Gus Malzahn recalls 'tough loss' to Tennessee in 2018: 'We are glad to have another chance to play them again'
Tennessee is coming off some bad losses and appears to be stuck in neutral under Jeremy Pruitt’s leadership with a trip looming to The Plains. The Vols are a big underdog on the road heading into an Auburn game.
It should, that scenario may apply to Saturday’s game but it was the same back in 2018 as Tennessee was coming off a 47-21 loss to Florida and a 38-12 loss to Georgia before winning on The Plains 30-24.
Gus Malzahn was asked to recall that game during his Tuesday press conference.
“Yeah, that was a very tough loss, there’s no doubt,” the Auburn coach said. “It was, all things considered, we turned the ball over, they made plays when they had to, we didn’t play real well that day and they had something to do with it. They played well, that was a tough loss. We are glad to have another chance to play them again.”
Auburn will be looking to avoid a similar fate this weekend and while the Tigers are once again favored in the matchup, it’s hard to get a read for what each team will bring to this game as the Tigers have not played since Oct. 31 and the Vols were off last weekend after Texas A&M could not meet the SEC’s requirements to play due to contact tracing.
If both teams show up ready to play, Auburn should win but what are the odds the Tigers aren’t ready to play the Vols?
“This year, you are taking everybody seriously,” Malzahn added on Tuesday. “We will rely on our leaders but you can’t overlook anyone. And like I said, they have the majority of their guys back from last year, and they had a six or eight-game win streak.
“We have got to have our A-game every single week, we are taking it one game at a time. I know that sounds like coachspeak but that’s exactly what we are doing. We have respect for them, two years ago they came in here and knocked us off.”