Malzahn already thinking about Clemson, says Kevin Steele has made a difference


by - Senior Writer -
Discuss on TigerBoard   Print   | TigerNetcom Facebook ClemsonTigerNet Twitter TigerNet RSS Feed
Kevin Steele is now the defensive coordinator at Auburn
Kevin Steele is now the defensive coordinator at Auburn

It’s safe to say that Clemson’s coaches and players are already thinking ahead to the season opener at Auburn on September 3rd, and Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn made it clear this week that he’s already looking ahead to Clemson.

ESPN announced back in May that the matchup between the two Tigers will sit in one of it’s primetime slots on September 3rd, kicking off at 8 p.m. local time to Auburn but 9 p.m. EST. The game will mark the Golden Anniversary of Clemson/Auburn football – it’s the 50th time the two programs will square off. Auburn leads the series 34-13-2, but Clemson has won each of the last games, knocking off Auburn 38-24 in Death Valley in 2011 and beating Auburn 26-19 in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta in the season opener in 2012.

Auburn defeated Clemson 27-24 in Jordan-Hare in 2010, an early key win in its national championship season.

Malzahn was asked about the matchup against the reigning ACC Champions during SEC Media Days on Monday, and he said the game will be a litmus test to see just exactly where Auburn stands among the nation’s elite.

“It would be huge. There’s no doubt. Deshaun Watson is maybe the best player in the country, he’s phenomenal,” Malzahn said. “We’re at home. We’ve had success with first games in the past. I’m excited about it and it’s going to be a heck of a game. (These are) things to motivate you. The urgency’s been very good. We’re going to find out where we’re at early, which I like as a head coach.”

Auburn finished seventh in the SEC West after entering the 2015 season as the favorite to win the SEC Championship, and defensive end Carl Lawson (a former Clemson target) said that complacency crept into a program that played Florida St. for the national title just a few years ago.

“Complacency, we let that creep into the program and that’s not what we are trying to let happen this year,” Lawson said. “We are going to be held to a standard no matter what happens that season, we are going to be held to that standard the entire season.”

There will be storylines galore for the game, and the biggest of all might center around Kevin Steele. Clemson’s former defensive coordinator is now the defensive coordinator at Auburn after stops at Alabama and LSU. Steele coached at Clemson from 2009-11 but was let go after the debacle in the Orange Bowl against West Virginia.

Steele’s defense at LSU finished 25th nationally in total defense in 2015. Steele replaces Will Muschamp, who was at Auburn for one season (Auburn finished 71st in total defense) before taking over as head coach at South Carolina last December.

Malzahn says Steele has already made a difference in the Auburn program.

"When Coach Muschamp went to take another head coaching job, I really wanted somebody that was familiar with our conference," Malzahn said. "I wanted somebody that was a true professional, somebody that had the same philosophy that I have, and it really — all of the boxes fit with Steele.”

Malzahn said Auburn’s talented defense is having fun under Steele.

“We're blessed to have a guy like him. Our defense has responded extremely well,” Malzahn said. “They were having fun. You can just sense it when you go in the defensive staff room. They are all on the same page. It's a great feeling. And he's really looking forward to working with our defensive players and the rest of our defensive staff is, too."

Rate this Story:
56 votes

Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
Discuss on TigerBoard   Print   | TigerNetcom Facebook ClemsonTigerNet Twitter TigerNet RSS Feed
Post your comments!
Subject (Replies: 52) Author
spacer New Story: Malzahn already thinking about Clemson, says Kevin Steele has made a difference
TigerNet News
spacer Re: New Story: Malzahn already thinking about Clemson, says Kevin Steele has made a difference
Hice
spacer Re: New Story: Malzahn already thinking about Clemson, says Kevin Steele has made a difference
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: New Story: Malzahn already thinking about Clemson, says Kevin Steele has made a difference
Dugatiger®
spacer Re: New Story: Malzahn already thinking about Clemson, says Kevin Steele has made a difference
ddclemson
spacer Re: A difference? What kind of difference? LB's looking
Ridgeland Booster
spacer Re: New Story: Malzahn already thinking about Clemson, says Kevin Steele has made a difference
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: New Story: Malzahn already thinking about Clemson, says Kevin Steele has made a difference
Jhop83®
spacer Jet sweep all night long.***
colberttiger
spacer precisely my thought
jackorange
spacer He'll make a real big difference ! Clemson 70 Auburn 33***
argonaut1992®
spacer How does Auburn get 33???
soywaker®
spacer Re: How does Auburn get 33???
123me
spacer Re: How does Auburn get 33???
Dugatiger®
spacer Re: New Story: Malzahn already thinking about Clemson, says Kevin Steele has made a difference
CU_Kobe_24®
spacer Re: New Story: Malzahn already thinking about Clemson, says Kevin Steele has made a difference
widhorse
spacer WHAT IS THE OVER /UNDER Kevin Steele
Coothater
spacer Re: WHAT IS THE OVER /UNDER Kevin Steele
Dugatiger®
spacer Steele probably wants to prove himself. I see him coming up
AThomas®
spacer Re: Yeah, like he prepared our defense for GT?
Ridgeland Booster
spacer Well hopefully, the Defense will have fun
lfatboy®
spacer Re: Steele probably wants to prove himself. I see him coming up
MackDaddy®
spacer LOL...Kevin Steele has made a difference...lol
BigCUFan®
spacer I believe the headline to be true
CRobb®
spacer Re: I believe the headline to be true
Dugatiger®
spacer Re: I believe the headline to be true
N507114
spacer Probably a good time to start thinking about it some.*****
Carlsbad®
spacer Re: Probably a good time to start thinking about it some.*****
reynolds®
spacer what...
terrier2®
spacer Re: New Story: Malzahn already thinking about Clemson, says Kevin Steele has made a difference
truefannmw
spacer He's definitely made a difference...
CU2013®
spacer if kirby couldn't stop dw
theclash®
spacer Gus...
orangebowl 81
spacer What does Malzahn's comments mean to the coots?
argonaut1992®
spacer Oh he'll def be blessed!
Knutz
spacer Mustcoot must really suck if Steele is an upgrade
Neal in NC®
spacer What was that QB run that TCU ran against us under Steele?
Tim317®
spacer Re: What was that QB run that TCU ran against us under Steele?
CUAllTheWay®
spacer Re: New Story: Malzahn already thinking about Clemson, says Kevin Steele has made a difference
M2
spacer Bless his heart!***
Tropical
spacer Re: Bless his heart!***
2k®
spacer Re: New Story: Malzahn already thinking about Clemson, says Kevin Steele has made a difference
jarheadtiger®
spacer Re: New Story: Malzahn already thinking about Clemson, says Kevin Steele has made a difference
1ClemsonDad
spacer steele...
clawpaw®
spacer Steele hated our offense which was designed by his new boss? Interesting.***
Hi Cotton Tiger®
spacer The look on his face.....
Clemsam
spacer Steele has made a difference ..KEEP HIM.
N507114
spacer Re: Steele has made a difference ..KEEP HIM.
Allinsinceday1
spacer Re: Steele has made a difference ..KEEP HIM.
Dugatiger®
spacer Re: Steele has made a difference ..KEEP HIM.
N507114
spacer He must have been 'partoking' with his playas...***
SOLOS®
spacer Re: He must have been 'partoking' with his playas...***
TigerzzRoar®
spacer "Thinkin' ain't doin'," as someone once said.***
TigerzzRoar®
WATCH: Clemson Hype video "Extravagant Dreams" featuring Brian Dawkins
WATCH: Clemson Hype video "Extravagant Dreams" featuring Brian Dawkins
Tajh Boyd weighs in on Clemson QB battle
Tajh Boyd weighs in on Clemson QB battle
Clemson's T-shirt slogan for 2018: Accept The Challenge
Clemson's T-shirt slogan for 2018: Accept The Challenge
Tigers collect three more Watch List selections
Tigers collect three more Watch List selections
Scrimmage Insider: Defense better, but QBs missing too many zip code throws
Scrimmage Insider: Defense better, but QBs missing too many zip code throws
Five Clemson commits make new Rivals top-100
Five Clemson commits make new Rivals top-100
WATCH: Swinney on Brett Favre, Ohio State, Vegas Odds, Mike Williams
WATCH: Swinney on Brett Favre, Ohio State, Vegas Odds, Mike Williams
WATCH: David Hood's Tuesday Clemson scrimmage wrap
WATCH: David Hood's Tuesday Clemson scrimmage wrap
WATCH: Dabo Swinney's Tuesday scrimmage report
WATCH: Dabo Swinney's Tuesday scrimmage report
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Features
Breaking
Daily Digest
Clemson Gear
Clemson Gear