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Gus Malzahn will lead Auburn against Alabama on Saturday.

Gus Malzahn reveals key to beating Alabama in Iron Bowl

Gus Malzahn will lead Auburn against Alabama in a huge Iron Bowl on Saturday.

On Tuesday, the Tigers coach spoke on ESPN’s College Football Playoff rankings show. Auburn came in at No. 6, and Alabama is No. 1 heading into the giant matchup at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Here are highlights of Malzahn’s comments.

— He said Auburn has “been in the playoffs” ever since losing to LSU on Oct. 14 to drop to 5-2. He said the Tigers were facing “major adversity” after the LSU loss and that he’s proud of how his team responded.

— He said Auburn knows what it’s like to play a No. 1 team, after routing Georgia on Nov. 11. “We kind of know what it looks like and feels like,” he said. He said that approach will help the Tigers when preparing for Alabama.

— He said Auburn must win up front to have a chance against Alabama. “That’s going to be key,” he said.

— He said Auburn coaches knew running back Kerryon Johnson “had a chance to be a super player.” Malzahn added that Johnson is “playing his best football right now.”