CLEMSON HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY
On the hard-fought, defensive nature of the game:
"I feel like I'm back at Alabama in 1988 after that one. What a tough, gritty game. That's such a reflection of the heart of our guys. You have to find ways to win games, especially early in the season, and I'm just really proud of our guys, particularly on defense. Hats off to those guys. 11 sacks and 14 tackles for loss. Our defensive line controlled the game. Really, all three levels of the defense played well. I can't say enough good things."
On the overall performance of the team in the win:
"This is the type of game that you can really use to help your team grow when preparing for conference play. I can't say enough about the way that Kelly Bryant performed. Hunter Renfrow, Ray-Ray McCloud and a lot of our playmakers were great. Special teams played well, too. It was just a great all-around performance."
On the high number of players who entered the game for the Tigers:
"That's something that we feel like is a strength of our team. We love our depth. And, actually, there were some other guys who we would've liked to have gotten into the game tonight. But just for guys who got the playing experience tonight, that'll be great for their growth moving forward."
On the fan support at Death Valley:
"I just appreciate the environment and the atmosphere that they helped create tonight. I know this was a low-scoring slobberknocker, but they stuck with us and helped create a good energy for us tonight."
AUBURN HEAD COACH Gus Malzahn
"Obviously, this was a very disappointing loss. Looking back at the game...offensively, we moved the ball well early, but kicking those two field goals and not being able to score a touchdown in the red zone really hurt us. Of course, in quarters two, three and four, the negative plays killed us. I think we got sacked 11 times. Our defense was outstanding. They kept us in the game. We got numerous chances towards the end, we just didn't respond. They're defending national champs and their defense is one of the best ones in college football, but offensively we just didn't get it done. We'll get better. We have to be able to run the football, and we have to be able to play-action pass. Our kids are hurting right now in the locker room and this was a disappointing loss for us."
On play of offensive line:
"That was too many sacks, but we have to be able to run the football a little better, too. We can't be in as many obvious passing situations. There were a lot of third down and eight-plus situations that were tough. We have to be able to run in play-action. We will get better, I promise you that."
On not playing RB Kam Martin: "Well, Kam[ryn] Pettway is really our guy. Looking back, you can always talk about things you didn't do, but we were a little concerned with the size of their linebackers. We thought they were going to do a lot of blitzing, which they did, so there are some reasons you didn't see Kam [Martin]. Obviously, when you don't perform offensively like you should have or could have, there are a lot of different things that the offensive staff will look at and we'll get a good plan moving forward."
On tonight's offensive performance:
"Well, we had too many negative plays. We didn't protect the quarterback when we needed to and we weren't able to effectively run the football. Clemson had a lot to do with that, but we have to find ways to get that done."
On getting plays in on first drive:
"Down on Clemson's end, about the two yard-line, it was very loud right there. We were trying to move our tackle over and he couldn't hear it, so we went ahead and kicked it. It is what it is on that."