Auburn vs. LSU - Post-game Quotes
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Tre Mason

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Tre Mason
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Sept. 22, 2012

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Auburn vs. LSU
Pat Dye Field at Jordan Hare Stadium
Auburn, Ala. | Sept. 22, 2012

Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik

"I want to start out with a non-football related situation. It is a very heavy heart for myself and a lot of our players and a lot of our coaches right now. The young man, who was a student assistant (coach) with us, in football passed away shortly before the game unexpectedly, and it is very tragic. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. (His name is) Joe Bagwell (23 years old from Huntsville, Ala., first year as a student coach and was a student trainer last year), and that was tough. I want to say thank you to all of our fans tonight because they were All In, and they came and they showed up, and they did their job, and they were outstanding. That is what makes Auburn great. The football part of it, it's very disappointing. We played against our second top 10 team and had chances to win the game, but we didn't finish, and it is disappointing, but our goal every week is to improve. I saw a lot of improvement out of our football team tonight in a lot of different ways. Give LSU a lot of credit. They are an extremely talented and extremely physical football team, and they are very good. So, it was a hard-fought battle, and we didn't come out on the right end of that. That is very disappointing to me, and everybody in the locker room. So, we worked hard in preparation for the game, and I couldn't be more proud of the players for the preparation that they put into the game. We went into the game fully expecting to win, and it didn't happen. So, we are going to go back to work and try to continue to stay on track for improvement, and we have this week off which we are going to be able to rest up a little bit. Again, try to get a lot of corrections made based on what we saw again tonight, go back to work this week. I'm very proud of the kids in the locker room, and they played very, very hard tonight. They put it out there, and they were All In, too. So, that is where we are."

On how big a step do you think Auburn took tonight...
"I think if you just look at the whole entire body of work and how hard they played, it was a field position game which we knew going in it was going to be, and we knew it had to be. I think it sums it up. I am very proud of the effort they gave, and the improvement they made. I love the kids in the locker room. That's the bottom line. They blocked out all of the distractions, and they really try to work. We've had good days of practice, and I felt good going into the game, but we didn't finish, and there will be a day when we will. We are going to continue to grind and work until we can."

On quarterback Jonathan Wallace's performance...
"Jonathan has made a pretty consistent track in terms of improvement out of practice, and we like his poise. He is an extremely intelligent young man when it comes to the game of football. He was very successful in high school with his team, and he earned the right to play. That is as simple as I can put it, and he will continue to earn the right to play some more. He did some things tonight. It is tough getting in there for the first time in a game like this and being productive. I am sure there are some things obviously that we will look at tomorrow that he can certainly improve on, but we figure that tonight was a good time to start with him. So, I was very proud of him. He secured the ball. He made some tough yards when we needed him to, which was exciting to see, and we will continue to work him."

On Auburn's running game tonight...
"It was an extremely difficult defensive line to run the ball inside on, and we knew that going in. Very few people have been able to do that. So, we felt like we had a good plan going in with some perimeter runs mixing up some of the inside runs as well. We can't totally get away from that, and at some points in there, a couple of things opened up for us. Again, we wanted to keep the game close with field position and try to run the ball some and hit the ball down the field a couple of times on some passes and keep the game close. So, we were able to open up some of the running lanes there to help us do that."

On the heart of the Auburn defense...
"I won't just say our defensive heart, I am going to say the heart of our football team period. Special teams, defense, but there was one point in there ... third downs are a big deal for us, obviously, and they have been a big point of contention for us in the first few games, and I think at one stretch in there they had quite a few third down stops in a row (nine). We are starting to gain a little confidence. That was really, really good to see. They hit that one on us at the end of the game, the throw back off the boot there, and we missed a tackle, and that pretty much sealed the game for the most part or at least it got it down to the wire. Again, I am very proud of the defensive strides we made. Do we have a long way to go? Absolutely."

On Robenson Therezie and Enrique Florence...
"Again, some of those are tight ends or substitution patterns. So if we feel like, again, when certain guys come into the game, particularly in the secondary, I think that is where you see it most often that if they have X amount of receivers in the game, then you bring X amount of DBs in the game. Therezie's role was a little bit different when they brought in two tight ends tonight. He is a physical corner and so we threw him in there and he played quite a bit in that role so you will see guys going in and out just depending on their roles. So, that is what you saw with those guys tonight including Enrique."

Is this game going to eat at you on the missed opportunities in tonight's game...
"It is obviously something that you hope that when guys have opportunities to make plays with receivers that are open or guys who are in the open field, you see the right cut, and you make the right cut. Obviously, that is something that we wish they all would see and do, but the reality of the game is, it doesn't always work that way, but to say that it is going to eat at me, you can't pin one game down on this guy not doing this and this guy not doing that. I am not doing that. That was a team loss. That eats at me, but not the play of one particular guy on one particular play."

On when Robenson Therezie became a defensive back again and what went into that decision...
"Well, we still played him on both sides. Again, when you have guys that have some limited roles on either side, and you can do just a few things with them then they can bounce back and forth at practice and get both of those done. So, this week the role fit. We knew it was going to be a situation where they were going to come in with two tight ends and make it a very physical perimeter game as well as an inside game, and he fit the bill."

On running on 3rd and 12 on the next to last possession...
"The thinking was that we were playing really well on third down, and the thinking was there was if I remember correctly, about four and a half minutes left in the game. It was all about field position because we needed a field goal to win it, and out thought was to see if we could pop some inside run on them. They were dropping back into a coverage that allowed us to do that or at least gave us a shot to do it. What we didn't want to do was have any turnovers or anything that backed us up with any negative plays, so it was a field position game at that point. I said it before and I will say it again, that if we have to put the game in the hands of our special teams, punting and getting out and creating field position advantages, we will always do that. Again, with our defense playing well on third down, we thought it would turn into a field position game, and that is why we did it."

On if Jonathan Wallace will play more going forward...
"I just think there are some things that he did in high school that he is very efficient at. So, some of the things that he did in high school, it is kind of like what we did with Kiehl (Frazier) last year. You bring these guys along, and you give them a small package. They grow in the offense in terms of what they can and can't handle, but he is very comfortable with that because he has done it a lot. I wouldn't read anymore into that. He has gotten better, and he has improved in that part of the game."

On Kiehl Frazier's performance...
"I think Kiehl did some nice things tonight. There is no question about that. There are going to be some throws that he wishes that he could take back, and we do, too, but overall, he is improving. I think he has to get back there and make decisions and get rid of the football, especially when you are going against pass rushes like the one we saw tonight, and the ones we are going to see a lot more of. Again, he is on a journey, and that journey is going to include a lot of days where you have to improve, and I think that has to continue to be the case."

On Offensive Coordinator Scot Loeffler coaching from the field tonight...
"Going into the game, we just felt like in this type of game, it would be good to have him down there so he could certainly be there with Kiehl, looking him in the eye and being able to go over what just happened and be one step ahead down there with him down there on the bench with what was going to happen next. That combined with Jonathan Wallace being a part of the game plan, we felt that was the right thing to do."

On Corey Lemonier's performance "I think he did some nice things. I think he really played hard. I think that was really, really good to see, and he is going to have to continue to be a guy that steps up and can elevate the game of not just him, but that has to permeate through the rest of the defense. So, he made some things happen early, and I think the quarterback felt some pressure from him early. That is the idea. It doesn't always have to be a sack. We will look at the film tomorrow and really look and see exactly how well he played, but I know he played hard."

On where you wanted to get the ball on the final drive to kick a field goal? "He can make them from 50, but we feel really good hitting right around the 23 yard line. If we get that thing from the 40 in, we feel like, it is in our favor."

LSU Head Coach Les Miles

Opening statement...
"First of all, anytime you come down to Auburn and you get a victory on the road, it's a great win, and if I look back in the times of being here in many different scenarios, this was just like a traditional LSU-Auburn game. Nothing routine about it. We had a nice drive, get down to the one-yard-line, lose a center somewhere in the drive. The young center gets on the goal line and has a hiccup and we turn the ball over and turn the ball over again and suddenly instead of having a different score, we're in a dog fight start to finish. We were sloppy. It's interesting, we practice the ability not to have penalties, but what happens is guys lose their poise. This is a tremendous lesson for us which is something that we'll certainly be able to teach from in a very aggressive manner, but again, the piece that needed to be tested the most which put us in a tight game in the back end--you have to have a drive to win a game. Frankly, defense played extremely well. Played better in the second half. The offense monitored the drive when they needed to and were tested and answered the call. Not perfect, work to do, but we'll take a victory on the road at Auburn."

On Mettenberger's first SEC and road game...
"I'll say I liked him. There's some things he did wrong, there's some positions we put him in that didn't favor him, some guys that were supporting him did some things that they shouldn't have, but what he showed was character, toughness and really made the plays that he needed to make at crunch time. We'll be able to build off that, I believe."

On the third down throwback to Ware...
"It's something that we operate with out of our two tights and it's the pressure that he had and then the way he threw it in, to me he made a real decision to put some heat on that ball, and that really was the reason that Ware had the ability to advance it like he did."

On Auburn's defense...
"I think Auburn's defense is a good front. I think they're mobile, I think they're aggressive, I think they played physical football. I think we missed some passes, I think we mis-executed some, but anytime you line up with this quality of an opponent, you're tested most."

On the first-quarter sack and fumble...
"I think when you fumble on the one yard line, that's a miserable place to turn the ball over, and it's interesting that we get the two and then obviously take the lead, but when you compound the fumble, it should've been 7-0 and then maybe 14-0. The issue then is the turnovers. There's nothing good by turnovers."

On the call for the muffed punt...
"I didn't get to see much of the instant replay, and what I got from the press box was it definitely hit him, then after the instant replay it didn't appear that it did, I guess."

On going for it on the last possession...
"No, we were going to kick a field goal."

Auburn Player Quotes

TE Philip Lutzenkirchen

On the game overall...
"Disappointing. We fought our tails off. Defense played really well. Offense didn't. We kept the defense on the field most of the game and you can't do that."

What can you take away from the game?
"We know we can play with anybody in the country. We just have to put it all together. We blocked it down at the end with two top ten teams. We know it's there, so we have to keep getting better and finish."

RB Onterio McCalebb

On the game overall...
"I think we got out there and played hard. LSU is a good team. We just fell short."

On running game...
"Our motto is run into the game to run the ball. When we ran the ball sometimes good, but sometimes we didn't. We went in there and played hard off the line. We played real hard. Tight ends played hard. Full backs played hard. Everybody played hard."

DB T'Sharvan Bell

On Auburn's play...
"We played with a lot of passion, a lot of energy. A lot of guys had fun competing out there tonight. We just came up a little short. We've got to practice finishing better. That's the only thing that I see missing. Execution, of course, was a part, but we just have to learn how to finish the game."

On defensive changes...
"We have a great defensive coordinator and a great D line coach, linebacker coach, secondary coach. Our defensive staff is literally stacked. They put us in a position to make plays. We were very good at making plays sometimes. Sometimes, we weren't so good. The change-up was a good thing. Coach [VanGorder] steered us in the right direction. We just have to finish."

On the atmosphere in Jordan-Hare...
"It was rocking. I knew it was going to be rocking, just the fact that it was a night game and LSU coming here. The fans are going to come out and yell a lot at us and cheer the whole time, timeouts and everything. It was a great atmosphere. That's what you come to Auburn for."

QB Kiehl Frazier

On tonight's game...
"We played a great team. We have to give them all their credit. There's a reason why they're number two in the country. We really left a lot of plays out there. We let them out there, and we wanted to try to come out and finish the job this week."

On the offensive coordinator/ quarterback coach being on the sideline...
"I felt comfortable with him out there, because normally what he sees and what I see is a little different. Talking to him after plays really helped me today." On the phone call he received from Jason Campbell...
"It meant a lot. He basically said not to worry about what other people think. Play for your teammates, and that's what I tried to do today."

DB Josh Holsey

On tonight's game...
"It was a good game. Both teams played well. We just have to learn how to finish in the end. We need to go back to the drawing board and get to work again."

On his pass breakup at the end...
"I was just trying to make a play. I didn't think he was going to throw it, because I was covering so well. I saw it and I just made a play on the ball."

On the improvement of the defense...
"We just kept telling each other we have to come out and play hard every play. We all bought into the mentality that we're just going to just bust them in the mouth as soon as possible. Everyone bought into the defense, and it paid off very well."

On learning from this close game...
"We've been in two of them, so we know how to play in them, we just need to know how to execute in the end. We need to finish and execute; that's all."

On the atmosphere at Jordan-Hare Stadium...
"It was crazy. I knew it was like that from being in the stands, but actually being on the field it was crazy. You can barely hear yourself even talk. The stands go wild. It was nice. I love it."

DE Dee Ford

On tonight's game...
"(It was) hard-fought. It was an SEC battle. We came into this game confident, and we knew it was going to come down to the wire. We just didn't finish. That's the thing we have to work on. We just have to work on finishing. We had a top-two team in the nation down to the wire, and we did not finish. We're going to keep fighting. We had a lot of positive things, but we're not happy about losing. We expected to win. We did not want to play this close."

On having success getting into the LSU backfield...
"We knew that was going to be the keys. Great players make plays at great times in great games. We stepped it up a little bit, but there's still a lot we have to work on. There are a lot of things I still have to work on. I had an offside penalty and some other things that jeopardized our defense."

On changes made to be successful on defense...
"There were no changes, we just stuck with our plan and what we've been working on. We knew we had a great defense, we just had to work on our execution. And we just kept working and kept working. I've started to believe, and the game has started to slow down. I think it's more (about) time, but there's nothing different."

LSU Player Quotes

QB Zach Mettenberger

On tonight's game...
"I made a couple mistakes early on, but (the win) really showed the character of this team. It got tough late, but we were able to come out of this one with the win."

On first road SEC game...
"I wasn't really nervous. I knew that this was probably going to be the biggest game of my life so far. I think I handled the pressure well."

On third down throwback pass...
"I knew that it had potential to be a big play for us. Fortunately it worked out. We had to have it, because if they stopped it, it probably would have been a little different."

On mistakes...
"I think a lot of these guys know we haven't played our best complete game yet. I'll show up ready to work tomorrow and Monday and really work out the penalties and kinks, and just really tune everything up for Towson and get ready to work."

LB Luke Muncie

On tonight's victory...
"This is a huge victory. It was too close to call, but a win's a win, and we're going to have a lot of stuff to look at for next week. As of right now, we're 1-0 in the SEC, and we're trying to make a push for the western division championship and the SEC Championship. If we can do that, that's all that matters." On the defense stepping up in the second half and not allowing Auburn to score... "Defensively, I think we did really good the whole night. They had less than 100 yards going into halftime, and it was just little mistakes, and overall, I think we all played really good as a team on defense."

On what DE Sam Montgomery said to the team at halftime...
"Just to turn it up. We were playing good already, but you can always play better. We just came together as a team overall and just pushed each other I guess. We were more vocal and made the right calls. We played with a higher tempo."

On if he feels they needed a competitive win going into SEC play...
"I definitely think it has its ups and its down. I feel like being such a close game that we showed everyone that we can pull through at the end and come together as a team and work hard, but it also shows us that we need to be humble and continue to improve. We're not going to be good enough to go to the National Championship until that time comes."

On the punt return that was overturned and the ball given back to Auburn...
"I thought that it hit (T'Sharvan Bell's) shoe, and I just fell on it. I thought it was my ball, but I guess it wasn't."

On his interception...
"We played a lot of man and I was lined up against him, and Coach (John) Chavis really stressed keeping your eyes on him and know what he's going to do. I kept my eyes on him and did everything Coach Chavis taught me, and it just worked out for the best."

DE Sam Montgomery

On being a big favorite and playing a close game...
"Sometimes you have to deal with whatever comes to you. This was a rough time that really tested our preparation this summer. That really came true today to see which team worked harder this summer. I was glad this happened. This gives us a lot of film to go back and make corrections"

On addressing his teammates in the locker room at halftime...
"I believe that during times of adversity, the older, veteran players have to get everybody's heads on straight to lead and go and play for victory."

On playing a close game on the road...
"Oh yeah, it was a shock to our system. It was some young guy's first time on the road and not knowing what to expect. A couple of veteran guys hadn't been in that situation in a long time. It was really a shock to our whole program, but we adjusted. We stuck our backs up. That's one thing that we have a feeling on and we can go make corrections. Maybe focus more on during the week.