Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn says he can think about the SEC Championship, now that the Tigers have taken the top spot in the SEC West. The nod was gained after Auburn got the win over Alabama, 34-28, in the Iron Bowl.
In the past, Malzahn had said he was not allowing himself to think about the possibility of his team being in the Iron Bowl, instead choosing to focus on whatever team Auburn would be facing that week. In his post game press conference, Malzahn admitted that the championship is now his target.
"Didn't let my mind go there until I shook the coach's hand. We're going to the SEC Championship game and it's a lot of fun," said Malzahn. "That's what you coach for. That's what these kids play for, to get a chance to go to the SEC Championship."
According to Malzahn, keeping the score close before getting ahead in the 4th was part of the plan.
"We talked about we wanted to keep it close. we felt like if we could get to the 4th quarter, playing at home with our crowd, we could find a way to win. Second week in a row won on the last play kind of a game," said Malzahn.
The Auburn coach says he could see the opportunity in Alabama's field goal attempt once the ball landed in the arms of Chris Davis.
"The first thing I'm looking at is ‘does it have enough distance?' then I saw it didn't have enough distance so my eyes were on Chris. They had their field goal team with a lot of big guys, so I knew that he only had to make a few guys, who could actually tackle, miss. We made some good blocks and he went down our sideline and scored a touchdown.," said Malzahn.
As for the controversial kick by Alabama, Malzahn doesn't disagree with the choice to try for the field goal from such a situation.
"They're trying to win the game. It's the Iron Bowl. You've got to be aggressive. We went for it on 4th down and didn't get it. They went for it and we stopped. That's just part of it. Both of us are trying to win the game. It's a big game and there's a lot on the line."
Next week, Auburn heads to the SEC Championship in Atlanta to take on Missouri.
Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.