Auburn Post-Game Quotes
Pat Dye Field at Jordan-Hare Stadium
September 22, 2007
Auburn Head Coach Tommy Tuberville
"That was our best effort so far. We finally played offense, defense and the kicking game. We caused turnovers, and we only turned it over once. It was just a bad snap, and it was probably my fault putting Brandon (Cox) out there then. I want to brag on Brandon Cox for what he has been through. He brought us back, showed poise and showed a lot of class. That is what Auburn is about. I hope a lot of people saw that. That is exactly what it is about. He's a gutsy young man who took a lot the last couple of weeks, but came back and if it hadn't been for him, we would have been in a little bit of trouble tonight. It was a little leadership.
"Defensively, what can you say. We played hard. We gave up some plays. The defensive backs in that type of offense are put under pressure. We knew this was going to be a night where we were going to have to cause turnovers to win the game. We persevered, and we just kept on plugging and making plays. Rushing the ball ... 200 yards rushing ... when you do that, you have a chance to win the game.
"We had a new offensive line with three true freshman offensive linemen starting, and I have never been involved with that before. They competed hard and played hard, and we will wait to look at the film to see how good they did. We got some good movement, and I thought that it was a good performance by them to. They came out and almost put everybody on the line of scrimmage early to stop Kodi (Burns). They were put under a little bit of pressure. Overall, it was a good night. It was our second victory. Unfortunately, we hadn't played as good as we would have hoped, but I think this team will get stronger and stronger. We have to get some people back off the injured list. It has just been one of those years, but we make no excuses. We keep going on, and the guys who are here are going to get better, and it is going to pay off for us in the long run."
What made you change quarterbacks?:
"We just weren't doing anything, and we saw what they were doing. They were not going to let Kodi run the ball. They put eight, nine, 10 on the line of scrimmage, and we knew that we were going to have to throw the ball. Kodi doesn't know enough yet about throwing the football consistently so we put Brandon in. Obviously, the first snap was a little bit wild and we gave up seven points. It gave us an opportunity to run our entire offense. Kodi will get better as we go, but we obviously saw he performed pretty good for us tonight."
Is Brandon Cox going to be the starting quarterback?:
"Well, we will look at the film. We will want to play both of them, but obviously, he did a pretty good job. We will look at the film and I imagine he will be the guy who goes first next week."
On Auburn's kicking game:
"Wes did a great job. He probably kicked four of five in the end zone for touchbacks. That's big. It was just unfortunate and a little bit unlucky with our kicking game in the first few games. Our punter, (Ryan) Shoemaker, it was good to see him come back and kick that (62-yarder). That is a pretty good comeback.
What did you do difference on defense in the second half?:
"We got a little bit better pass rush. We told our guys at halftime that they hardly laid a hand on the quarterback the first half. We started moving up front a little bit. They are not a very complex protection team. They are fairly simple, but when they put their guy five yards deep, and he drops back out of the shotgun, it is hard to get to him. I thought we got a lot better push. We didn't change a lot. We probably blitzed three or four times. You blitz that offense, it is feast or famine, and we wanted to make them go the long distance. The second half, the key was field position. We had great field position the second half, and we were able to cause a couple turnovers for touchdowns."
On gaining some New Mexico State turnovers?:
"We didn't make anything happen the first three games. I hope it will catch up to us a little bit. We are owed a few, and obviously, we got some. It was good to see our guys have a lot of fun. It has been awfully tough the last couple of weeks, and it is good to see them relaxed and enjoy themselves and have some fun and enjoy. We are getting ready to start a pretty tough schedule coming up."
On the offensive line:
"We will look at the film. It looked like we created some more holes with 200 something yards rushing. The good thing is Brandon had a lot of time to throw the football. That is just as important. But, we need to get some of those guys back who are hurt. It was good to see fresh faces out there, whether they blocked the right guy or not, they were down the field trying to make a block."
Offensive Player Quotes
Brandon Cox, QB
On getting back on the winning track...
"We came out in the second half and really put it together. Offensively, we played on a short field a couple of times and started moving the ball and putting points on the board. We had the running game going, which opened up the play-action pass. We still didn't execute everything that we could have but we still put up a good number."
On the support he received over the past week...
"It's been a very stressful week for me and I just did the best I could. I had a lot of support from my teammates. They just kept telling me that they believed in me and that my time would come. It might be in this game, it might be in three games from now, but I came out and took advantage of my opportunity."
On the game...
"Everything just came together offensively. We only had one turnover and our defense picked up a bunch of turnovers and that was a big part of the game. Turnovers have hurt us big-time in the last two games and to finally control the ball and get some turnovers for a couple of short drives, that really helped us."
Mario Fannin, RB
On the win...
"We did what we had to do. We came out here and played together as a team. The defense stepped it up, the offense stepped it up and it was just a great atmosphere out there."
On his three touchdown performance...
"I give it all to God. I prayed about it before the game and it was a great experience. Ben (Tate) and I complement each other and push each other to do better. Our offense was getting after it today and it was just a great experience out there."
On scoring 55 points...
"We struggled at the beginning but we came together and took advantage of some situations, made some good decisions and put some points on the board."
Kodi Burns, QB
On first Auburn start...
"It felt good. It felt great knowing the coaches had enough confidence in me to put me out there. We've been struggling on offense but we started to get it together tonight."
On touchdown pass to receiver Rod Smith...
"He singled up down the left and I let loose. He went up for it. I've seen him on tv. I knew he could make that catch."
On the New Mexico State defense...
"They were pretty good and fought us very well. They gave us some looks we hadn't seen before and gave us a good game."
Rod Smith, WR
On touchdown pass from Kodi Burns...
"I knew it was coming to me. I turned around and came back on it. It was a great pass. It felt great getting in the endzone."
On the win...
"We wanted to come in, take the win and build some confidence going into Florida next week. We did that. We really came together as a team - all three teams."
Defensive Player Quotes
On getting his first career interception...
"Oh it felt great. If I would have scored I would have shown everybody how good it felt. It is a huge bonus to get something like that when you play on the defensive line."
On getting turnovers...
"It felt good because that is what we try to do every game. That is what the defensive line here at Auburn focuses on all day everyday. Turnovers are the main part of our defensive philosophy. We showed why tonight, and we showed what happens when you are able to force turnovers."
Jonathan Wilhite, DB
On getting two interceptions...
"It just shows you how God works. I have been real down lately, but my teammates have stayed behind me, so I was going to do whatever I could for them tonight. I credit our defensive line with those two picks because of how much pressure they were getting. Honestly, the ball just fell in my hands."
On New Mexico State's Offense...
"We looked at it as a challenge to our secondary when we thought about how many times they throw the ball a game. We knew they were going to make some plays. They have one of the leading receivers in the nation in terms of receptions."
On going into the Florida game next week...
"Florida is a great football team. This win will help us because next week is a big SEC game. Those are always tough. We know we are going to have to bring our A-game."
Pat Sims, DT
On getting a touchdown...
"It felt so good. It was my first touchdown in college. Hopefully I can get a ton more before I leave."
On getting six turnovers...
"We exceeded our goal. We shoot for three turnovers a game and we got double that."
On the Florida game...
"This game gives us a little momentum. We know what type of team they have. We are going to have to be ready to go after them and fly to the football on every snap."
New Mexico State Post-Game Quotes
New Mexico State Head Coach Hal Mumme
On what changed in the second half:
"Auburn figured out they could double Chris Williams and they doubled him every snap. We didn't have Derek Dubois; I had to leave him home for disciplinary reasons. We also didn't have Jeremiah Williams for the same reason. We also lost A.J. Harris and Nick Cleaver. You can't lose four of your five playmakers and play against a defense like Auburn, they are just too good. They were able to double Chris and sit on it and we had freshman playing in those other spots. The freshman that we played got a rude awakening."
On quarterback Chase Holbrook:
"Chase took the blame for those interceptions and I think he was just being a good leader. I don't think it was all him. There wasn't anywhere to go with the ball. I want Chris to make as many plays as he can. If I start talking to him when he is making poor plays, he isn't going to make any plays. So I am going to leave him alone. I turn him loose to return kicks and let him do whatever he wants to, if he messes up it is my fault."
On the speed of Auburn's defense:
"I was really curious coming into this game because we are building our program and we have to give it time to process. I was curious as to how we would match up and really overall I was pretty pleased. I thought the first half, we accounted for ourselves well. If we had playmakers in the second half, I think we could have had a better second half. I am not saying we couldn't beat Auburn, but I do think speed-wise, we were further down the road than I thought we were. I know that Auburn is fast, you can see that on film. Quentin Groves is a terrific player and the safety (Zac Etheridge) that hit A.J. Harris and caused a fumble early, it was a terrific hit. Unless you are really fast you can't make that play."
On energy in the first half:
"I was pleased with the way we played, I thought we played well, we just got to the second half and ran out of troops."
New Mexico State Players
Justin Buries, RB
On the offensive game-plan...
"We came into the game wanting to be aggressive on offense. We wanted to attack, attack, attack. We watched a lot of film on Auburn, but film and in-person are totally different things. Their front seven are incredibly fast. They make plays and disrupted our offense. We gave up a lot of points tonight on offense with the turnovers and not being able to execute like we wanted to."
On the second half...
"We came out with a lot of confidence, but we had some injuries and Auburn was able to take control of the game. You can't take anything away from their defense; they came out and made plays when they had to."
Brandon Allen, WR
On playing in an SEC stadium...
"This is my second time; I played at Arkansas in 2004. The crowd was loud and made a lot of noise, but it didn't affect us. We were ready to play and not intimidated."
On his touchdown catch...
"It was a simple corner route. We had a touchdown taken away in the first quarter, so I had to come back and make up for it. We were playing very aggressive in the first half and were able to make plays, but you have to give Auburn credit. They adjusted to what we were doing."
On the first half...
"Our offense was explosive. The defense came out and stopped them and we went into the locker room feeling we could win."
On the second half...
"They started playing man and breaking up our passes. Up front, they knew when we would run and when we would pass they would drop back eight to our four. If they were guessing our plays, that's pretty good, even though we call our plays at the line."
Chase Holbrook, QB
On his performance...
"Our defense got us going and I started making plays. When we came into the second half I made some mistakes that hurt us a lot."
On going into the second half with only one starting wide receiver due to injuries...
"I have confidence in the guys we put out there. I felt I was just doing a little too much. I just needed to get my guys the ball."
On his confidence coming into the game...
"I thought we could win coming off the UTEP win, that was big for us, so our confidence was really high."