AUBURN, Ala. — Mother Nature finally got on Gus Malzahn's good side.
With a 4 p.m. ET kickoff on Aug. 30, Auburn's coach wants his team used to playing in the heat. Since fall camp opened last week, however, the weather has been tame. Many days, the Tigers have hit the practice field with temperatures in the mid-80s.
On Saturday, it warmed up, reaching a high of 90 during the Tigers' first practice session. Factoring in humidity, it felt far hotter — pushing the temperature into triple-digits.
It's exactly what Malzahn had been hoping to see.
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"We play our first game at 3 o'clock. We've got to be able to handle the heat," he said. "Really, up to this point, it's been fairly mild. It was a good day for our guys to feel what it feels like. We practiced outside, primarily, the whole day."
The way the coach saw it, his team handled themselves as well as could be expected.
"Being the first day it was really hot, the first day we were all primarily outside, that's a big part of our success — being mentally and physically in shape and be able to focus," Malzahn said. "When you get tired, being able to focus — not just being able to survive — but being able to execute your assignment, that's the big challenge. It was good for us to be out there."