With Auburn’s season basically in the shitter, fans calling for his head, Alabama emasculating the same Tennessee team that one week before had rolled into Auburn to end a long losing streak, his team clinging to a one-score lead in the third quarter on the road against Ole Miss, Gus Malzahn stared into the abyss and found something deep inside himself: an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for complaining about a holding call (yeah, I know this is the SEC, but stay with me here).
Here’s the sound of a team trying to convince itself this was a meaningful act.
“That was the first time I’ve ever seen Coach Malzahn just get that upset in a game for us,” Davidson said. “I mean, it was incredible. That gave us drive. When you see your coach fighting for you, you want to fight for your coach. I love Coach Malzahn. I hope he’s here for a long time, especially with me.”
Redshirt-junior left guard Marquel Harrell said he has seen that side of Malzahn before — just never on gamedays. That type of reaction has only been solicited in practices before, and even then, it is pretty rare to see.
Following the penalty, as Auburn’s offense marched back toward the new line of scrimmage at the Tigers’ own 32-yard line, several offensive linemen turned toward the contingent of Auburn fans in the southeast corner of the stadium and tried to pump them up.
“It was exciting man, because Coach Malzahn is usually like a chill person, but then seeing him get the 15 yards, I was like, ‘Yeah, Coach,’ and super happy because I was yelling at the sideline,” Harrell said. “I was like, yeah, just trying to get the crowd into it. I’m proud, man.”
Whatever floats your boat, brother.
“You could tell, I don’t know what he’s talking to himself about, but he has a different swagger about himself,” Davis said. “I don’t know if it’s because we’re in the position we’re in. We’re 5-3 or whatever our record is right now. But he’s a different guy, I can tell you that.”
“We’re 5-3 or whatever our record is right now.” Wow, talk about being fully engaged in your season.
It’s almost a shame Georgia isn’t traveling to play there this time.