South Carolina vs. Auburn Postgame Quotes
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Sept. 25, 2010

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Auburn Locker Room

Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik

"That is a great SEC win against a really, really good football team. Coming out of the locker room, I can't be more proud of our guys. Again, coming down from (13) points at one point two weeks in a row against two really, really good football teams. They have the word respond that we use a lot. Our guys have just responded. It is not always pretty. There are a lot of things as we look back on it are not good. These guys are fighting, clawing and scratching and trying to find a way to win every week. That's just so much appreciative as me being the head coach and all the assistants as well because we know these guys go to fight for Auburn and they fight for us and they fight for their teammates. Because of that, you know you have a chance to have a good football team. We are not playing great on both halves still. In the first half, we turned the ball over twice and in the second half, we got four turnovers. It is just team wins. It is just team wins. When one side is not doing well, it seems like the other side steps up but more than anything that I notice about our football team is they are coming together as a team and they don't ever flinch and that's hard to get. We are starting to get that and we are starting to have a personality of some sort. We have to play much better and much more consistent, but they'll fight, they'll fight. I was really proud of our offensive line tonight. We challenged them all week to make this a physical football game. I don't think there is any question that happened tonight. It is just a great win for Auburn and the Auburn Family."

On Cam Newton's performance
"You can just read Cam's numbers and they speak for themselves. He is a competitor. Cameron is a very humble guy who just comes to work every day. I think he is getting better as a quarterback and a team leader and a guy who can manage our offense every week. I am a little reluctant to say that because he is in here. I see him out of the corner of my eye, but the facts are the facts. Our team knows that I speak the truth whatever I think is right. He has been a great addition to our football team. I think he has handled all of the circumstances really, really well with a lot of class. He was a huge reason we won the football game tonight. Let's not make any mistake about it, but there were a bunch of others out there that did it, too, and let's not lose sight of that. I am very proud of him and just proud of the whole team."

Do you think holding South Carolina to 79 yards rushing was the key to the game?
"I think so. There were some things that we did defensively where we gave up too many big plays, but we knew going into the game that we had to stop the run game without question. We felt like we could get pressure on the quarterback and do some different things if we could get them to throw it and we stopped the run early. That, in our opinion, was the key to them having to throw the football and us having a chance for turnovers and that's kind of the way it unfolded."

On having a lot of guys around Marcus Lattimore the whole game
"We had a lot of guys around whoever had the ball I hope. It's not about that. It was just about playing really good run defense."

On the game Mike Dyer had with 23 carries for 100 yards
"I am going to say about Mike like I've said about so many of our guys. I couldn't be more proud of a young guy who came on. I asked him before the game, I said, `Can you carry it 20 times? Can you carry it 20 times?' He just kind of laughed at me and said, `You kidding me?' We knew we were going to give it to him between 20 and 25 times, and he seemed like he got a little bit stronger as the game went on. We had one mishap in there where he didn't protect the football. He'll learn from that. Hopefully, that is not anything that we can't fix. But, I couldn't be prouder of him."

On creating four turnovers
"It was good. I have always said turnovers are strange defensively. Sometimes you get none and sometimes they come in bunches, and you don't know how and why. We preach it and talk about it. Coach (Ted) Roof does a great job at just really honing in on our guys about the importance of those things. We work in practice. We haven't had many, but in the second half I think that certainly was a key point to winning the game. I am proud of our guys on defense and our defensive staff."

How is this 4-0 different from a year ago?
"We've had three really, really tough games in a row. Not that we didn't at this point last year, but I think we've been challenged in a lot of ways. We've been challenged on the road in a tough environment to a very good football team and were able to win that. We were challenged last week to go down by 17 against another very good football team that played in the ACC Championship a year earlier. Tonight, we got challenged going down against a great SEC team going down by (13) in this game. I don't know what the difference is this time. Last year, I have no idea. I just know that we were 4-0 last time last year at this time where we are now. We are very happy with that, but I am going to say it again. We are not satisfied with where we are and won't be, but I am just excited about our team."

On how the team responded about the missed field goal, getting the turnover and then going down to score
"Going back to what my original statement was, you know usually in that situation we are going to get three points. I mean if history would play itself out the way it usually does, that was an automatic three points. You know, it didn't happen that way so somebody had to rally and respond. Again, defensively when we weren't playing well, the offense responded with long drives and running the football and trying to wear out the front seven. When the defense needed to respond with big plays and interceptions to ice the game, that happened twice. It's all around. It's not one group or another. It is all around, but it is good to see again different factions of our team stepping up to the plate and delivering."

In the second half, it looked like you played really well on third down compared to the first half
"Off the top of my head, I am not sure what the percentages were. We went into halftime and we knew the third downs were getting away from us a little bit, and we decided to go with a couple of different things that might stir it up a little bit, and I thought again Coach Roof and Coach (Gus) Malzahn both on third downs we were pretty productive it seemed like in the second half on both sides of the ball. I know what you are asking but again, third down is so important on both sides of the ball. We have to get better at it and I think we will. Again, at the end of the day right now, it was a great team win and I couldn't be more proud of our team."

Emory Blake, WR

On tonight's performance...
"We knew it was going to be a tough game and we knew we had to put together four quarters. We didn't come out until the second half last week, but we knew if we came out and played a full game we would win."

On 12-yard TD reception...
"It was a simple bubble screen, and Jay (Wisner) blocked well on the outside. I was hungry to get into the endzone. No one could have stopped me from getting in there."

On defeating a ranked SEC opponent...
"It was a big game for us. We knew it was going to be tough. We knew they were a good team and we knew the offensive line had to play well. A lot of guys had to block on the perimeter, and make big plays. We knew we had to have a good running game and that is what we did."

Michael Dyer, RB

On tonight's game...
We came out in the first half and played, but the defense stepped up and got it for us. In the second half, we came out and played our normal routine. We focused on holding onto the ball more, and tried to do the little things right. We came out there and did our best."

On getting 334 rushing yards as a team...
"Coach called the right plays at the right times. Guys responded well and we did everything we were supposed to do tonight. In the second half, we went out there and did what was asked of us. Our offensive line just dominated in the second half. Whatever it took, however long it took, they came up and gave it their best. Sometimes we needed them so they responded. Whatever third downs or fourth downs we need, they came through. It would have never started without the line."

On getting another comeback win...
"Everybody in here is family. When family goes through trials, they stick together, and that is what this family did. We stick together no matter what we do. We had several fumbles, and the offensive line said keep going, we know you all are better than that. We really appreciated that. When you look around, all you see is family out here."

Cameron Newton, QB

On being a second-half team...
"We have a lot of guys that are relentless. I am truly blessed to be a part of this team and we are a special bunch of guys. We are truly blessed to be on a team like this with teammates that want to get better each week."

On his individual performance...
"I think I could have played better. All the credit goes to the offensive line for stepping up to the challenge tonight. The defense and the offensive line did what they were supposed to do and it showed statistically."

On the offense's pace...
"I thought we had a good pace going until I got to the sideline and Coach Malzahn told us that we were doing great, but we had to go faster."

Nosa Equae, DE

On first start...
For me it was a blessing. I'm glad I could be a part of this program. I went to the A.D and thanked him for letting me be here. My teammates have been saying all week, `Come on Nosa. This is your week.' I thank coach (Tracy) Rocker. I know I didn't play a perfect game by any means. I'm going to go get into the film and try and get better."

On second half...
"We made some corrections in the locker room at half time. We knew we had to play our game. Up front we had to dominate. Coach (Tracy) Rocker said from the beginning if we dominate up front we are going to win this game."

Josh Bynes, LB

On his interception in the fourth quarter...
"The pick was great. I saw the receiver stop out of the corner of my eye. I just kept my coverage and didn't budge one bit. I knew that somehow, someway the ball was going to come to me. It landed right in my hands."

On stopping the South Carolina running game...
"We did very well all game stopping the run. That was our main focus coming into this game. We have to get better at containing the passing game and work on better communication but other than that I think we did a great job. The turnovers helped out tremendously. That means the defensive line did their job. When they do their job, we are going to win game just like that. The linebackers and the secondary will have to stay on point, coverage wise."

Mike Blanc, DL

On the importance of this game...
"We knew they were going to come in and try to run the ball on us. Defensively, we made it our goal that they would have to beat us with the run and we weren't going to let them pass on us."

On the importance of the fourth quarter South Carolina turnovers...
"Coach Chizik was telling us all week that we needed to force more turnovers. We went out there and did that. We knew that they were going to try and run the ball. We have a great defensive line and a great secondary and we decided that we were not going to let us beat us."

Demond Washington, DB

On the game-clinching interception...
"My hat goes off to Neiko Thorpe and Zac (Etheridge) as they were there to make the play with me. I was just the one to make the play. But my hat really goes off to the entire defensive unit as a whole."

On special teams...
"My hat really goes off to all my teammates who were out there blocking for me. I'm just the one out there hitting all the holes and they're doing all the hard work, and I really think they did a great job tonight."

On his play as a whole...
"I'm always going out there trying to get better. I don't think I played that good, but I'll go back to work on Tuesday and work on getting better."

Brandon Mosely, OL

On his first career start...
"It was awesome and I loved it. I really can't explain it. Tonight was one of the greatest nights of my life and I really enjoyed it."

On the crowd tonight...
"It was louder than anything I've ever played in front of. The fans here are terrific and they are true to the team. They are here for us no matter and that is why I really love the fans.

On his performance tonight...
"I had a couple of stupid penalties. I was leaning on one of the plays and I was blocking up field when I should have been behind the line on one of the pass plays. But other than that, I think I played really good."

Mike Berry, OL

On his performance...
"I think we played good. The offensive line came out and tried to make a statement and we did that. We tried to be physical and we proved that by having over 300 yards rushing. I feel like we did a great job tonight."

On South Carolina's defense...
"Throughout the night, we just had to keep plugging away. They're a great defense and we don't want to take anything away from them. We knew it was going to be a fight and we came out there with that mindset. "

On the team having 300 yards rushing...
"It's just great when you have over 300 yards rushing. It means you're doing something right. We just need to capitalize on that and get ready going into next week."


South Carolina Locker Room

Head Coach Steve Spurrier

Opening Statement...
"We played well tonight but we were night good enough. We had some good breaks here and there. It was a close game at halftime. We had trouble stopping them, but we stopped them enough and them our quarterback fumbled a few times and they scored, but still we moved the ball. We had our chances and we lost both of our fumbles. They fumbled once to us but we could not score on it. So in close games, against good teams, if we get good plays we've got to make them. That's the size of it. We had a hard time stopping their quarterback from running and we could not run well, their defensive line got the best of us. We had some good plays here and there. I think we had a good play late with a quarterback draw but we fumbled."

Did you make a QB change because of the fumbles or was Garcia groggy?
"A little of both. He didn't throw it.

On getting Connor Shaw play time...
"Conner has got to get a look. He played well in there. We saw cover two defense all night. We had our chances tonight but did not play well and again that is pretty much it."

On Auburn being able to run the ball...
"I did not think they would run it that well against us. I think we held them to about six plays but they only had seven points. After they hit the upright on the field goal, we had some good plays, but when they fumbled to us we could not scoop it up."

On Alshon Jeffery's performance...
"Alshon had a great game. He is a big time receiver. To bad we could not win it. We were not good enough to win it"

On preparations for the next two weeks and quarterback situation...
"No, we will not worry about that. We have a funeral to go to Monday. Then we will worry about who the next opponent is, after we have our open date and then get ready for Alabama next week."

Shaq Wilson, LB

On the defensive effort...
"We just have to execute it a little bit like the simple stuff. We just have to stay with our keys and make plays in big time situations."

On difficulty to defend against Auburn ...
"We just have to tackle well and stay in our right positions."

On being back on the field for the first time...
"It felt great and it was fun to be out there making plays and being out there with my friends, but it's a sad feeling when you lose. It's bittersweet."

On the middle hurting the defense in the first four games...
"They made plays and we can't take anything away from Auburn. They made plays when they had to. We just didn't come up with the big plays."

On difficulty tackling Cameron Newton...
"It's not hard at all, he's a good athlete and all and he deserves what he gets. But it's not hard at all."

On the two fumble recoveries...
"Being around the ball, we just go full speed like Coach Johnson tells us; good things happen when you go full speed."

On Coach Johnson dwelling on the fumble out of bounds on the sidelines...
"He will just tell us we've got to do better, put it behind us, and get ready for `Bama."

Marcus Lattimore, RB

On USC running game never getting started ...
"They're real tough up front, and their linebackers are tough too; it was really tough to get it going, and we never did."

On Auburn's running game...
"They've got a big physical offensive line, and they're good. They're Quarterback and running backs ran hard tonight.

On holes not appearing up front and what he should have done to get through...
"Yes some of it was on me, and some of it was on the o-line, but we've just got to correct our mistakes. I should have adjusted my reactions, my reactions were really slow."

On losing to Auburn after almost coming there...
"It's real tough, but I mean every coach over there are nice guys, I love every single one of them. It was fun to be out there, but we should have beat them."

On bouncing back...
"We're going to bounce back, bounce back hard, we're going to practice hard in these two weeks we've got, to prepare for the best team in the land."

On Mike Dyer...
"He's good, he's real good."

Cliff Matthews, DE

On Auburn's running game...
"We weren't stopping them, so they kept running."

On Cameron Newton...
"They played better than we did today; they executed a lot of stuff, we blew a few assignments, and we weren't where we were supposed to be, and they played better than we did today."

On Auburn's offensive schemes...
"I mean it's football, you know, they're going to make plays just like we are, but they made more plays than we did today."

On 2nd half fatigue...
"We had plenty of time to rest, so we didn't need it."

On good time for a bye week...
"Yeah, I think it's a good time to have a bye week, especially in the middle of the season, to give us a chance to work on a lot of our fundamentals, and to just get better and move on."

On leading the team out of a loss...
"We just have to turn it up another notch, we've got to practice harder, work on the fundamentals, stay after practice working on extra stuff, whatever it takes to get better."

Connor Shaw, QB

On getting put in the game...
"I wasn't surprised. That's why I prepare myself all week during practice. When he calls on me I've got to be ready to go."

On thinking his last pass to Jeffrey was their chance to win the game...
"I did. And that's the reason I let it go, you know, find #1. And you think he's going to come down with it but it just doesn't always happen like that."

On his first interception...
"Yeah, I looked off the safety and didn't see the dropping linebacker."

On getting called to warm up and having an idea that he was going in the game...
"They told me to warm up, but it was nothing more than that. I was ready. I prepared myself."

On thinking he deserves a chance at the starting job...
"That's not my call."

On having two weeks to prepare for Alabama...
"We'll start practicing next week and preparing for Alabama, and it's probably a good thing that we've got some time off to get some rest and heal some injuries."

On what you take away from playing in this kind of atmosphere...
"It was disappointing, but I got the experiences I needed, so we'll just see how it goes from here."

Steven Garcia, QB

On feeling disoriented when he was taken out of the game...
"A little bit. But Connor played pretty well. We had our chances to win. You just can't fumble twice in the second half-that killed every single drive and pretty much killed momentum."

On what happened with the fumbles...
"The just knocked it out. I guess I just wasn't holding it secure enough."

On what happened with the second fumble...
"It was supposed to be an out route to Ace Sanders and I didn't think I could make the throw to him because the guy was on his back, so I looked across for Alshon and it looked like he was covered so I kind of came back underneath and I guess I just fumbled."

On how he views this loss...
"It was huge. We had our chances to win the game and we should have won it, but turnovers in the second half just killed us."

On his first fumble giving away momentum...
"That's exactly what happened. It gave momentum right back to them and it led to an easy touchdown."

On why the running game couldn't get going...
"No idea. We'll watch film on Monday and I guess we'll find out."

On whether this game will be viewed as the one that got away...
"Definitely."

On Alshon Jeffrey's game tonight...
"What were his stats? I mean, he played phenomenal. He caught pretty much everything that was thrown at him, but he normally does. We expect that from him now."

On how they view their chances at an SEC championship after tonight's loss...
"You know, it's only one SEC game. We had our chances to win it, but we've still got to move forward and get ready for Alabama in two weeks. We're just going to take it one game at a time."

On having anything to take away from this game...
"I don't think so. A loss is a loss, and that's really all that matters. We're 3-1 and we had a chance to be 4-0, so you can't really take anything away from it.

On needing these next two weeks off...
"I guess we'll find out. I think it's good for us but we have to practice pretty hard this next week and just get ready for [Alabama] and watch a lot of tape on [Alabama]."

On Coach Spurrier saying he'll be giving Connor Shaw a longer look at the starting job...
"I expect it. I've expected it since he came in the Spring, so that's just what's going to happen."

On the touchdown pass to Gurley...
"I didn't even see him on that play. He made a great catch and a great second effort to get into the endzone. Unfortunately that was our last one."