Auburn coach Gus Malzahn got the news of Nick Saban’s positive COVID test just after it was announced, and he offered his immediate thoughts on an Iron Bowl without the Alabama coach.

“It’s going to be weird playing in an Iron Bowl without Nick there,” Malzahn said on the SEC coaches media teleconference. “Someone told me right after they announced it… it’s been a weird year in a lot of ways. The Iron Bowl is special, it’s going to be weird not coaching against him, but this is bigger than football. Just hope he can return and has no issues with it.”

About Austin Troxell, Malzahn said the offensive lineman has, “been a guy that I look at as as a starter even when he wasn’t starting. We have a lot of confidence in him.”

Malzahn said the turning point in the season was the loss at South Carolina, which was a tough one.

“We did some uncharacteristic things in that one, we’ve gotten into a groove now… Last week was a quality win, Tennessee is a good team, I don’t care what their record is,” Malzahn said.

Malzahn said RB Tank Bigsby is questionable, and said he’s hopeful that Bigsby can play, and hopefully they will know by the end of the week.