AUBURN, Ala. — It wasn’t a sure thing, but the Tigers pulled out the victory.
According to Gus Malzahn’s pregame radio appearance, John Franklin III started the first half against Vanderbilt because Sean White dealt with a shoulder injury all week that held him out of practice. Down 3 at halftime, however, the Tigers elected to give their usual starting quarterback the nod in the second half.
White provided the spark Auburn needed to secure the 23-16 victory against an upset-minded Vanderbilt squad.
Check out what Gus Malzahn had to say about the win.
- “We probably faced as much adversity as we’ve faced in a win in a really long time.” Mentioned some injuries and Deshaun Davis ejection.
- On Sean White not starting: “He was banged up. Didn’t take one practice snap. Built the game plan around JFIII … It’s not disciplinary.”
- Pettway “pulled something” on his last run. He was sitting on the sideline with a smile on his face.
- On JFIII: “You take away the fumble, he managed the game pretty well … That’ll help him moving forward.”
- “At halftime, we just felt like we needed a spark. Sean said, ‘I can go.'”
- Auburn struggled on third down. “We’ve got to get off the field on third down … You’ve got to give them credit.”
- Josh Holsey seals the game with the interception. “He’s one of our leaders,” Malzahn said.
- Deshaun Davis targeting call was a close one. Malzahn called it a “boom boom play.” Said it’s “hard to coach” how to tackle nowadays.
- Pettway reached the 1,000-yard mark, which continues a trend for Auburn. Malzahn said he’ll wait until the end of the season to compare Pettway to some of his other 1,000-yard backs.
- With Mississippi State’s win over A&M, Auburn now controls its own destiny. “We’re not looking ahead,” Malzahn said.
- On Georgia: “We haven’t won much as of late. We’ve got to change that. I really like our team … They’re going to get after.”
- On Daniel Carlson: “He’s the best kicker in college football, and it’s not even close.”
- T.J. Neal finally got some good playing time. “We were just about out of linebackers … He did a super job,” Malzahn said.
- Two-week stretch with some adversity. More knowledge about them? “No doubt … there was more adversity today than any game I can think of in the past. Not a whole lot went right for us.”