Auburn Football: Gus Malzahn 2014 Iron Bowl Press Conference Video


The Auburn football team led Alabama 26-21 at halftime and 36-34 at the end of the third quarter of the 2014 Iron Bowl, but the Alabama offense was too much for the Tigers in a 55-44 loss.

Of course, the Auburn offense had its issues also.

“Obviously disappointing game,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said following the loss. “The name of the game really was we got in the red zone and we had to kick field goals.”

Auburn settled for five field goals in seven red zone opportunities, including four in the first half – each of which began with a first-and-goal play. If the Tigers could have punched in a couple more of those red zone opportunities, it may have turned out differently. Instead, Alabama scored five touchdowns on five consecutive drives during a 35-3 run in the second half.

More from Auburn Football

“I’m proud of our team. They fought to the end. They represented us, and played hard. But it’s a disappointing loss,” Malzahn said.

The Tigers did fight to the end, and they scored a touchdown and two-point conversion with 0:20 left on the clock to bring the game to its final 55-44 margin. But, there were too many mistakes to overcome, on offense and defense.

“Looking back I should have probably called timeout,” Malzahn said of a missed opportunity at the end of the second half. “… I’d like to have that one back, obviously. That was a big factor. I’m not saying we would have scored but I’d like to at least have had a better chance at it.”

Auburn scored ten points in the final 0:54 of the second quarter thanks to a few big plays on both sides of the football – a 68-yard touchdown pass from Nick Marshall to Sammie Coates, a Rudy Ford interception and a 40-yard Marshall-to-Coates connection on a trick play that put the Tigers on the Alabama one-yard line with 0:28 to play. However, Malzahn called a running play for Cameron Artis-Payne, who was stopped for a two-yard loss, and 0:24 rolled off the clock and Daniel Carlson trotted out for his fourth extra point-length field goal of the half.

But, as the previous sequence shows, Auburn made a lot of plays on offense.

“They played a lot of man coverage and rolled extra guys down to stop the run. We felt like we could throw it over the top,” Malzahn said.

Nov 29, 2014; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers wide receiver Sammie Coates (18) catches a pass in front of Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Landon Collins (26) in the second quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Duke Williams and Sammie Coates benefitted greatly from that man coverage. Coates set a new career-high for receiving yards in the game with 153 yards in the first half, and stretched that to 206 yards and two touchdowns on only five catches. Williams added 121 yards on seven catches, a few of which were highlight reel-worthy.

“We just felt like they could be exposed through the air deep down the field,” Malzahn said.

And they were exposed. With 456 passing yards, senior Nick Marshall set a new Auburn single-game record. The quarterback completed 27 of 43 passes with three touchdowns and an interception. Overall, the Tigers had 630 yards of offense and scored 44 points, but neither was enough Saturday in Tuscaloosa.

“We’re not happy with the way we played tonight. They do have a good offense,” Malzahn said.

They certainly do. Amari Cooper may be the best player in college football, and he played like it. The junior had 13 catches for 224 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Blake Sims had five total TDs and 312 passing yards, T.J. Yeldon rushed for 127 yards and two scores and Derrick Henry added 72 yards on the ground and scored on a 25-yard touchdown that put the exclamation mark on the victory for the 11-1, top ranked Crimson Tide.

“We’re not happy with the way we played tonight.”

“The big thing,” Malzahn continued “from a head coach’s standpoint, I’m disappointed we didn’t win the game. Regardless of what did happen, we didn’t get touchdowns in the red zone. If we would have we would have scored a whole bunch of points but we didn’t get it done.”

The loss is certainly disappointing, for everyone involved, and Malzahn did the right thing trying to take the blame himself. The head coach is also the offensive play-caller, and by blaming the offense, he was attempting to take the blame himself. Of course, most people outside the program will point to the defense.

Live Feed

Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4
Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4 /


  • 2023 Week 4 AP Poll Top 25: Every SEC team’s highest, lowest spot on ballotSouth Bound & Down
  • SEC Football: Florida, LSU rise in Week 4 2023 power rankingsSouth Bound & Down
  • SEC Tailgating: Where should you go in each town?South Bound & Down
  • SEC football standings based on yards per play through Week 2FanSided
  • Auburn Basketball: Projected starting lineup and depth chart for 2023-24 seasonBusting Brackets
  • Malzahn was asked about the possibility of “making changes on defense,” and he naturally declined to offer any insight, saying he “wasn’t going to talk about that right now.” It’s a tough subject, and impossible for Malzahn to properly address minutes after leaving the field, but we’re willing to discuss the possibility of moving on from members of the defensive coaching staff – primarily coordinator Ellis Johnson.

    “Our goal was to win 10 games, and didn’t do it,” he said. “We’re going to go to a bowl and do everything in our power to lead these seniors out” with a win.

    After coming so close to a national championship last year, and spending a large portion of the season ranked in the nation’s top five, the Tigers have stumbled to an 8-4 regular season record and a 4-4 mark in SEC play. They’ve played an excruciatingly difficult schedule, and an 11-point loss in the 2014 Iron Bowl is nothing to be ashamed of, but the Auburn football team has obviously fallen short of goal and expectations.

    Now, the Tigers will wait to find out their bowl game destination. Then, they’ll take aim at 2015.

    “The future is bright. We’ll rebound. We’ll be ready for next year,” Malzahn said.

    Watch Malzahn discuss the game, via’s video:

    Next: Is It Time to Fire Defensive Coordinator Ellis Johnson?

    More from Fly War Eagle