Auburn, Ala.--Coach Gus Malzahn said his Tigers are still working out the details of bowl practice, but noted there will be an emphasis on working with the team’s young players in the coming weeks.
Malzahn and the Tigers learned on Sunday they will be traveling to Tampa to participate in the Outback Bowl vs. Wisconsin of the Big Ten Conference. Kickoff is set for 11 p.m. CST on New Year’s Day.
Asked about the extra practice time bowl workouts will allow the coaches to spend with their players, Malzahn said, “That is a big part of it, especially before you go to the bowl site. I think that is one of the big advantages bowl teams have--a chance to give their younger guys some extra work, fundamental work.”
The Tigers are expected to begin on-campus bowl practices on or close to Monday, Dec. 15th. After taking a break for Christmas they will reassemble on Dec. 26th in Tampa and continue preparations for their game vs. Wisconsin.
“We are still working through the schedule,” Malzahn said. “We are really wanting to get ready for our bowl and we are wanting to also get our young guys some extra work.”
Malzahn noted that for players who didn’t see game action during the regular season their focus was on the scout team in preparing the offense and defense for the upcoming opponents. “Now it is about starting to develop them and I know our coaches and our players will be excited about that,” he said.
The Tigers announced four early high school graduate signees last week. Each is eligible to participate in bowl practices and Malzahn said it is a “possibility” that could happen, but no final plans have been made yet.
Tyler Carr is an offensive line signee from Southside High in Gadsden, Chandler Cox is a fullback/H-back at Apopka, Fla., High, Tyler Queen is a quarterback from North Cobb High in Kennesaw, Ga., and Bailey Sharp is an offensive lineman at Sprayberry High in Marietta, Ga. Three of those players have wrapped up their high school seasons. Cox, who is ranked as Scout.com’s No 1 fullback prospect, has one more game left in the Florida Class 7A championship game.
Walt McFadden is shown in pass defense during Auburn's last trip to the Outback Bowl.
Auburn has a 1-1-1 all-time record vs. Wisconsin and is 2-1 in bowl games played at Tampa.
Auburn’s head coach was in his first season with the Tigers working as offensive coordinator when they defeated Northwestern 38-35 in the Outback Bowl following the 2009 season. Malzhan noted the trip was “a great experience” for an Auburn team that won an exciting game in overtime.