ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Gus Malzahn put Auburn through some hard-hitting practices in Auburn over the last couple of weeks.
The team goes through a Tiger Walk sponsored by the Orange County Auburn club/Todd Van Emst photo
Now that the Tigers have arrived in California and the BCS National Championship game is only six days away, it’s time to throttle down on the full contact to make sure Auburn is at full speed on Jan. 6.
“We were very physical before, but we’ll try to get in our weekly routine,” Malzahn said Tuesday, shortly after arriving in Newport Beach.
Malzahn said staying in that routine is critical for the second-ranked Tigers’ success when they play No. 1 Florida State.
“We get here, you could tell our players and coaches were excited, but once we get to the hotel, they flipped the switch and I expect them to approach it like any other game,” he said.
The month off between the SEC Championship and BCS Championship has also given some players an opportunity to heal up any nagging injuries.
“Our guys have practiced extremely hard, but there are some guys that we’ve had to heal up,” Malzahn said.
Malzahn has experienced many postseason bowls as a college assistant and head coach including the 2010 BCS National Championship.
“This is a unique experience, everything that goes with a championship bowl game. It’s different than your normal bowl game,” he said. “The fact that we have experience, I’ve got to believe that will definitely help us.”
Malzahn said the players will have a curfew this week.
“Our guys have handled themselves extremely well,” he said. “I want them to enjoy New Year’s, but at the same time, we practice early in the morning and they’ll be ready.”
It’s been a trouble-free season for Malzahn with Auburn avoiding any major off-the-field issues.
“The fact they’ve been responsible, they’ve taken care of their business on and off the field and they’ve been responsible. That’s definitely helped us get here,” he said.