AUBURN, Ala. — Gus Malzahn doesn’t agree with people who believe Anthony Swain faked an injury last Saturday.
However, Auburn’s head coach is aware why some felt that way.
“At the time I did not see it happen, but after watching the TV copy I could see why people questioned it,” he said during his weekly press conference. “I've coached for 23 years and I've never told any player to fake an injury.”
The play in question happened at the end of the third quarter last Saturday. Arkansas had just converted on a fourth-and-three from Auburn’s 9-yard line, using a swinging gate play to pick up seven yards on a pass from Brian Buehner to Austin Tate. Swain was credited with the tackle. After making the takedown, he got up and walked across the field and then fell to the ground, grabbing his knee. One play later, Arkansas scored on a 2-yard touchdown by Kiero Small to cut Auburn’s lead to 28-17 less than five seconds into the final period.
Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said Sunday he didn’t get a good view of the Swain’s disputed injury, either.
“I'm in the press box,” he said. “All we're looking for, we're looking at bench for personnel, and I did not see it. Once I grade the film, he got rolled up over on the sideline and was slow getting up and that's all I could see.”
Malzahn said he wouldn’t make any further comments on the subject, but he ended with a guarantee.
“I promise you this,” he said, “Moving forward there will be no questionable issues like that again.”