Auburn Post-Game Quotes
Pat Dye Field at Jordan-Hare Stadium
September 15, 2007
Auburn Head Coach Tommy Tuberville
"Congratulations to Sylvester (Croom) and his team. They played hard. We played hard. We didn't execute very well on offense. It came down to a really good punt by their guy (73-yarder by Blake McAdams). It switched the field, and they got pretty good field position and defensively, we couldn't hold them. We had great effort. Turnovers continue to be our problem. We have to find a way to get rid of those. It was one of those games that we felt like we could get control of it, and we never did. We let them hang in there too long and they were able to get the last (score).
"It was good to see Brandon (Cox) come back in, and he was a leader the whole game talking to Kodi (Burns). Kodi gave us an opportunity, but when you only have so much offense that you can run, eventually it will get caught up with you. You have to be able to run a little bit more of the offense than what we were able to run with Kodi. Again, it was no need to hold Kodi out after the way Brandon started. He made a couple of bad throws and then after that, I thought Kodi did a good job. He will get a lot better, obviously. He will get better each week. We will have to look at the film and try to see where we are. This is a team that is going to have a lot of ups and downs, and we have to get some guys back on the field that hadn't been playing. The biggest thing is we have to keep our morale and keep our intensity. Our guys laid it on the line. It was a hard fought game, and they were able to find a little bit more points than we were."
On Mississippi State's last touchdown:
"They out-guessed us. It was anything that 3rd and 11 and they run the draw play, and we didn't have anybody there to make the tackle. We were guessing, and when you get down there, that's about what you have to do. They made a third down conversion, and we didn't make a fourth down conversion which is basically what the game came down to.
"We are not going to panic. The guys in there know. We knew the situation we were in when we started the season. It's not going to be overnight to get it all going in the right direction, but this hurts, especially a conference game at home. Last week hurt, but this one hurts a lot more."
On Auburn's intensity:
"We had no problem with intensity, it was just execution. You have to give Mississippi State credit. Their defense is pretty good. We knew that. They created the first two turnovers and tipped the first ball for the interception and then the touchdown. We are struggling a little bit running the ball. When you struggle running the ball, then that obviously will give you problems in the passing game. We are not doing things right in a lot of places, and it is not just quarterback. Brandon got a lot of blame last week, and there is blame everywhere ... me, all the coaches, players. This group knows where they are at, and they know what tjhey have to do. We have to look forward. We can't look back and dwell on these losses. We know we can win some games, and we know we can be a pretty good team. Our goal is to get better each week. We kind of took a step back this week in terms of big plays on both sides of the ball, but there is another game next week."
Did you have any thought about bringing Kodi Burns in on the 3rd and 9 at the end of the game?:
"We thought about it, but we knew we were going to have to throw the ball up there with what they doing on defense. They caught up pretty much with what Kodi was doing. We were only able to run three or four or five plays that he really knew and was able to get checks into. We thought about it, and we thought about the urgency of getting him down there and changing the tempo. It is always good hindsight."
On Mario Fannin:
"He is all we have. He is going to be a good football player. He has to learn, unfortunately, turnovers have cost us a couple of games. We have to keep harping on fundamentals and being disciplined. They did a good job of ripping the ball out. It was a little different than the fumbles last week. We have to take a step forward and start concentrating on that now. I thought both running backs ran hard."
On the decision to play Kodi Burns:
"We weren't really 100 percent on whether we were going to play him. We worked him a lot this week. We were hoping that we would come out and make some plays. Blake (Field) we feel like can move the ball too, but Blake is a lot like Brandon. We just needed a change of pace."
Defensive Player Quotes
On putting pressure on the MSU quarterbacks...
"It's always the most important thing for our defense. We did a pretty good job of it today. Putting pressure is supposed to come second nature to guys like us. We just tried to make him redirect or readjust how he was going to have to pass the ball, like throwing on one leg or things like that. That is what we build this defense on."
On the injuries to the defense ...
"You don't want to lose a starter ever, but when the backups come in it's important for everybody to step up. The young guys have done well at that. They know they have to be ready when their time comes, because it will come."
Pat Lee, DB
On MSU's offense ...
"They ran a lot, but they did come out passing a little bit. We were prepared well for their offense, we just couldn't execute as well as we needed to."
On the young guys playing ...
"The backups have stepped up tremendously in the past few games. Injuries are tough to deal with, but it helps when the backups are ready to come in."
Offensive Player Quotes
Mario Fannin, RB
On Mississippi State defense...
"They are an aggressive team. We came up short against a good team. They came in with the right mindset. We're going to come back this week and hit it hard. We'll bounce back"
On Kodi Burns performance...
"Kodi came in and did a great job. I commend him. He grew up a lot tonight."
On personal performance...
"I feel I could have done better. I'm going to come back and watch more film and try to get batter next week."
Ben Tate, RB
On sharing carries with Mario Fannin...
"We've got different styles of running. We were feeding of each other. It's going to make us push harder. We're in competition with each other"
On differing schemes...
The shotgun formation gave us some more opportunities. It gave us more chances to make some guys miss at the line.
Lee Ziemba, OL
On progression of the offensive line...
"As we've had more practice together we've gotten to know each other better. We've got to keep getting better. This was a tough loss."
On the Mississippi State defensive line...
"They were a very good front four. Titus Brown was as good as they say he is. He deserves all the accolades he has been receiving."
Mississippi State Post-Game Quotes
Mississippi State Head Coach Sylvester Croom
"That is a fine Auburn team. The game went just as I expected. It was a 60-minute ballgame and I told our players that it would be like that all week leading up to the game. Auburn has great defense, a great deal of pride, excellent coaching staff and we knew they would be ready to play. It was going to be a game of field position because the way Auburn is coached, they are sound and fundamental. The punt at the end, it changed the field position, it was a critical play. Our defense just made plays and I couldn't be more proud of them. The defense played start to finish and one play at a time. We played physical football for 60 minutes. We felt like if we could do that we would have a chance to win."
On losing Michael Hening...
"We didn't plan on losing Mike, but the great thing is that the other players didn't let it bother them. Wes [Carroll] came in and kept it up. He did a great job making the calls. There are a lot of things Wes has to get better at, he doesn't have the biggest arm in the world but he knows how to win and that was Woody's [McCorvey] call to play him. I wanted to go with Josh [Riddell], but Woody is calling the game so I decided to go with his decision. That was a great call and I am glad we did eventually get Josh in. Both of the quarterbacks that came in did a great job."
On Mississippi State...
"We played good last week and this week and this win is huge. The option quarterback [Kodi Burns], we knew they were going to play him, but it was hard to get ready for different types of quarterbacks. We are going to try that one day too; we are going to find us a guy that can run. It definitely creates problems for the defense when you have different styles of quarterbacks playing, it is hard to find one guy that can do it all. I thought our guys did a great job of adjusting. We weren't sure exactly how much Kodi [Burns] would play, he is an outstanding talent."
On the early lead in the first quarter...
"Our guys had confidence coming into this game after the way we played last week. The good thing is the guys didn't let the loss to LSU affect them, despite the criticism they were getting. I told them before the season, LSU would be the best team we would see the entire year. I even felt better after that game than before. We came out of that game feeling better about ourselves and I think that carried over to last week and again this week."
On the defense...
"The best thing about our defense is they kept their poise. After Auburn brought in Kodi [Burns] and he was running up and down the field, we were trying to blitz him and that created some problems for us but we made adjustments. The main thing about it is our defense just has to hit the guy. That is what our guys did. It was a very physical ballgame. The thing I like about our defense is that we go to the football and hit people."
On win being an upset...
"Not to us it wasn't. We felt like it was a dead-even game coming in. I am sure some people would call it an upset, but we don't care, we know who we are."
On being a personal victory...
"Not for me it wasn't. I told the players that it wasn't because they were in there saying this one was for me. I told them that it wasn't for me and that I had been here before. I have beat Auburn a lot of times."
Mississippi State Players
Anthony Dixon, RB
"We really came out and made a statement today. We showed we improved from the last two games. We didn't come in hoping that we could win. We came in expecting that we were going to win. Nobody would have believed on Friday that we would come in here and win but today they believe. We were able to jump on them early, gain some confidence and force their offense to start pressing. We didn't feel any pressure today. Coach Croom prepared us well all week, and we were ready for what they gave us today."
On the game-winning drive:
"Coach told me that he was going to give it to me to the goal line. He prepared me for that in practice, and we were able to take advantage when it happened."
Christian Ducre, RB
On scoring the game-winning TD:
"We ran that play all week in practice, Zebra 29. It was going to me. Once I saw the SAM linebacker get sealed, I knew I was going to score."
On backup QB Wesley Carroll:
"He showed a lot of poise coming in off the bench. That's a tough situation coming into a game like that, but he did what he had to do to give us a chance to win."
On what it means to the Miss. State program getting a win:
"This is definitely a big win for our program. It is tough telling people that we are getting better because we still have to go out there every day and prove it, but this is the kind of win that shows people that we aren't just talking, but playing."
Titus Brown, DL
On the goal line stand:
"That's when all the two-a-days and weight lifting come through. We just sucked up our guts and finished."
On adjusting to Kodi Burns:
"We didn't prepare for the option so it was just difficult to adjust to that."
On MSU's morale after the win:
"It is always good to win. We lost to LSU and then we beat Tulane and to get a win against Auburn is just great."
Josh Riddell, QB
"I just tried to manage the game. I didn't complete many passes, but I managed the game pretty good."
On the MSU QB competition:
"I am always ready for competition. You know I will get some reps, and he will get some reps as long as we win."
Wesley Carroll, QB
"I could just tell that we were confident. Everyone knew that we could run it down their throat and we did."
On Auburn DB Patrick Lee dropping the interception on is first pass attempt:
"I feel like I dodged a bullet when he missed the interception, but I didn't let it affect me, and I just kept playing."
On the final drive to win the game:
"I don't think it was amazing. I don't think it was just me. It was the whole team."
Derek Pegues, DB
"Our defense was pretty good. We need to get better. I would give us a C+. We gave up way too many rushing yards."
On his INT for the TD:
"The linebacker tipped it in the air, and I saw it floating so I just went up and got it."
On stopping Auburn on the final drive:
"We knew No. 5 (Tommy Trott) was dangerous. We knew the tight ends were very important to their offense, and we just bumped them to throw off the timing. I was very nervous, but Coach Croom always preaches mental toughness."