Malzahn confident in role as head coach

Malzahn: 'The earlier, the better' on QB competition

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn says team has similar 'hunger' to 2013 squad

Malzahn argued Thursday that the former Auburn quarterback doesn't receive as much protection as other quarterbacks in the NFL.

Auburn hosts Alabama this season, but the Tigers and Crimson Tide have plenty to navigate before then, including Auburn's trip to reigning national champ Clemson on September 9.

They weren't in the room today as SEC Media Days came to a close at the Wynfrey Hotel, but a couple of assistant coaches from northwest Alabama earned praise from their bosses.

"I would love to share my opinion on it", Freeze said Thursday about the lawsuit, "but unfortunately it's a legal case and I just can't comment". I mean, obviously, we've got a challenging schedule. "That's been our Achilles' heel the last two years".

"P$3 robably the biggest thing that's standing out to me about this team, that they're hungry", he said at the end of his opening statements.

"We've got a good plan to really put Jarrett and Sean in some situations to let them compete", Malzahn said. Matthews was at Georgia in the 2013 season and had 12 tackles against Auburn that year before transferring in 2014. He'd love to now duplicate his second year at Florida, where the Gators went 11-2 and made the Sugar Bowl in his best season in Gainesville by a longshot. The Tigers were ranked among the top four teams in the first college football playoff rankings in the 2014 season, and they had a brilliant October a year ago that included a 56-3 thrashing of Arkansas, but they faltered in November when quarterback Sean White and running back Kamryn Pettway were injured. A lot of people think very highly of him. "He sees that we have that chip on our shoulder and that we're not settling for anything". He is very good with the passing game with the RPOs.

"We know we have more in the tank than that".

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Newton was sacked 36 times and hit a total of 93 times last season.

Auburn is the popular choice as the Southeastern Conference's top contender to knock off three-time league champion Alabama, thanks to the arrival of quarterback Jarrett Stidham, a Baylor transfer.

Stidham attended McLennan Community College in Texas last fall but did not play, while the 6-foot, 200-pound White completed 133 of 208 passes (63.9 percent) for 1,679 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions. Malzahn says though that John is the kind of guy who just wants to help. He's really done a good job trying to win over his teammates and his work ethic. And really the last time I felt this was 2013.

Newton publicly complained past year about the lack of penalties he gets for being hit illegally.

An all around hope as Auburn is one again expected to perform well. Our team wants to win.

-Auburn's game at defending national champion Clemson on September 9 is one of the top early nonconference games of the season. But you can't. We've got to be responsible for the areas which we were deficient in, that we didn't either react or act properly, or whether it was staff or whether it was boosters.

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