Nick Saban accuses Gus Malzahn of using ‘unfair’ trick on final punt
Alabama coach Nick Saban is not pleased with his Auburn counterpart for the events that led to a game-ending Crimson Tide illegal substitution penalty.
With roughly one minute left, Auburn faced a punt on a 4th and 4 while nursing a three point lead. Tigers coach Gus Malzahn admitted that his team had used something of a gambit to try to keep Alabama’s dangerous return man Jaylen Waddle from becoming a factor on the return.
Auburn HC Gus Malzahn on the final punt that never happened: “We were trying to keep their punt returner off the field. We put our punter at the X, and we were gonna shift to get a punt without him out there.”
— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) December 1, 2019
This did not go over well with Saban, who felt the trick was “unfair.”
Saban calls Malzahn’s substitution trick at the end of the game “unfair”
— Matt Scalici (@MattScalici) December 1, 2019
Essentially, Malzahn and his staff lined their punter up as a wide receiver, and the Crimson Tide were caught flat-footed when trying to get the right personnel on the field. The crux of Saban’s argument seems to be that he didn’t get a fair shot to make his own substitutions.
Auburn lined up the punter at wide receiver to try to keep Waddle on the sideline. Bama noticed it late and took a penalty in the confusion. So simple, but so smart by Malzahn. Took the game straight out of Bama's hands pic.twitter.com/u0g87fz7as
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) December 1, 2019
This was far from the only thing that went in Auburn’s favor and upset Saban on Saturday. Alabama’s mistakes cost them the game, and it looks like this was just clever strategy on Auburn’s part.
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