Well, this was certainly an interesting press conference, that's for sure.
First, Sean White is still the starter. Gus believes he gives Auburn the best chance to win. I agree, though I know many don't. I agree because I believe that right now this offense has to throw the football more and not rely only on the runs (and especially not only on the dive on 1st down), and Sean is the best QB for throwing the ball. It's buried a little further down, but he did mention Woody Barrett is being brought up to speed. I doubt we see him anytime soon, though.
For the rest, this is very different from even his Clemson game press conference. Sure, he's talking about the team being close, but he's also reflecting on the mistakes in play calling and more. The tone in the tweets was different than what we've seen, and I put in the last two tweets to show that the beat writers were definitely getting a different vibe from him in this press conference.
I think it's very telling that he says the last two losses have hurt him more than any other. Jim Dunaway had to throw in a comment about guessing the national title is a different realm of pain. I disagree. I don't think it's a different realm. I can understand where he's coming from. In these last two losses, Gus knows that his offense has been abysmal and that if it even had a pulse then this team is likely 3-0 and in the national conversation. Offense is his thing. He's hurt that what he's known for being best at is what is struggling.
I'm grasping at straws, here, but I'm hoping this is a very good sign. He's reflecting on the offense and what's going on. Maybe he'll decide to dust off some old concepts and really get back to the things that made him such a force in football. We'll see, I guess.
Much of the rest is typical coach-speak. He was complimentary of the very good players on LSU's offense and defense and made a comment about looking at the past of what LSU DC Dave Aranda has done before. Gus has a partial blueprint on how to attack Aranda from the 2014/15 Outback Bowl. Yes, that was a loss, but it wasn't because of the offense.
We've seen a reflective, apologetic, contemplative Gus Malzahn. Now, can we please get back the offensive guru to call plays this weekend? I guess we'll see.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn: These last two losses have been most disappointing of tenure, "hurt me worst than any of the others"— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) September 20, 2016
Sean White will remain the starter, and John Franklin III will be available "if needed."— Sam Butler (@_sam_butler) September 20, 2016
Gus Malzahn says Sean White is still his starting quarterback for LSU game. "He gives us the best chance of winning."— Bryan Matthews (@BMattAU) September 20, 2016
Malzahn "we've got to coach our guys better and that starts with me"— Jason Caldwell (@ITATJason) September 20, 2016
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn: "Got to make adjustments quicker" talking about offensive line— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) September 20, 2016
Gus on struggles against A&M: "We didn't do a good enough job from an offensive coaches' standpoint of adjusting quick enough."— Sam Butler (@_sam_butler) September 20, 2016
Gus: "We're real close to getting this thing turned around. Sean White is going to be our QB. Feel like he gives us the best chance to win." pic.twitter.com/yi0mFtWcJx— Jeff Shearer (@jeff_shearer) September 20, 2016
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn: "There will be no friction within this team" not worried about rift between offense and defense— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) September 20, 2016
Gus: "Each time you play against someone, you've got to look at what they were successful at, and adjust." (Referencing LSU DC Aranda)— Jeff Shearer (@jeff_shearer) September 20, 2016
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn: Points to LSU's team speed as biggest challenge to overcome for offense— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) September 20, 2016
Gus: on defending Fournette. "He's one of the best players in college football. You've got to team tackle, and not let him get to 2nd level"— Jeff Shearer (@jeff_shearer) September 20, 2016
The No. 1 focus for the offensive staff? Eliminating negative plays. With 32 such plays, Auburn is dead last in the nation in that category.— Benjamin Wolk (@benjaminwolk) September 20, 2016
Gus on explosive plays: "We've got to give our guys more opportunities." Wants to see more downfield throws.— Jeff Shearer (@jeff_shearer) September 20, 2016
'We need to take that next step, and we'll do that,' says Auburn's Gus Malzahn— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) September 20, 2016
Auburn HC Gus Malzahn on JF3's final play against Texas A&M: "He'll learn from it. We won't be running out of bounds on 4th down anymore."— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) September 20, 2016
Gus on Sean: "When he gets in a rhythm, he's a very solid quarterback."— Jeff Shearer (@jeff_shearer) September 20, 2016
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn: Definitely feel the fans "pain," knows their expectations, doesn't pay attention social media, but he "knows"— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) September 20, 2016
Auburn's Gus Malzahn on freshman QB Woody Barrett: 'We're working with him and trying to get him caught up. He's a talented young man.'— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) September 20, 2016
Auburn HC Gus Malzahn said the offense has to be aware of where LSU star CB Tre'Davious White is at all times. https://t.co/Z2rK2hOzrR— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) September 20, 2016
'We're putting the hurt behind. We're moving forward to LSU,' says Auburn's Gus Malzahn— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) September 20, 2016
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn: Play calling through three games "hasn't been very good"— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) September 20, 2016
This is an unusual side of Malzahn. Crestfallen. Apologetic.— Jay G. Tate (@JayGTate) September 20, 2016
Well, I can say I've never seen Gus Malzahn like that in a press conference. Apologetic, reflective, accepting blame, "feels pain" of fans.— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) September 20, 2016