With a 23-14 lead at LSU on Saturday, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn figured his team was in good shape, especially with one of the best defenses in the SEC.
“How many points can they really score on your defense?,” Malzahn recalled thinking.
That may have felt like hubris in the moment, but after LSU came back to win 27-23, Malzahn and Auburn were dealt a dose of humility, and the coach reacted to the development on Tuesday during his weekly press conference with reporters.
As much as the defense allowed 13 points in the fourth quarter, the Auburn offense, which punted just once in the first half, couldn’t cross midfield in the second half and punted five times. It also couldn’t convert two fourth-down attempts.
Auburn fell from No. 10 to No. 21 in the AP poll on Sunday, while LSU moved back into the rankings at No. 24.
Malzahn said his thought process on going conservative at the half: "How many points can they really score versus our defense"
— SportsCall Auburn (@SportsCallAU) October 17, 2017
Malzahn on halftime thinking at LSU: "The reality is how many points can they really score on your defense?" #MGMAuburn
— Advertiser Sports (@mgmsports) October 17, 2017