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            What Gus Malzahn said on Tiger Talk ahead of bye weekend

            Football: Auburn vs LSU

            Oct 3, 2020; Auburn AL, USA; Coach Gus Malzahn celebrates the victory after the game between Auburn and LSU at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics

            Auburn football got a burst of momentum right before it went into its bye week.

            Following a rocky start, it downed Ole Miss 35-28 and then ran over LSU 48-11. The two games were their best performances of the year, especially the LSU game. Quarterback Bo Nix had 381 offensive yards while the offensive line didn’t allow a single sack. Defensively, the Tigers held LSU to 32 rushing yards and sacked its quarterbacks four times.

            The Tigers are now 4-2 and have a week of rest before they have to face Mississippi State.

            Both this season’s statistics as well as history are on the Tigers side for that matchup. The Bulldogs are 1-4 this year, and the Tigers are up 61-29-3 in the all-time series. Coach Gus Malzahn is also 9-0 after a bye week as Auburn’s coach and 11-0 as a head coach.

            Thursday night, Malzahn joined hosts Andy Burcham and Brad Law on the radio show Tiger Talk to review the win and talk about what’s ahead for Auburn.

            Follow along for live updates:

            GUS MALZAHN:

            -- There’s no doubt the team is making strides. LSU was its most complete game. But they need to continue to improve. Often teams “hit a plateau and level off.” The bye week has come at a good time and will allow them to fine tune some things.

            -- They weren’t a really good football team at the beginning. They had good players, but they were young. But the guys had the mentality that they refused to lose and got better.

            -- There’s nothing like a bye week to allow you to build upon your strengths and eliminate the bad parts of the game.

            -- The last few weeks, he’s just repeated “Let’s get back to Auburn football.” That means running the ball and playing for each other. They’ve done that.

            -- The offensive line played its best game despite losing Brandon Council. Keiondre Jones came in and played “with great physicality.” He made a few mistakes, “but they were few and far between.” They were encouraged by what they saw. It was an impressive outing, especially how they protected the quarterback.

            -- Alec Jackson and Tashawn Manning both came into Auburn on the defense. Last season, they spent a lot of time repping with the twos. Now, the light is starting to come on for them. They played their best game against LSU.

            -- They felt really strongly about getting the young linebackers some quality snaps “and not just the end of the game mop up snaps.” That will help the entire group moving forward. It will help give Zakoby McClain and Owen Pappoe, who have really stepped up, some rest.

            -- The success in the pass rush is sustainable. They’ve talked about affecting the quarterback because making an offense one-dimensional really helps.

            -- Mississippi State is really unique on offense. They’ve already started looking at the Bulldogs, but for the most part, they’re focusing on themselves this week. When they come back on Sunday, they’ll turn their focus to the next game.

            -- The break gives them time to catch their breath and focus on recruiting. “And it couldn’t have come at a better time.” They’ve spent a lot of time on the phone with recruits.

            -- This is Malzahn’s 100th game as Auburn’s head coach.

            Related articles:

            Where Auburn recruiting stands a month before early signing period

            Realistic betting spreads for Auburn’s remaining games

            Gus Malzahn’s ‘key’ message to Auburn players during bye week

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