Post Game Quotes
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Sept. 5, 2009

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Head Coach Gene Chizik
Overall Statement
"I will start off and talk about how proud I am of our football team. It wasn't a perfect game by any sorts. They really played hard. That was a good football team that we played tonight. They are a very good football team. I am really proud of our guys. I am really proud of the way we played in the second half. We figured it would be a tight game. In the second half, I think we kind of felt a little more comfortable probably in everything that we were doing. I am just really proud of our guys. They deserved to win. They prepared very, very hard for this win. Again, I am just very proud of them."

On Terrell Zachery's 93-yard TD reception from Chris Todd...
"Yes. That was huge. I think Gus (Malzahn) did a great job. We felt like the corners were getting a little bit aggressive. We just felt like a double move ... that's what it was ... the double move would have a chance to hit. Chris made a great throw and 'T' ran under it and the rest is history. That was a huge turning point in the game. That was something that we definitely needed. It sparked us at that time."

On getting the weight off your shoulders after getting your first Auburn win...
"It's great to win your opening game. It was certainly one of our goals to win the opening game. I have weight on my shoulders for every game. We have a lot put into this. The kids have a lot put into this. So, every game is important, but again it was great to win the first game."

On Auburn's mistakes in the first half with penalties and turnovers...
"We talked about it before the game. There are always imposters in a game. There are things that happen that you have to overcome. They aren't necessarily going to happen the rest of the game and they are not going to dictate how you play the rest of the game. We got down in the red zone. I believe we had four or five red zone scores, but one of the ones we went in there, we turned the ball over. Those are the mishaps that happen in the first game. We talked to our guys that if those happen, those are the things that we have to overcome. So, we tried to see it and be proactive knowing that some of those things may happen in your first game. What I was proud to see was not necessarily that but what I was proud to see was how they responded to that and that's our deal."

On Chris Todd's performance...
"I think it is a little premature for me to say anything about him until I see the film and know exactly what he did. I am really proud of him because I think he really maintained his composure when at times we were not very good. There were some routes that we had that were timing routes that necessarily weren't broken off at the right time. We had some completions there that we would have had that he didn't get frustrated about when you have young receivers out there which happened more than once. We looked for our quarterback to manage the team and not turn the ball over. I felt like in his first game with this offense that he did a nice job with that."

On all the new players on defense...
"It is really hard for me to say because I have to see the film to really know. I made the comment before the game that you are going to see a lot of new faces and get used to a lot of new names. I thought Coach (Ted) Roof did a phenomenal job with our defense tonight playing first year people, first year players, true freshmen. I mean he did a great job. I tell you what, we got some penalties on defense tonight. I call them try hard penalties. They are trying. I mean you get a kind of incidental face mask in there two or three times. You take away some of those penalties on some of those drives right now, I don't know if you can really draw up a first game with that many new players any better. I thought Ted's plan was great. I thought the players executed it even when we weren't playing well all the time, but for the first time out of the box with that many new players, we are very proud of our football team and our defensive coaching."

On Kodi Burn's scoring the first TD of the year...
"We told Kodi he was going to help us win football games. Whatever his role is, that is who he is. He is here for the team. He is a team guy. He is an Auburn man. I said it before, and I will say it again, it was really awesome to see that young man score. He came off and I said I told you that you were going to help us win games. It is great to see a guy who is that selfless. Good things happen to good people."

On Auburn's running and passing offense...
"We are more into taking what the defense give us. We are not into did we throw it 40 times? Did we run it 40 times? There are some means behind the madness of what we are trying to accomplish on offense. If we feel like running the football 50 times gives us a better chance to win and there are a lot of issues out there. It could be that you are wearing down the defense. It could be the fast pace ... whatever the issues are. If we feel like that gives us the best chance to win, that is what we are going to do. We are not so much geared into how many times did we throw it or how many times did we run it? We are geared into what is working so if they give us the pass, we may pass it 50 times or run it 30 ... I don't know."

On Onterio McCalebb...
"I am really proud of him. Let me tell you something. Y'all saw him run the ball. Make sure you saw him cover punts and kickoffs.

"Onterio is a very good football player. He needs to stay very humble which he will. I think Gus and our offensive staff do a great job of moving him around and finding different ways of getting him the ball so there are some means to the madness there. He has a chance to be a very good football player here at Auburn."

Did you ever feel nervous before the game?...
"I had a little bit of the pregame jitters. I just thought that we were really well prepared to be honest with you. I felt very blessed, and I just felt prepared. I felt good going into the game. My biggest thing going in was really trying to figure out who our football team is against a good football team."

On going through Tiger Walk in your first game and does it feel like coming back home?...
"I said this before. Our fans are the greatest fans in the country. I know every head coach probably says that, but I am going to tell you something ... that Tiger Walk, as I said before, when you get through that if you are not fired up, you are in a coma. That's how great the fans were. They were there tonight and they were fired up and they fired our football team up. They fired our football team up and it started from the time we got off the bus to the time we went out for pregame warm-ups and they never let up. So, I am going to tell you something about our fans tonight, they did their job just like they always do."

Chris Todd, QB
Overall thoughts on the game...
"It was a nice way to start out the season, to get that first win. We're happy with the way we started out, but there is still a lot that we have to fix."

On 93-yard touchdown pass...
"It was a nice play call that worked out great. Terrell Zachery did all the work and I just laid it out there for him."

Thoughts on Auburn's offensive line...
"They did a great job. They kept LA Tech off me the entire night. I got popped on time, but that was my fault. It was protection call. They did awesome all night and I am extremely happy with the way that they played."

On second half changes...
"We made some adjustments at the half and stuck to them. We were really able to fire out of the half."

Andrew McCain, OL
Overall thoughts on the game...
"It was one of those games where we came out and had some first-half kinks, as far as committing personal fouls and turnovers. We had a good game plan coming in and we knew that we had to stick to it. When we did, it prevailed over the course of the game and we ended up coming away with a good victory."

On his first collegiate start...
"It was nerve-racking to a certain extent, but it was redemption for me to get out there. We've just started and we've got a lot more to play. We have conference coming up and we need to start preparing for that."

On second half changes...
"We knew that we had a great game plan coming in, but we had to settle down and eliminate those mistakes. We didn't change much because we knew that we were solid, but we came out firing in the second half."

Terrell Zachery, WR
Overall thoughts on game...
"I think we did pretty well. We came in with a good game plan and everything started moving well for us. As a whole, we all performed well."

On school-record setting touchdown reception...
"It was a three route and we ran the same play right before that. That really set it up well for us. Right off the snap, I made a move on the defender and it opened right up. Chris (Todd) made the right pass and that was it."

On second-half adjustments...
"It was the first game and it took a while for everyone to get back and moving together on game day. I thought in the second half we came together really well and that helped us to put the game away."

Darvin Adams, WR
Overall thoughts on team performance...
"I thought we came out and did pretty well but we still have some things we have to work on. We need to go back and watch film and find the things that need improvement. Overall though, I think we did real well.

"Chris Todd came out and did a great job throwing the ball and putting it where we needed it. The running backs did a great job getting the ball down the field. We put up 556 total yards of offense. I'd say we did pretty good."

On his first touchdown of the season...
"We had already set them up for it since we were running that route all night. Coach (Gus) Malzahn told us that we were going to get it. He was right. Chris (Todd) did a great job of throwing the ball and I just went out and got it."

Onterio McCalebb, RB
Overall thoughts on team performance...
"I think it all went well. We came out and started running the ball and did what we needed to do. "

On getting his first Auburn touchdown...
"It was awesome. I had my people in the stands. My stepmom and my little brother were able to be here. It was great to have them here for that and to have them see me take it in the endzone. "

On Auburn offensive line's performance...
"I was really able to rely on them. Everybody on the offense was able to come out as a team and really execute. We came out doing what we needed to do to get things off on the right track. Our line did a great job of opening up the running game."

Craig Stevens, LB
On keeping LA Tech's offense off the field in the second half...
"We were focused in the first half. Our penalties really killed us. We allowed them to keep driving. We focused on minimizing penalties in the second half. Once we were able to do that, we started getting the stops we needed."

On LA Tech's quarterback, Ross Jenkins...
"He's got some nice wheels on him. He got a nice run in there one time, but most of the time we were back there. He slipped past us a few times but we pressured him, but we were able to put enough pressure on him in the second half to take them out of the game."

On LA Tech receiver Phillip Livas...
"He's a good player, he could probably play anywhere in the nation. He could play in our league. They have a nice running back, too. We were able to keep them contained."

On starting the season with a win...
"It feels good to get back out there after practicing all spring and all fall camp. It feels good to get that win, especially after coming off of a season like last year. To start off with a good win like this for our team going forward."

Zac Etheridge, S
On second half defensive stand...
"We all got together at half time and said that we would have to settle down. The first half, we just tried to get to that ball, that's what we pride ourselves on - getting to the ball. We were doing that, but we had too many penalties. We had to adjust at the half, settle down and play good defense."

On LA Tech receiving corps...
"They had great receivers. (Phillip) Livas was obviously their biggest threat. We kind of took the game away from him by playing a lot of different schemes. We knew their quarterback was going to run, but we didn't know he would run that much. We've got to go back and fix our lanes and how we get to the quarterback."

On starting the season with a win...
"It feels great. It wipes out all of last year. It's a new year - a new journey. We're going to continue to keep going forward."

Antonio Coleman, DE
On opening season win...
"It's big. We started off kind of slow with a lot of penalties. We always kept our head up, though. Coach Chizik always tells us that we've got plays and that we're always going to have problems and that they will make big plays. At the end, we came. We saw. We conquered. We just kept fighting and no one put their head down. We just kept rolling with the punches."

On LA Tech quarterback, Ross Jenkins...
"I didn't know that he was going to be that mobile. We all watched tape on him, but we didn't know that he was going to be that good. He played a good game."

On first half penalties...
"In the first half with all the penalties, some of our guys got a little winded. They were sustaining drives. We came out in the second half and started forcing LA Tech into three-and-outs and we kept our guys fresh. When you go three-and-out, you're off the field. If they sustain drives, then you start getting tired. That's the biggest difference between the first and second halves."

Josh Bynes, LB
Overall thoughts on the game...
"It's the first game of the season so there are a lot of jitter bugs. Everybody was anxious to get out there and there was a lot of drilling going on. The defense flew around, all eleven of us really attacked the ball all night, especially in the second half."

On second half performance...
"We didn't make any adjustments, we just kept our same game plan and played with our same confidence. We knew the offense would do what they do, so on defense we had to take care of our side of the ball. We'd go out there and try to get three-and-outs. When we had that goal, nine times out of ten, we made it happen."

On starting the season strong...
"It's great to get off to a fast start, especially coming off of the season that we had. A win is great to have on our belt, but our eyes are set on Mississippi State. We're going to take advantage of this weekend and then get into our notes and get ready for our next game."

Louisiana Tech Head Coach Derek Dooley
Thoughts on today's game...
"I have to start by giving Auburn credit. They did a great job. They are a physical football team. They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides. Anytime you give up 300-yards rushing, you are not going to have a good chance of winning. I thought we fought them hard early. I was disappointed we gave up two big plays, one in the third quarter and one in the fourth when we didn't have to. We were not playing smart and we had a couple of mental errors and we couldn't respond offensively. Auburn's a good football team. On the road you have to execute the simple things."

On Auburn's fast-paced offense...
"We prepared for it but the hard part was the big offensive linemen and the two big running backs. Every time you try to hit them there is no way you can simulate it. It seemed like we were behind the chains every time they handed it off to number 44 (Ben Tate). We might be in position but then they would scurry for six or seven yards. Then they get us around the edge, so they have a good combination of speed."

On his family ties to Auburn...
"It doesn't have anything to do with me. I was always hoping we would play better in the second half. The season is a long journey and we can't put our head in the sand because we have another tough game next week (at Navy)."

On Auburn's second-half adjustments...
"I think it was a combination of things. Once we got behind them a little bit, it changes a little bit of your mentality, and then they switched to man-to-man in the second half. They were playing zone early on and we were able to pick at it early on. Once they covered us up, their guys were playing better than our guys and we just couldn't win."

D'Anthony Smith, DT
Thoughts on today's game...
"Auburn's a pretty good team and they gave us a great effort, and that's why they won."

On the different looks Auburn was using...
"We played to the best of our abilities. Seeing as this is the opener, we weren't really expecting that many looks. They came at us full-throttle."

On trying to keep up with the speed of Auburn's offense...
"In the first couple of series we were getting tired and it was hard to keep up with them but then we got used to it."

On Auburn's offensive line...
"I have to give them credit. It is one of the best offensive lines I have played against in my career."

Ross Jenkins, QB
On the difference in speed between the SEC and the WAC...
"They are real fast and they came out tough. We knew we had to match their speed and intensity and I thought we did a pretty good of doing that in the first half. The speed was a factor but a lot of the mistakes were our fault. They are a great team and they deserved to win. We just didn't capitalize on our opportunities."

On Louisiana Tech's offensive performance...
"In particular, there were two passes that I should have made this game. Those two were drive killers. In the first half we did a good job of managing our third downs but in the second half we didn't do the same thing."

On Auburn's second half adjustments...
"On second and third down, they started bringing a lot more pressure and playing press man and we couldn't adjust to that. I have to make a lot better throws."

On adjustments for next week...
"We need to get our heads together because we had a couple of bone-headed mistakes. If we are going to play like we did in the first half, we should be alright. We didn't play our best game in the first half. We have to look into next week because we can't change what happened tonight. We look forward to the challenge next week."

On throwing his first interception in four starts...
"Their safety rolled over real late. My back was turned most of that play and when I turned around I saw that our receiver had the corner beat and I didn't see the safety. I thought I had a one-on-one but the safety was right there to pick it off."

Houston Tuminello, WR
On the team's performance...
"I think we came out ready to play. In the first half we looked good. We threw it some. Auburn is a great team. We knew we had to come in here and make plays on offense. Our defense looked good in the first half and we looked good as a team. We fell apart in the second half and we have some adjustments to make."

On the adjustments they need to make...
"We need to go out there and play our game. In the first half we came out and moved the ball and converted some big third downs and made some big plays."

On Auburn's secondary...
"In the second half they brought some pressure but that's what we wanted. We knew they were going to do that and we wanted them to do that. We just didn't get a chance to make any plays."

On playing an SEC team...
"This atmosphere is crazy. It was a lot of fun and a great experience. I just wish we could have played a little better but we can't go back and change things. We just have to learn from our mistakes and go out next week and get better."

Antonio Baker, S
On playing at Jordan-Hare Stadium against an SEC team...
"Playing here tonight was a great experience. Auburn is a great team, and it's truly great to have college football back in season."

On running backs Ben Tate and Onterio McCalleb...
"Those two really work well together. Tate runs really hard, while McCalebb is more of the speed guy in their attack. Both are great players."