently ranked No. 4 in the nation in total defense, No. 5 in rushing defense and No. 7 in passing defense.
Auburn welcomes Georgia to Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast by CBS.