AUBURN, Ala. – Although the Auburn Tigers’ season did not end the way it wanted, the 2017 SEC West champions will still play in one of college football’s top bowl games on New Year’s Day.
As fans ring in 2018, the Tigers will have a chance to give Head Coach Gus Malzahn his first 11 win season since the magical run in 2013. Auburn nearly beat Florida State in the Rose Bowl for the last BCS national title before the Football Bowl Subdivision moved to the four-team College Football Playoff.
“Our players, fans and coaches are excited. This is a chance to get our 11th victory. We’ve only done that six times in school history.” Malzahn explained. “That is going to be one of our goals, and our players are excited about that.”
Auburn’s opponent in the Peach Bowl (one of six New Year’s Six bowl games) in Atlanta will be the only undefeated team remaining in the FBS, the University of Central Florida Golden Knights.
On Wednesday, Malzahn spoke at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl press conference in Auburn, and also officially accepted the invitation to play in the Peach Bowl from Peach Bowl officials. “We’re excited and honored to be in the Peach Bowl,” said Malzahn. “I’ve had the opportunity to coach in that bowl before and it is first class. This is the second year in a row we’ve been in a New Year’s Six game, so we’re very excited about where our program is right now and what the future holds.”
Malzahn told media members he has watched film on the Golden Knights and had high praise for UCF. He said he expects to play a fast team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. He also said UCF’s offense is very impressive, and pointed out its receiving corp.
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will kick off on Monday, Jan. 1 at 11:30 a.m. in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The game can be seen on ESPN.