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Saban talks Gus Malzahn’s influence on Alabama football

Oct 3, 2020; Tuscaloosa AL, USA; Coach Gus Malzahn walking the field before the game between...
Oct 3, 2020; Tuscaloosa AL, USA; Coach Gus Malzahn walking the field before the game between Auburn and Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics (Todd Van Emst | Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics)
Updated: Dec. 13, 2020 at 7:46 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - With much of the college football world in a frenzy over the departure of Gus Malzhan from Auburn Football, Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban, in his quintessential matter-of-fact demeanor, reminisced on how Gus’s style of play influenced how he approached the game in his early days in Tuscaloosa.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Gus,” Saban said Sunday during an SEC interview.

Malzahn arrived at Auburn as head coach in 2013, after the Tigers had not won a single SEC game in the 2012 season, and led them to an SEC Championship and an appearance in the 2014 BCS Championship Game.

Back in 2013, Saban says Gus’s coaching style, along with influences like Baylor and former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze, were a big deal. Tempo offenses and run pass options changed the game. And Saban says Gus was at the forefront of it all.

“Playing against those guys, you almost get to the point where you say you might as well join them. I guess that’s why we changed some of the things we do around here,” Saban said. “I think he’s an outstanding coach and has been a tough adversary for us to have to play in the Iron Bowl every year.”

Malzahn spent eight seasons with the Tigers. Now the search is on to find the next head coach.

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