Gus Malzahn previews Auburn-Florida, talks Bo Nix playing in The Swamp
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn will coach from the sidelines of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, better known as The Swamp, for the first time on Saturday. Fans of both teams are presumably well aware of that storyline as Malzahn has already talked about the game with local media multiple times over the past few days. On Wednesday, Malzahn was on the SEC’s weekly media teleconference, an opportunity for the national media to ask him questions ahead of Saturday’s top-10 showdown.
Malzahn hasn’t coached before in The Swamp, but he’s been around SEC football long enough to know to expect a hostile environment on Saturday.
“I’ve heard great things about playing there and the challenge of The Swamp,” Malzahn told media members. “Talking to different players and coaches… then you add two top-10 teams on CBS – makes it even better. We expect a great atmosphere and we expect a great challenge.”
It will also be the third start away from home in six weeks for Auburn QB Bo Nix. The true freshman is unlikely to be overwhelmed by the environment, having already played in Jerry World (AT&T Stadium in Dallas) for a neutral-site clash with Oregon and at Kyle Field for a true road game at Texas A&M.
Malzahn still expects Nix to be in for a big challenge.
“There is no doubt, I think this will be the toughest challenge for him (Nix)… It’s going to come down to communication, making sure everyone is on the same page,” Malzahn told the media.
Nix, however, has the genes to win big in The Swamp. His father, Patrick Nix, led Auburn to a big upset win over the Gators in Gainesville during the 1994 season.
Malzahn touched on that and more during his appearance on the call:
- On meeting Dan Mullen back during HS coaching days: I took a few of our players to Florida. He is a class guy, really down to earth. That was our first meeting.
- On Auburn RB coach Cadillac Williams: He has done a tremendous job, with knowledge of the position. He is an Auburn legend, he brings a lot to the table.
- On Nix at the line of scrimmage: he has the things he can check, a lot to times that’s protections. a lot of checks from the sidelines are plays. as time goes on he will be able to handle more.
- On former Auburn head coach Gene Chizik: Focused, professional, super person.
- On Bo’s father winning in The Swamp: Bo knows just about all the history of Auburn football. I’m sure his dad had a lot to do with that. I’ve heard him talk about it, that was a big win in Auburn history.
- On Florida QB Kyle Trask: Just really steady, knows where to go with the ball. He is a big guy, too. That was impressive what he did on the road in the comeback win (at Kentucky).
- On being homecoming opponent: We heard about it in the offseason, pretty interesting, but that’s just part of it.
- On Florida’s sacks and how they get to the QB: That has got our attention. they get off the ball, it’s impressive to see how they get after QBs.