Gary Danielson on Auburn: Gus Malzahn having his best year as a head coach

It's not always easy to relinquish control, particularly for college football coaches with their notoriously control-freak nature. Offensive responsibilities changed hands multiple times last year at Auburn, but now Gus Malzahn has a new quarterback, a new offensive coordinator and as the Tigers prepare to take on LSU on Saturday in the SEC Game of the Week (3:30 p.m. ET on CBS, CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App), everything appears to be clicking. 

"I think Gus Malzahn might be having his best year as a head coach. He's relinquished some of the responsibilities you know that he's dying to do because his pride and joy is his offense," SEC on CBS lead analyst Gary Danielson said during his appearance on the 247Sports College Football Podcast. "This year he's seen his personnel and he's built this team a little bit different.

"I questioned at the beginning of the year whether Gus Malzahn would be able to step aside so this team could become a different version with Jarrett Stidham. Going back from where they started out to where they are now, I give all the credit to Gus Malzahn."

The LSU team that Auburn will face is a little bit banged up, but carrying themselves with more confidence after beating Florida on the road a week ago. Derrius Guice, not 100 percent, has not been putting up the wild numbers we saw at the end of 2016 but in playing hurt he's showing NFL teams what he's all about. 

"I give Derrius Guice a lot of credit, him playing out there," Danielson said. "Here's what he's shown the NFL: he's an extremely talented athlete running the ball, he's a willing blocker in pass protection, he's a run-between-the-tackles willing runner and now he's shown the NFL he's willing to play when he's less than 100 percent. He's going to be a valuable player in the NFL."

For an Auburn team that continues to get better, LSU is the next test on the way to SEC West title contention. LSU will be tough to beat in Baton Rouge, but Auburn has the recipe to get it done with a defense that can travel and a ground game that's hitting its stride at the right time.

Auburn and LSU will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET from Baton Rouge in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week. You can watch the game on CBS, CBSSports.com or the CBS Sports App on mobile and OTT devices.  

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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