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Quotes: Auburn 59, San Jose State 13

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Opening Statement:
"We are excited to be 2-0 with a win at home. Our crowd was unbelievable again. It really helped us out. We had (several) positives tonight. We had three interceptions on defense. One of the big positives all night was our punt return for a touchdown. That was a well-executed play. Quan Bray was breaking a few tackles. That was a big play. The two fumbles we have to correct. Overall, I am extremely happy to be 2-0 and have that one behind us."
 
On the running game...
"It just depends on what is working, and what are they giving you. Overall, I was pleased by how effectively we were able to move the football. Another big thing was going 10-of-14 on third down, and that was a definite positive, too. It kept the chains moving and kept the drives alive."
 
On Nick Marshall playing through the third quarter...
"He is our starting quarterback. Last week he only played a half, and we wanted to give him some touches. He runs his own read."
 
On the play of the defensive line...
"Coach G (Rodney Garner) once again rotates a bunch of guys. They were fresh in the second half. You can always see us getting better as the game goes on, and that has a lot to do with it."
 
On Nick Marshall's running game...
"He has a good first step, that's all they were giving us. The line did a good job opening up. He had a really tight window but he got through it. There was good blocking on the perimeter, especially on that last one. "

On Nick Marshall's passing game...
"I thought he did okay, he put a lot of points on the board. He did what he had to do to win the game. Overall I'm pleased."

On Sammie Coates...
"We held him out. He's a little banged up but he'll be okay and we expect him back. "

On Cameron Artis-Payne...
"He did a good job but Corey (Grant) did a good job in there too. We utilize both those guys. Nothing has changed as far as that goes. We have to have two of those guys and we also had some younger guys get in there too. Peyton Barber and Roc Thomas at the end. It's good to get those guys in a game type situation."

On Cameron Artis-Payne's strengths...
"He has a good understanding of the overall offense. He's a good pass protector. He's getting more comfortable behind this line."

On level of improvement from week one to week two...
"I think we did improve. Obviously there were a couple of mistakes but the goal is to improve each week and I think we did that."

On young defensive players...
"We played a conference game last week and so we really went with a lot of the older guys. We have to get some of these guys experience. They're guys that we really feel like can help us. We did that offensively and defensively."

On Quan Bray's punt returns...
"When guys are seniors they raise their level and we ask a lot of our seniors to do that and I believe that he is definitely doing that. We have gotten a little better around all the specialists too. I'm very happy for Quan, he's very confident right now."

On Cameron Artis-Payne's running game...
"He's gotten a little faster since last fall. He's lost a little bit of weight. Coach Horton has done a good job getting him along. He got to the outside and broke a couple of tackles and kept going which is very impressive. I thought another good decision on the fourth down and one that we went for, he busted out the back door and had some good vision."

On Jermaine Whitehead...
"He's a very savvy guy, very experienced guy. You can tell he's played a lot of football. He is the operator on the back end, all the communication goes through him. He gives our defense a lot of confidence on the back end."

On the secondary players...
"I thought they responded well, that group had a big quarterback with a strong arm and a couple of receivers that could flat out play. We were a little worried about some of the screens but I thought we did a solid job with that."

On Jonathon Mincy...
"He played very well. They had a trick play and they threw it back and he read it very well. He's just like (Jermaine) Whitehead, a veteran guy, he understands the offenses and what they're trying to do. He has a lot of experience too, which helps."

On first away game...
"This next week we are going to work on improving ourselves and try to get a head start. We are playing a very good team on the road with one of the better coaches that has ever walked the planet. We will have to have a good plan and have to be prepared."

On the pass rush...
"I think our guys got rolling. Montravius Adams went through there. We hit the quarterback and that was our plan. We knew they would be trying to throw it so we wanted to disrupt them. As the game went on our guys really got off the ball well."

On Montravius Adams...
"He's a big athletic guy, he did a very good job getting after the quarterback on the sack. He made a negative play so that was good. His sack was a very big play in the game. Anytime you sack a guy at home the crowd gets real loud and gives everybody a lot of emotion and momentum.

QB Nick Marshall
On his performance...
"I feel like I played great but I could have done some things better. There were a couple throws that I could have made but I just have to go out and practice to get better for next week."

On his fumble...
"It was tough because ball security is something we always work on. It was at the last second, when I was about to celebrate, that he punched it out. Being a quarterback, you have to have a short memory, to put it behind you and play the next play."

On satisfaction with level of performance...
"We've just got to take more time and execute our plays."

On rhythm running the football...
"The way we were running worked and coach didn't want to stop."

WR Ricardo Louis
On his touchdown...
"That was my first of the year so it got me excited. It gave us a little boost and we started rolling after that."

On tipped passes...
"I thought I was going to catch the second one. If there's a chance to catch the ball, we're going to try to get it. When it got tipped, we tried to make a play on the ball."

On team rushing more than passing...
"It doesn't matter. We just need what it takes to win. If that means running the ball the whole game, it's fine with me."

RB Cameron Artis-Payne
On being comfortable each game....
"I'm going to keep improving on each thing. I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm doing alright."

On being a major part of the offense....
"It's a big help, the offense is great. The offensive front we have, we have Nick (Marshall), who is great everywhere. Our receiving corps is great. All in all, you know you're going to get an opportunity in this offense."

On improving from last week....
"The offensive line wanted to come out and be real physical today, and that's what they did. They created a lot of holes, and that was the major thing we wanted to work on." 

RB Roc Thomas
On scoring a touchdown on his first career carry....
"It felt great! We executed as a team and we got the ball in the end zone."

On the team helping him grow as a player...
"It's great to have a great team behind me and tell me to just be ready for (my) time. You have to practice hard, and every day you'll get better."

On having veterans helping you...
"It's great because they're right behind you telling you what you did wrong if you don't know something and how to correct it."

LB Kris Frost
On improving from last game...
"I feel like I played a lot better. I had a lot more opportunities this game. As far as getting comfortable and moving around, I feel like I had a pretty good game. There's always things to correct and get better at, but I will just have to take note and make sure I improve for next game."

On chemistry with Cassanova McKinzy...
"I feel like Cassanova and I have always had really good chemistry with how we play. We try to help each other out. One thing we joke about is how every time I make a tackle, he's right behind me, and every time he makes a tackle, I'm right behind him. It really showed tonight. How we play the run is getting better and how we play the pass is getting better. We're just getting better collectively every day and that's what it's all about."

On mistakes/improvements...
"We had a lot of mental mistakes but just like we always do, we go back, chalk it up and fix it. We will come back stronger next time."

LB Cassanova McKinzy
On week two...
"We had really great linebacker play, defensive front play and our main goal was to stop the run. "

On working with Kris Frost...
"We've got really good chemistry. I think we're one of the best linebacker duos in the conference. We're just trying to succeed at that. If he slacks, I pick it up for him and we are there to remind each other and pick each other up."

On the upcoming bye week and game at Kansas State...
"We will probably get paced a lot in practice. Kansas State has a pretty fast-paced offense and they will be tough to play there. We want to work on our run fits and pass drops."

WR Quan Bray
On improvements...
"We're just trying to be the best in the country. I give credit to all the guys up front. The coaches challenge the guys up front and they did just that."

On his punt return for touchdown...
"When the punter kicked it, I saw one of the guys was already down. I knew (Stephen) Roberts was going to hold the other guy off of me. Once the first man missed me, it was off to the races."

On confidence as a senior...
"I feel a lot of confidence. Coming in my freshman year, they threw me in the fire in the South Carolina game. Ever since then, I've just tried to be the best player I can be and I feel very comfortable.

On picking up from last year...
"Our special teams are very important. We have play-makers that will make big plays. They are contributors, especially the punt return team who want to be the best in the nation."

Opening statement...
"I told the players there is no need to hang your head. I thought we played hard. We came out fast and played some pretty good football. I think there were some really good experiences, some valuable lessons. I am thankful for the opportunity to play this game. There are some encouraging things that we can learn from and go back and watch. But all-in-all it was a good football team, and when you play them you have to play flawless football, and it kind of got away there."
 
On Joe Gray going into the game after the injury to starting QB Blake Jurich...
"I think it is good. I think you want your guys to gain some confidence and move the ball. If not for a freak fall, (Jurich) would be fine, but I think he will be okay."
 
On the long touchdown pass...
"We were just playing ball. That is what we expect to do. We want to play well regardless of who we are up against. I think we were competing, and we were in the moment."
 
On lining up against Auburn's offense...
"We did a good job getting lined up. They will get you with their no-huddle and their up-tempo. I thought for the most part we got lined up pretty well. Then it comes down to open-field tackling, and they have good athletes. They did not do as much up-tempo as I was anticipating. You always anticipate more. I think our guys played well and we played well."
 
On the effort from Blake Jurich...
"He wanted to go in after he got injured. But we wanted to give Joe Gray the last 11 minutes of the game and he got a couple of series."
 
On missing some key players...
"It was a great opportunity for those guys to play. I am one for playing guys and if things are not right or players are not healthy then you play the guys who are. It is a 12-game season. We did not live for this game today. This game was one of 12. It was just as important as any of our other 11 games. If our guys can get in there and get some experience that will pay off down the road, then it was good work for them."
 
On Cleveland Wallace III...
"He had a great play on a post. He just came in with his off-hand and broke it up. I thought it was a nice play on a beautifully thrown ball."
 
Forrest Hightower, Safety:
What were your impressions of being in a game like this?
"Well, the effort was definitely there. They did some things that we have never seen before, but we will go back and look at the film to see where we messed up. It's hard to tell right now because we have not really seen them play aside from just during the game."

What was it like playing in Jordan-Hare Stadium?
"I wasn't really focused on the atmosphere. I was just focused on the game plan and us playing well, while making sure we were all on the same page."

Blake Jurich, Quarterback:
What exactly caused the injury to your arm?
"There were repeated hits in the same spot with helmets and it started bruising up. However, I still went back in because I didn't want to give up."

What are the positives that you are taking from his game?
"There are always positive things to take away from the game, but we also look at the negative things to learn from them and get better from there."

What did you see out there going up against a defense like this?
"They are fast, they disguise very well, and they are a good defense. We are a good offense, we just made a couple mistakes that we will learn from."

Christian Tago, Linebacker:
On playing in Jordan-Hare Stadium...
"It was very exciting. Stanford was my first collegiate game, and the crowd was pretty big, but it was nothing compared to this stadium. So, it was very exciting playing in front of all these people. It's a kids' dream growing up to play in front of thousands of people. It was exciting."

Thoughts on playing Auburn...
"Coming out, it was very exciting to play Auburn, they're ranked number five in the nation, and coming off last year, playing in a BCS Championship Game. It's exciting getting to play a team of that caliber."

Thoughts on game...
"We started out well, we started out tying it 7-7. We played well, and then defensively I think we started making some mental errors, and they took advantage of those mental errors. So, the biggest difference was on defense."


 
 
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