Sports

Gus Malzahn to remain at Auburn after multi-year contract extension

Gus Malzahn to remain at Auburn after multi-year contract extension

The Auburn Tigers were college football's team of November and entered Saturday's trip to Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a history of lighting up the scoreboard in the Southeastern Conference championship game.

Georgia's Kirby Smart got the nod as coach of the year and Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham was chosen as newcomer of the year. He is the first to garner this AP accolade for Georgia since Mark Richt in 2002.

Kerryon Johnson, who played despite an ailing right shoulder, was stripped of the ball and Smith scooped it up again at the Auburn 39, retaining the spiked, Road Warrior-style vest that Georgia awards to players who take the ball away from the other team, the Dawgs' version of the turnover chain. Auburn beating Georgia the first time around and following it up by taking down Alabama a week ago was certainly emotionally exhausting, but playing for the SEC championship was plenty enough motivation to put the good times behind an take the next step forward.

The Bulldogs also had four All-SEC Second Team members. Smart is in his second season with the Bulldogs with a 12-1 record. Kickoff is at 5:10 p.m. ET.

With Georgia leading 10-7 after a hard-fought first half, Auburn maneuvered into position for a 30-yard game-tying field goal attempt by Daniel Carlson, only to have the kick blocked by seldom-used defensive lineman DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle.

The Bulldogs won their first SEC title since 2005 and their 13th overall, pulling them into a tie with Tennessee for second in all-time crowns behind Alabama's 26. Auburn was ranked second in the CFP poll but managed only 259 yards after piling up 488 in the November 11 rout.

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"We were ready", Fromm said.

Whether head coach Gus Malzahn will still be around to lead the way is somewhat debatable.

Malzahn, who's been at Auburn since 2013, made $4.7 million this past season.

Auburn started out the game like it was headed for another big win.

Pressed on the matter during a teleconference previewing the Peach Bowl on Sunday, Malzahn repeated numerous times that he was "planning" to be the head coach at Auburn in 2018, but would not outright say that he would be. That sudden change in possession ignited Georgia, which used a 16-yard run by Nick Chubb and a 34-yard pass from Fromm to Melcole Hardman to highlight a seven-play, 84-yard drive that culminated with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Fromm to tight end Isaac Nauta. "We stressed two words the entire week - composure and physicality".

"We had some moments in there".


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