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Thursday was the conclusion of the 2019 SEC Media Days and Auburn, Kentucky and Vanderbilt took center stage to preview their upcoming seasons.

Although Auburn wasn’t greeted with the same fanfare that Alabama received on Wednesday, the Tigers were optimistic about their 2019 campaign.

Head coach Gus Malzahn said that this year’s Auburn defense may be one of the best he’s had in his time on the plains.

{{tncms-inline type=”twitter” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550" data-dnt="true">
<p lang="en" dir="ltr">“I’m feeling really good about our defense… I think we have a chance to be the best defense since I’ve been here.” </p>
<p>“To win a championship in this league… you have to be successful at running the ball… we believe in throwing the football down the field vertically.”</p>
<p>— Alessandra Pontbriand (@APontbriandTV) <a href="">July 18, 2019</a></p></blockquote>”}}

Senior defensive lineman Marlon Davidson echoed Malzahn’s comment, saying that “this year we’re gonna make sure the Auburn family is happy.” Davidson also mentioned that he’s seen several Auburn defensive backs working out late into the night and that he expects the secondary to be “pretty good” this season.

On the other side of the ball, Auburn is still trying to figure out the quarterback position. Malzahn has not named a quarterback yet but it is expected that either redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood or freshman Bo Nix will get the starting nod. Regardless of which quarterback wins out, Malzahn is excited to have a dual-threat option behind center.

{{tncms-inline type=”twitter” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550" data-dnt="true">
<p lang="en" dir="ltr">Malzahn says there isn’t much difference between the two QBs “both guys will be true run threats at the QB position… the QB will be a run threat… it changes everything from a defensive stand point… and it’s easier to call plays.”</p>
<p>— Alessandra Pontbriand (@APontbriandTV) <a href="">July 18, 2019</a></p></blockquote>”}}

Auburn will need its defense and offense to be elite as the Tigers are slated to play one of the toughest schedules in the country. College football expert Phil Steele ranks Auburn’s schedule as the second toughest in the country.

With SEC Media Days now in the rearview, college football is just over a month away. Auburn and Alabama will both start their seasons on August 31 with the Tigers facing the Oregon Ducks at 6:30 p.m. in Dallas and Alabama kicking off against Duke at 2:30 p.m. in Atlanta.

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