Malzahn said last week in Starkville was a special situation, with the team playing on the road for the first time this season. The crowd noise required quarterback Cam Newton to use a silent snap count.
“I wanted to make sure our communication was good,” Malzahn said. “And the fact that we got a lead, we wanted to be smart and (do) whatever gives us the best chance to win the game.”
Several other factors contributed to the dialed-down offense. Left tackle Lee Ziemba left the game in the second quarter, leaving Newton’s blind side to be protected by Brandon Mosley, a converted junior college tight end.
Mario Fannin, who is Auburn’s best running back at picking up the blitz, left midway through the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.
So Auburn went conservative by Malzahn’s standards, especially near the end, when it proved beneficial. Its final drive featured six runs among seven plays, eating more than four minutes before Wes Byrum had a 37-yard field goal blocked. LINK