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An injured Gus Malzahn will have a unique vantage point this weekend for a big AAC matchup

Adamant he didn't want to go to the box, Gus Malzahn will have a unique space (out of harm's way) on the sideline for this weekend's game against SMU.

The past few seasons we've seen head coaches forced to watch their games from some really unique vantage points.

COVID protocols have forced coaches to miss games, and back in 2019 Louisiana made some accommodations in the press box for Liberty's Hugh Freeze that allowed him to coach as he recovered from an infections after a back surgery. 

This weekend, we'll see another unique vantage point in the UCF vs. SMU game.

Last weekend against Tulane, Gus Malzahn suffered a broken leg that put him in a boot and walking with crutches unable to put weight on the affected leg. Needing to get creative so he could follow doctors orders to stay out of harms way, and also be with his team, Malzahn plans to coach an elevated platform tomorrow.

The platform will be six or seven feet high, and he's been using one this week at practice to prepare for Saturday, very similar to what Freeze did once he returned from his back surgery.

With Freeze's setup as the inspiration, I'm picturing the type of platform a band director uses to be easily seen by his constituents. But aside from what it's going to look like, and if it will be reinforced at all, there are some additional questions that come to mind:

  • Where will the platform be placed?
    The 50-yard line? That seems logical, right?
  • Will it be mobile?
    College sidelines are normally pretty packed with players, coaches, and various other personnel, it being able to move up and down the sidelines seems unlikely.

Malzahn told 96.9 The Game that they went through a dress rehearsal with the platform on Thursday, adding that he didn't want to just go sit in the box and wanted to be down by his players and coaches where he could still talk to them face-to-face.

Regardless of what it looks like, and how it's going to work, whatever they've come up with is going to be a very unique setting for Malzahn during a big AAC match up.

UCF enters the game 6-3 and Sonny Dykes and SMU are 7-2 heading into the matchup. Both teams sit behind Houston (6-0 in AAC action) and Cincinnati (5-0 in AAC) in the league standings.