Post-Game Quotes: Auburn vs. Arkansas

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Opening Statement:
"I'm very proud of our guys coming out facing an SEC team. We talked to our guys and told them it would be a dogfight. I'm proud of the way our guys responded the second half. Our defense made the adjustments. We started playing physical football. That really made a big difference in the game. We talked all pre-season about balance, we really thought that was a big key tonight.
 
"We were close to 50/50 on passing and rushing yards. I am very proud of Jeremy Johnson. We said before that we feel like he could start for most teams in college football. I think everybody saw that tonight. We have two outstanding quarterbacks. Cameron Artis-Payne really carried the load for us. I thought he did a solid job of running between the tackles. He is at his best as the game goes on.
 
"Duke Williams I think everybody saw today that he has playmaking ability. Robenson Therezie we found out yesterday that he is eligible. I am very proud that our fans hung in there with us. They were loud and helped us finish the game. That was a long delay and as a coach that concerns you. We really challenged our guys to finish this game the right way. I am very proud that we are 1-0 in the SEC. I have to give Arkansas credit for a much improved game."
 
On quarterbacks...
"Nick's (Marshall) penalty was just on the start. He did what he had to do. We wanted to let Jeremy play regardless. We scripted plays for him, and he got off to an outstanding start. The first half we got stuck on third downs. Jeremy did an outstanding job. The way he handled himself was really nice. We put Nick in the second half and he did some really good things, both running and passing. Overall I am just proud of our team."

On Nick Marshall and the running game...
"Jeremy can run as well, but not like Nick. They are different type of players. It is good to have two guys who can run you offense effectively."

On Jeremy Johnson...
"Nick is still the quarterback, but Jeremy will have a roll. We talked in the off-season about giving him more of different situations and packages."

On special teams...
"I am very proud of our special teams. Daniel Carlson's kickoffs were outstanding. Asking him to punt too, he did a great job. I think this game will give him some confidence. We had a punt return that was close to breaking. I thought Quan (Bray) did a good job of getting up the middle. We have some playmakers. Daniel Carlson got off to a good start."

On Robenson Therezie...
"He is a playmaker. He made a big play tonight."

On running backs...
"You will see both Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant throughout the year. Peyton Barber you saw at the very end. It was really good for our running backs to get out there. They have not been tackled since the spring game. I thought they performed very well."

On Nick's first drive...
"There was a certain way they were playing us. We got a couple of good blocks and that opened up and Avery Young made a really good open field block that allowed Nick to score."

On passing game...
"It was real good. We hit some balls over the middle. We were close on a couple deep ones right there, it was good that we came out and were successful in the passing game. We protected the football in the passing game and that's always very important too. I know we had the one turnover with Cameron but well work on getting that corrected."

On Duke Williams...
"He attacks the ball there's no doubt he can do some things with it after he catches the ball too. We had a plan that if they played us a certain we'd attack them with him in the middle of the field, so that was kind of what happened and he did a good job executing."

On Melvin Ray...
"He had one of the best fall camps of anybody we had. Just every consistent. It's really good to see hard work pay off and he's a real confident young man. He does a lot of dirty work and he's very good at blocking on the perimeter. It was good to see him make a couple of catches. That one he made on third and three that we threw back across the field was a very impressive catch."

On Nick's suspension...
"Like I said, the only thing that I said is that they're not going to start. Jeremy got off to a good start and so we were going to make a commitment. As a quarterback you want them to get in there and get comfortable and that's what me and Coach Lashlee decided to do. He definitely looked comfortable. At halftime we felt like, 'Hey lets put Nick back in.' Nothing against Jeremy at all. Like I said we have two very effective quarterbacks.

On ability to run the ball...
"You hit a couple passes. In the second half we started getting a better push with our offensive line. We did a good job getting movement at the point of attack."

On the rain delay...
"We just made sure the guys were off their feet. We wanted them to rest their body and mind. We went over some things and used the extra time to predict how they would come back and do certain things. We wanted to try to prepare the best we could. A lot of it was just sitting around waiting. We had to figure out when to get them up moving around and when to get them out there warming up. It was raining pretty good but we felt like we needed to get out there and get the blood pumping. One of the big things for me was how they responded after the break. I thought that was one of the more positive things that happened. It tells you that we have some veteran guys and some leaders that made sure we got out there and finished the game."

On Ellis Johnson...
"Ellis is one the better defensive coordinators in college football. He's been doing this a long time, and he's good at it. He made the adjustments. They settled down and started stopping the run and that changed the whole tone of the game and that was a huge factor in the second half. We got quite a few stops and got the ball back to the offense."

On Nick's performance in the second half...
"A lot of that had to do with defense, there was no doubt. Nicks one of our leaders. All of our players respond to him. But overall, I think the key the second half was our defense really stepping up." 

On returning to Auburn football...
"It was great just being back out there with my teammates. Arkansas had a very good team."
 
On facing Trey Flowers...
"Me and Pat (Miller) had a huge challenge coming in, going against a great player. I think we fared well. He is a great player and for us to match up against him is a blessing, just to be out there competing against him."
 
On beginning season with an SEC game...
"It was great. I was a little nervous before the game. They just threw us into the fire with an SEC game but we embraced it. Just going out there and being able to play in this game is a blessing."
 
On initial reaction...
"It was a good game. We had a good game plan. They gave us the looks that we worked on in practice and we just came out and executed well. The first half was a little slow but we picked it up toward the end."
 
On being able to make a lot of carries...
"It feels good. I feel like I played okay. I've just got to get to the tape and see what I need to work on. All in all I feel like we are very good as a team."
 
On playing with a chip on his shoulder...

"I read everything that everybody puts out about how they don't know about how the running game is going to be. We made it through and we're going to be alright."
 
On the interception...
"I was able to make a play on the ball. I had some good pressure from the up-front guys. They didn't even mention my name. The ball was supposed to go deep but then I was able to make a play on it."
 
"It was in the air so long that I had plenty of time to think about it. Rudy (Johnathan Ford) and I actually saw each other and he let me catch the ball."
 
"That's how Rudy (Johnathan Ford) got hurt. He was spotting me but I had the momentum."
 
On what Robinson Therezie brings to the defense...
"He's a freak. He does a lot for the team. With all the experience he got last year, he feels a lot more comfortable. At practice, he knows exactly what's going on. He's definitely going to make something this year. I can't wait to watch him play.
 
Where are you coming out of camp and where do you need to go?
"We really just have to build off of everything. We will have the day off tomorrow and we will watch it Monday and I'm sure there's some great things and I'm sure there some that aren't so good. That's just kind of the operation of Auburn. We like to build off the negatives and make them strengths.
 
On key changes made during the second half...
"We put up on the board what they were doing. Coach told us 'How are we going to execute better?' Pretty much the things you would think about. Just be more physical, fly around to the ball and really, guys made plays. We had an interception. I want to say two forced fumbles. And that's what you should get playing at home."
 
Opening statement:
"I think our guys in the opening two quarters had some things we had to persevere and weather through offensively, defensively, and in the kicking game, but we thought at halftime coming in if we could go back out and match that effort in the second half. Give Auburn the credit, they were able to do it, we weren't."
 
"I think the big swing was when BA (Brandon Allen) got hit as he was throwing the ball there. I thought he played a pretty clean game, was on his reads, on his routes. I wish we could've caught that ball on that first big play in the first half. Those are big plays that we've got to have, especially playing a team like Auburn."
 
On second half adjustments:
"They made adjustments, and our guys did as well. I think we began to press a little bit when we were down by two scores. Our coaches and players, we had a plan that was working. We were able to run the football effectively, we just didn't go to it much in the third quarter, and that's something we definitely need to take a look at."
 
"Overall, obviously, two quarters of football we can live with, and two that we can't."
 
What was the feeling in the locker room at halftime when it was tied 21-21?
"It was a good feeling. The guys wanted to come out swinging hard."

What did you think of Auburn's receivers?
"I think they had good receivers. They have good athletes and are able to run plays well."
 
Did Auburn put more pressure on you in the second half and why?
"Yes, they brought more pressure. They did a good job of slowing down our rush game in the second half. We didn't make the plays we needed to get to get some drives going."

From a rhythm standpoint, how did it change from the first half to the second?
"We had a lot of good things going in the first half and some good drives. We got the rhythm rolling in the first half, but could not keep things moving forward in the second half."

What did you take away from this game?
"I took away that we played against a really good team in the first half and we know we can play with the best of them."
 
On the second half...
"The first half we came out and we were tied going into halftime. Miscues here and there led us to the end result."
 
On the team's conditioning...
"We were ready. Our coaches had conditioning sessions after practice to make sure conditioning was not an issue. I think we felt good about our conditioning."
 
On the pace of the game...
"As far as pace of play, I think it was just execution. There were times when we executed when we needed to and got them off schedule and there were times where they hit us and we were not executing the way we should have."

On the message after the game...
"Coach said we worked too hard to let games slip away. We fought hard in the first half and in the second half we made mistakes and we let it slip away. We need to make sure we execute and finish the games the way we should."