AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - Despite having had what many consider to be an underwhelming start to their 2020 campaign, Gus Malzahn and the rest of the Auburn Tigers are now faced with the opportunity to provide their fanbase with something of which the faithful has been deprived of for nearly half a decade: a win over rival LSU.
Junior offensive lineman Brodarious Hamm knows the significance behind this weekend’s clash with the Bayou Bengals and the impact the game could implement for the second half of Auburn’s season.
“Last week we set the momentum,” Hamm said. “But now we can get on a roll.”
The first-year starter claims that — in order to find success against the reigning national champions — the Tigers must establish themselves as a balanced offense.
“It’s very important, we just have to come out there and be able to run and pass,” Hamm said. “We have
to be able to do everything and not just be stuck on one thing.”
According to Hamm, one player who could contribute to developing a sense of balance for the orange and blue on Saturday, and going forward, is tight end J.J. Pegues.
“J.J.’s a different animal,” Hamm said. “I feel like he’s going to be real important to us later on in the season.”
Pegues, a 6’2” 300-pound true freshman, has made his presence known for both his athleticism and ability to deliver devastating blocks in the run game.
“He’s not just your average sized tight end,” Hamm said. “I feel like he changed the game for us. He can do everything.”
The creation of game-changing momentum appears to be a theme amongst the Tigers heading into the weekend, as junior Roger McCreary spoke about the positive effect his momentum-swinging interception had in Auburn’s victory over Ole Miss in week eight.
“When I made the game changing play it brought more energy to the sideline,” McCreary said. “It gave the offense momentum to score.”
Although momentum swings may prove beneficial for Auburn, McCreary knows that his squad cannot rely solely upon highlight-reel plays to escape week nine with a win.
“We just have to play with fundamentals,” McCreary said. “Play with technique and play with the strategies that coach has taught us.”
McCreary explained that the emphasis upon technique in the week leading up to LSU stems from the Tigers’ historical tendency to make costly mistakes in the matchup.
“It’s all about the little simple mistakes that we have throughout these LSU games,” McCreary said. “It’s just one mistake that will lead to us losing.”
Apparent attention to detail in this week’s practice seems to write the narrative of how important a win is to the orange and blue; McCreary conveyed his squad’s sense of motivation and his coaches emphasis upon the significance behind the game’s outcome.
“I feel like we’re highly motivated,” McCreary said. “Coach Malzahn said — if we can get this win — the only way to go is up.”
Hamm, McCreary and their teammates will get their opportunity to bring an end to a four-game losing streak against the Tigers on Saturday, Oct. 31 at Jordan Hare stadium. Toe meets leather at 2:30 CT on CBS.