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Malzahn denies interest in NFL job; defense confident in pressuring Winston

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Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn has said numerous times he is happy at Auburn, and he re-iterated that fact Friday night in Newport Beach, Calif.

Malzahn's name has been linked to several coaching vacancies, with the Cleveland Browns reportedly interested in interviewing him for their head coaching spot.

"I'm happy at Auburn," said a terse Malzahn. "I think I've made that clear."

This came on the day Florida State offensive players and Auburn defensive players addressed the media, leading to several questions of how the Tigers plan to stop Heisman trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston.

"Our defensive line has done a very good job this year," Malzahn said. "We're going to have to do the same thing to put some pressure on the quarterback."

Senior defensive end Dee Ford has said he thinks pressure makes college quarterbacks "average at best." The Tigers will have to get in the backfield to find out if that applies to Winston.

"For us up front, it's just going out there and making those decisions, hurry up a little bit, make quicker decisions, make him do things he doesn't really want to do but we force him to do," said senior defensive end Nosa Eguae.

Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson takes solace in the fact that the Tigers have been facing Heisman-caliber quarterbacks all season long.

"We've played four quarterbacks that have been mentioned in the Heisman race at some time during the season, and probably five NFL quarterbacks," Johnson said. "It's been a test, and we haven't always played extremely well, but we've always found a way to step up."

Also, Johnson knows this Tiger team is the epitome of "it ain't over till it's over."

"No matter what happens in the ballgame, it'll take 59 minutes, 59 seconds, and it may take one more second," Johnson said with just a hint of a smile. "Our players know how to win a game with one second left on the clock, they know how to win a game with a minute and a half let on the clock. They know how to win a game."

Jonathan Huskey

Jonathan comes to News 3 from Fort Smith/Fayetteville, Ark., where he anchored weekends and reported during the week on some of the best high school sports in the state. More>>

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