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Gus Malzahn agrees to new 7-year deal with Auburn

06 December, 2017, 01:19 | Author: Joan Malone
  • Stephen M. Dowell  TNS

There's reason to believe Auburn can make it back there again, and not only because it will play its next two games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium - the January 1 Peach Bowl against UCF and the 2018 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Washington.

UCF will be making its first trip to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, while Auburn will make its sixth appearance.

A win by the Tigers in the bowl game will give the program its sixth 11-win season in school history in what will be its first trip to the Peach Bowl since 2011, when Auburn defeated Virginia 43-24 on December 31 in the Georgia Dome.

"We couldn't have asked for a better matchup to celebrate our 50th anniversary", said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl CEO and president. Auburn lost to Georgia 28-7 in Saturday's SEC Championship Game. The Knights are the only undefeated FBS team in the nation, recording the program's first-ever ideal regular season and now hold the nation's longest winning streak at 12 games.

UCF: First appearance in Peach Bowl; ninth bowl overall.

For the second consecutive season Auburn will participate in a New Year's Six bowl game. A day later, the Knights were invited to the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, where thousands of fans will watch them face Auburn.

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"Our program is more stable than it's been in any of the eight years I've been here before", the coach told ESPN, also referencing the three years he spent as the team's offensive coordinator from 2009-11. Auburn is 4-1 in the Peach Bowl, its lone loss coming in 2001, 16-10, to North Carolina. The defeat dashed the Tigers' hopes of completing an improbable run to the College Football Playoff.

Auburn ranks in the top five in the SEC in passing, rushing, receiving, scoring and defense and ranks first in kicking. "As I said before this game, we worked extremely hard to get here to this point, and we've got a very good foundation built, and I think the best is yet to come".

Before leaving the interview room inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, Gus Malzahn told reporters that he "wouldn't be surprised if we're back in this moment next year".

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