AUBURN, Ala. — In Week 2, a talented Clemson defense exposed a vast array of problems within Auburn’s offense and the response from fans and media wasn’t quiet in the days that followed.
Gus Malzahn said Auburn would reevaluate after the 14-6 loss and promised to be better in all areas in the coming weeks.
The head coach shut down any questions regarding his involvement in play calling and offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey reiterated his autonomy in a Sunday press conference.
Meanwhile, the Tigers’ defense received praise for their efforts so far in 2017 and continues building on strong early season showings.
Auburn will have a chance to catch its breath while taking on Southern Conference for Mercer at Jordan-Hare Stadium this weekend.
Here’s what Malzahn has to say on Tuesday morning:
- Malzahn says coming off of a tough loss at Clemson he’s “proud” of his players.
- First thing’s first. Auburn’s defense is legit. “Offensively we didn’t get it done.” Malzahn cites new coordinator, quarterback and a couple of new offensive linemen up front.
- Chip Lindsey has decided to go upstairs during games and offensive line coach Herb Hand has decided to be on the sidelines.
- “…in all three phases Mercer is extremely well coached…”
- Malzahn says he doesn’t anticipate any personnel changes on offensive line.
- On Jarrett Stidham: Auburn quarterback was put in some tough situations. “I thought he played with courage. I thought he fought.
- Good news for Auburn’s offense: they didn’t turn the ball over. “It starts with the quarterback and I thought he protected the ball well.
- “We hadn’t had 11 sacks before, that’s a new thing for us…all those things are correctable and will be corrected.
- Malzahn says there “probably” won’t be changes to offensive line. “We believe in our players…they are going to improve. You’re going to see that every week.”
- On Wilson Bell: “Wilson, just like everybody else has to compete…”
- Malzahn says Lindsey brought up moving up to the box and he “wants to make sure” he’s comfortable.
- On involvement in the play calling, emotional demeanor during offensive possessions: “Well, I mean, I was probably just as animated when we were on defense and special teams. I’m an emotional coach. That’s just the way I am.”
- “This is Chip’s deal. He’ll do a great job moving forward.”
- Malzahn says Auburn was mixing up its snap count, but there’s “no doubt” Clemson’s defensive linemen were jumping and creating problems.
- On Kamryn Pettway: “He’s a veteran back and when you play a big game, we were wanting to get him the ball…as a coach you look back and try to correct things in similar situations.
- Malzahn said any time Auburn goes for it on fourth down that’s going to be his call.
- “As far as him going upstairs, he feels he can do a better job upstairs,” Malzahn says. “That’s really the simplest way to put it.”
- “We’re looking at everything right now. We’re not going to overreact. We are a good offense.”
- On Kerryon Johnson: “I don’t know. We’re not ready to say that yet.” Malzahn says Johnson was “moving around pretty good” at practice on Sunday.
- Malzahn realizes that Saturday’s offensive performance looked the same as 2016, but reiterates Auburn will be a good offense.
- Malzahn says Clemson is “one of the best, if not the best. Could be.”
- Auburn would like to see its tight ends more involved in its offense moving forward.
- On Kamryn Pettway: “I expect him to be” ready for Saturday. Malzahn mentions there’s a couple of players “banged up.” He’ll see how they look in practice.