Malzahn Sees A Lot He Likes in AU Victory

Auburn's offensive coordinator, Gus Malzahn, talks about his team's comeback SEC victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Auburn, Ala.--Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn had a big smile on his face as the walked off Pat Dye Field at Jordan-Hare Stadium and why not.

The Auburn coach had just witnessed his team's clutch performance in a 35-27 comeback victory over South Carolina to improve to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the SEC.

The Auburn offense racked up 492 yards at 6.3 per play. The Tigers rushed for 334 yards against a defense that led the SEC with less than 60 allowed per game and passed for 158 more as Cameron Newton hit 16-21 passes without an interception.

Newton ran for 176 yards and three touchdowns and passed for two more TDs. "He did a great job," Malzahn said. "I think he carried it 25 times and took some big hits and delivered some big hits.

"He really made some good decisions in the passing game," Malzahn added. "He had one of those nights it takes to beat a very good defense like South Carolina."

Malzahn also liked what he saw from the big guys up front after the coaching staff challenged them to be physical this week. "I am very proud of our offensive line," Malzahn said, adding that the linemen and the whole offense got the South Carolina defense on its heels in the second half.

"We got it going, our pace was so much better, we got them tired," Malzahn said. "It made it a little bit easier."

In addition the 176 rushing yards from Newton, freshman tailback Michael Dyer gained 100 yards on 23 carries.

"Mike is going to get better every game," Malzahn predicted. "He is a downhill runner and he is tough to tackle in one-on-one situations."

Malzahn said that Dyer is used to carrying the football 30 plus times a game from his high school career where he rewrote the Arkansas state records so 23 carries was no problem.

Rallying from a 20-7 deficit in the second quarter, Malzahn said he liked the mental toughness the Tigers showed. "Our guys have great character and they don't panic on the sideline."

Malzahn said that Newton has "a lot to do with" the offense's personality. "He is a great leader and he is a very positive leader. we just hung in there and I am very proud of our guys."

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