Nosa Knows The Formula For Auburn's Success

Auburn senior Nosa Eguae talks about the big turnaround that led to another SEC Championship for the Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--Nosa Eguae, the most experienced player on the 2013 Auburn football team, did his best during the offseason and the regular season to avoid having another experience like the one he and his teammates suffered through last year.

Eguae and the rest of the Tigers have handled that assignment so well they are the biggest surprise team in college football this year as they go into the BCS National Championship Game with an 12-1 record after winning the SEC Championship Game last Saturday in Atlanta.

Asked what his team's success means to the fifth-year senior defensive lineman and the other seniors to be able to bounce back from a 3-9 record in 2012, it doesn't take Eguae long to answer. ""It means the world," he tells Inside the Auburn Tigers.

"Honestly, to come from where we were at this time last year being at home, literally at home with no more football to play, to being the best team in the Southeastern Conference this year and going to the national championship game is a true blessing," he says.

"We talked about it as seniors and said that we wanted to have the biggest turnaround in college football," says Eguae, who moved inside to tackle from his regular spot at end to help bolster the defensive front early in the season.

"We told the young guys what we wanted to do and we all bought in," the senior adds. "They play for us and we play for them.

Senior defensive linemen (left to right) Kenneth Carter, Dee Ford, Craig Sanders and Nosa Eguae are shown at the Georgia Dome where the Tigers defeated Missouri in the SEC Football Championship Game.

"We got better every single day just like Coach (Gus) Malzahn wanted us to do. He said if we ‘just get better every day the rest will take care of itself.' We did that and we're sitting here SEC champs. It's a blessing."

Eguae and his teammates are taking the week off from football to concentrate on academics while their coaches are on the road recruiting before the Tigers return to the practice field to begin preparations for their Jan. 6th national championship showdown with Florida State.

Auburn goes into the contest ranked No. 2 nationally while top-ranked Florida State is the nation's only major college unbeaten team.

The Texan contributed in 2010 season national championship game vs. Oregon as a redshirt freshman end. He made four tackles, including one for a loss, as the Tigers defeated the Ducks 22-19 in a game played in Arizona.

Since then he has played a lot of football for the Tigers. Eguae will head into his final college game with 41 career starts, the most of any player on the Auburn roster.

He points out that a return trip to the biggest game in college football is what the seniors have been striving for going back to offseason workouts.

"It's not easy to lead men and I just feel like as a group the seniors did that," he says. "It's wasn't one guy who stuck out or anything like that. It was a collective group of us just trying to lead the way.

"It wasn't the hurrahs, it was coming to work every single day and the others were going to follow behind us and that is what we did," Eguae adds.

The Tigers and Seminoles will meet on January 6th at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CST. It will be the first time these two teams have met in football since Auburn took a 20-17 victory in 1990. Auburn leads the overall series 13-4-1.

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