Gus Malzahn following Auburn's tough loss to LSU: 'We still control our own destiny'
Gus Malzahn sure has some explaining to do, as his team just dropped an inexcusable game up 20-0 on the road against an unranked LSU team.
Stop if you’ve heard this one before, but Auburn hasn’t won in Baton Rouge since 1999. The Tigers had a great chance to finally snap that streak but one miscue after another resulted in Auburn returning home to the Plains from Baton Rouge with a loss for the ninth consecutive time.
After rolling to the big early lead, the Auburn offense was stuck in neutral the for essentially the final three quarters of the game. The Auburn defense played well for the most part but was left out to dry for much of the second half by the offense — which was reminiscent of the Clemson loss earlier this season.
Here is a summary of what Malzahn had to say during his postgame press conference:
“Obviously, a tough loss,” Malzahn said. “We started out quick and we thought that would be a key to the game. I was real pleased with our tempo offensively, pleased with our defense and at halftime, we felt good.
“Second half, third downs, we only had one third down conversion in the second half. The biggest play of the game was the (LSU) punt return (for a touchdown). We have been very good covering punts up to that point.”
The Auburn coach was quick to remind the media that his team still has an opportunity to win the SEC, although it may take wins over undefeated Georgia and Alabama teams.
“I told our team, this is only one loss in the SEC, we still control our own destiny and it’s not going to be the end of the world. We are going to rebound. I truly believe that we will and our players feel the same way.
Malzahn on the status of sophomore receiver Kyle Davis, who did not make the trip for the LSU game:
“Yeah. He didn’t make the trip.”
As for why?
“That’s between me and him. He just didn’t make the trip.”
The Auburn coach was also asked about the offensive play calling in the second half. Did the Tigers get too conservative?
“You look back and… I keep saying third downs but if we would have hit a few of those third downs I think it would have went different.”
Kerryon Johnson had a solid performance, rushing for 156 yards on a career-high 31 attempts, but the team’s bruising back Kam Pettway wasn’t very effective in limited action.
“Pettway is good to go and we felt good about that. Our plan was to give him about 10 carries. You go on the road in the SEC, and I think Kerryon did an outstanding job… he wanted to stay in the game, so that was the thinking behind that.”
This comment from Clay Travis pretty much says it all:
Ed Orgeron just outcoached Gus Malzahn after spotting Malzahn 20 points. I don't believe it.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 14, 2017