Gus Malzahn shares thoughts on Georgia ahead of Saturday's showdown
It’s that time of year – The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry is here.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is plenty familiar with facing Georgia and head coach Kirby Smart. On the weekly SEC media teleconference, Malzahn was asked about what makes Smarts’ defenses unique.
“Kirby, defensively, always does a good job taking away what you do best and he does a good job of having his guys prepared for the game,” Malzahn said.
The Auburn coach was asked how this UGA defense compares to ones he’s faced in the past.
“I think it starts up front with the depth they have, they play a lot of guys and there’s not much drop off, they stop the run and make teams one-dimensional and that’s what stands out to me,” Malzahn offered.
For both coaches, the opposing rosters are filled with familiar faces. Georgia and Auburn regularly do battle on the recruiting trail.
“We have over 35 players from Georgia and we recruit it like it’s our home state and we’ve done that a long time,” Malzahn said. “That’s key to our success.”
The Auburn defense hopes to contain one almost-Tiger, late 2019 flip George Pickens, now a star wideout at UGA.
“Yeah, he just decided to go there,” Malzahn offered when asked about the former AU pledge.
The Tigers hope that one of their own wide receivers stands out on Saturday. Anthony Schwartz was come on strong in recent weeks.
“I think he had a good freshman year, too. He is a really good football player, we weren’t able to play (and) then he had the cast, then he had this little thing on it now he can play without any of it… he is a complete football player,” Malzahn said.
When Schwartz is off the field and Georgia has the ball, Malzahn is counting on the Auburn crowd to boost the Tigers.
“Our home-field advantage is second to none in big games,” Malzahn said.