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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Practice notes: Auburn holds final workout before BCS title game

The Tigers went through their fifth and final practice at Scottsdale Community College on Saturday, two days before it plays Oregon in the BCS national championship game.

“Has it been a week or just one long day?” defensive coordinator Ted Roof joked. “It’s a day that’s started and hasn’t stopped.”

Roof said Auburn was sharp in its final on-field practice. The Tigers have meetings today in addition to a walkthrough at University of Phoenix Stadium, site of Monday’s game.

“There are still a lot of hours before the game so there are a lot of things we can still do to continue to get mentally sharp and get a mental edge, and that’s what we have to do,” he Roof said. “But so far they’ve done everything we’ve asked of them and I’m very proud of them.”

Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said the team is ready, despite the long layoff.

"“We have our plan in and we feel good about it,” he said. “I think our guys are confident in the plan. We haven’t played in 35 days and we were playing really good football then, and the anxiety I have is just seeing how we perform with the layoff. We’ve practiced, but when you don’t play a game in that period of time, that’s the big unknown.”

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  • Malzahn said he follows Oregon coach Chip Kelly's offensive work. "Chip is one of those cutting-edge guys," he said. "Everybody's trying to learn the new things. I've watched his stuff – as a matter of fact, I watched some of his stuff in the offseason. He's one of the best in the business and it's a lot of fun to watch him."
  • Malzahn hasn't forgotten his high school roots. He is, after all, only five years removed from being a high school coach. "I am a high school coach and I do feel like there's a lot of great high school coaches out there, probably that are a lot smarter than me," he said. "I'm just blessed enough to have the opportunity. So I do feel that, and I do want to do extremely well being a high school coach and hopefully get some other high school coaches a chance to go to the college level."
  • The Tiger have tried to stay loose this week. "Here's what we try to do: the last week, we tried to make it the same routine as our game weeks that we've had before, just to try to get in some routine," Malzahn said. "It's hard when you've got this type of a layoff and you've got this type of event. We try to make it as natural as possible."
  • Reporters asked Kelly if he has any butterflies before games. "No, just right now," he said with a laugh. "There's a direct correlation between butterflies and microphones. Add 'em up."
  • Kelly said it's not tough to keep everyone on an even keel. "At this point we know exactly what to expect," he said. "I can tell you who's going to be last on the field, I can tell you who's going to try and get taped at a certain time. We've been around these guys for a really, really long time. It takes a lot of give and take on both sides but I think we truly understand everybody and kind of where their mindset is right now."


AUsome04 said...

Wow AB, it's finally about to be coming to an end. This has been one wild and exhilirating season! Thanks for the coverage from top to bottom. I can imagine covering a national championship as the beat writer can be a pretty special occasion too. Here's to a great game where no one gets hurt and AU has at least one more point than the other team when the clock hits 0:00. WDE

..."We're Coming!"

Clint Richardson said...

Well said 04. AB, I think we all owe you big time for the work you do. You are by far the only writer that I personally can trust for the latest news and such. Your blog makes it easy to read and all, well other than the ones you delete, of the commenters are very respectful. 2010 was a good year for all of us. WAR EAGLE Andy!