It was a night to celebrate for Auburn’s players and coaches. It was also a night of reflection for Gus Malzahn.
Marshall returned from an injury to lead Auburn over Texas A&M/Todd Van Emst photo
Just minutes after Malzahn led the 24th-ranked Tigers to a 45-41 upset at No. 7 Texas A&M, the first-year head coach couldn’t help but think back over the last 10 months since he accepted the job last December.
“I’m proud of our players. I’m proud of our players and how far they’ve come and what they went through to get here,” Malzahn said. “Just to see smiles on their faces and have a sense of accomplishment in a big game on the road, just makes you feel good as a coach, and tells me we’re going in the right direction.”
Malzahn is also quick to point out that Auburn hasn’t arrived yet and still has plenty of room for improvement. But starting the season 6-1 after finishing 3-9 last year, is quite an accomplishment for a team that was picked to finish fifth in the West at SEC Media Days in July.
With a 3-1 conference record, Auburn is alone in second place in the West, one game behind first-place Alabama. With Ole Miss’ 27-24 win over LSU, Auburn now controls its own destiny in the West and a berth in the SEC Championship game.
“The players deserve all the credit,” Malzahn said. “They’ve worked extremely hard. They’ve bought into what we’re doing. They play together. They play for each other. We don’t have any individuals. It’s a fun group to coach right now.”
And with Saturday’s win over the Aggies, those players are hungry for more. Auburn can finish October with a 4-0 record with a win over Florida Atlantic next Saturday.
November will begin with road trips to Arkansas and Tennessee and end with home games against Georgia and Alabama.
“Our team is going back to the top,” quarterback Nick Marshall said. “We are just now getting our edge back.
“...This win is about confidence. We're going to take one game at a time and keep moving forward.”
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