Gene Chizik explains why Oregon game 'urgent' for Gus Malzahn, breaks down key matchup
The last time Auburn faced Oregon on a football field, Gene Chizik was hoisting the BCS National Championship trophy. Gus Malzahn was his offensive coordinator and Cam Newton was his quarterback.
Now, things look a lot different, with Chizik now on the SEC Network and Malzahn the head coach. Nonetheless, the stakes are nearly as high, especially for Malzahn.
In his latest bit on the SEC Network, Chizik broke down the Auburn-Oregon game with host Peter Burns.
“To me, this game there’s so much urgency for Gus and Auburn going into this game,” Chizik said on the SEC Network. “Obviously, the way things unfolded last year it was not favorable for Auburn. There was some coaching changes made. So, let me tell you something. This game is about momentum. This game is going to be huge for momentum for Auburn.”
Chizik knows the importance of Malzahn getting getting off to a start in the win column. However, if things go the other way, it does not bode well for the head coach or the Tigers season.
“Let’s remember, if Auburn can win this opening game, three weeks from then, they have to go to A&M. If they can start out in those two big games 2-0, momentum is huge for Auburn and Gus. And listen, if it flips the other way, the people start chirping and things start happening. It literally can go the other way. This is a huge game.”
Chizik certainly knows how fast things can go the other way, too.
The former Auburn head coach then broke down the key matchup everyone can’t wait to see.
“First of all, Oregon’s offensive line and Auburn’s defensive line — this is a matchup made in heaven,” Chizik said. “You look at three potential first rounders on Auburn’s defense line. Oregon’s got 153 starts under their belt collectively on the offensive line with a quarterback that could be taken first in the NFL Draft.
“So, for this game to unfold either for Oregon or for Auburn, it’s going to start in the trenches and who dominates that play down there.”
Auburn and Oregon kick off August 31 at 7:30 p.m. ET at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.