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Auburn vs. South Carolina Postgame Quotes

Oct. 1, 2011

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Auburn Locker Room

Head Coach Gene Chizik

Opening Statement
I thought it was a great win. I could not be more proud of our football team for coming into a place like this and beating a football team like this. It is a huge landmark victory for us moving forward, and what we are trying to do at Auburn. Our guys came into the game and had such a good week at practice, and we were very focused. We felt really good about our plans and what we were going to do on both sides of the ball. But this is the type of game that they just had the will to win. They had the will to win that one. I am just very blessed to be the head coach and be the leader of this team., and I am very thankful to be around these people. It wasn't always pretty as we've experienced in three other wins this season. We beat a good football team tonight, and that's the third time we've beat them in three tries, which is something not a whole lot of people can say right now. This month is obviously a month where it all counts. Our defense was outstanding, our special teams were outstanding and our offense was controlling. It was a great overall win. With the plan that we put forth throughout the week, our guys put it together to the best of their ability. I'm blessed, I'm proud and we have to continue to improve.

Beating a top-10 football team
I don't think there is any question it is very significant to all of our football players. They were able to play a football team with a lot of weapons, and really played a great game. At the end of the day, you're looking at one of the Heisman Trophy leaders and we said we had to stop him; and that happened tonight. We said we have to get turnovers. That happened tonight. I said it last week, that I think we got better. I thought there were a lot of places where we got better last week and that showed this week in our play.

On the defensive struggles
I knew it was going to be a physical game, and I knew for all intensive purposes we had to stop 21 (Marcus Lattimore) running it, or it would be hard to win. That was our plan period. We felt like we had to get turnovers and (put) pressure on the quarterback, and we felt like we had to win the special teams position battle and that happened. We having been saying what role our special teams have been playing all season long. That was very significant because the whole game the defense had a long field to cover to protect. That's strictly from special teams play. Whatever we need to do to win, that's what we need to do. Again I am so proud of those guys.

Freshman Quarterback Kiehl Frazier

Making a difference in the game
It definitely builds my confidence, and I thought I scored on that play but I guess we will ever know. It really builds my confidence to know I can go in and make a difference.

On if he's hungry to play more
The more you get in the game and you hear the South Carolina fans yelling at you, it definitely makes you want to play more and make a difference.

Junior quarterback Barrett Trotter

About the win
It wasn't really pretty. The defense played great all day. We had trouble getting in the end zone all day. Turnovers that I was responsible (for) kept us probably from getting some field goals, which would have helped our defense there at the end. We came out with a win and any time you do that on the road, and in the SEC, it's a great win.

On staying calm and cool despite turnovers
You just have to forget about those and just go out and play. Thinking about it and dwelling on it won't help anything. You just have to forget about them and just go out and play and win. That's what we did on that last drive.

Sophomore Linebacker Jake Holland

On the game plan
We wanted to bring pressure on (Stephen) Garcia as well as stop (Marcus) Lattimore. The combination of those two helped us get the win.

Is it more fun getting the win on the road?
A win's a win, its always fun.

Junior Wide Receiver Deangelo Benton

Talk about your big first down catch over the middle
I was just waiting for an opportunity. They always say, "When my time comes, make a play." So my opportunity finally came tonight, and I made a play on the ball.

Explain the difference between how the team played in the regular season against South Carolina compared to this year's game
We all (play) as a team so I can't just say how the team was last year or whatever. We win as a team, we lose as a team.

Tell us how it felt to come back and win the game when you guys had so many chances and finally got it
We just kept going, playing hard as a team, keeping each other motivated. It showed us that we were going to come together and pull of a great win.

Junior Running Back Onterio McCalebb

Talk about that big win
It was awesome. Nobody thought we could come down here and win in Columbia. We had a good week of practice and prepared. Our coaches had a good plan to win.

Talk about your run on the last drive
I was running off the field and I heard the play and ran back on the field. I knew it was going be a handoff play, I took it and I knew I had to get down there. It was the 4th quarter so we knew we couldn't give South Carolina back the ball.

Explain what this game does for confidence
This one was really big for us. SEC football in the conference. We are 2-0 in the conference so that's good.

Talk about the running game and what it did for the team
It was awesome. The O-Line coaches tested the O-line all week in practice, making sure they can come out here and do what they do. I give all the credit to the offensive line.

South Carolina Locker Room

Head Coach Steve Spurrier

Opening Statement
Our defensive team had a heck of a game, but they made some third downs on us there at the end. Offensively, we could do nothing. We were pretty sad, pretty sad the entire game. We couldn't run the ball and we're not a really good passing team. They made some third downs and ended up winning the game. I'm proud of a lot of our guys. A lot of our guys played very well, some of them maybe not so well. Give Auburn credit. They played pretty well. We weren't very good on offense again, so we got beat 16-13.

On the team's morale
We're not heartbroken. We haven't played well enough to expect to win. We lost to this team last year and we still came back and won the Eastern Division. We lost to Kentucky last year and won the Eastern Division. If we can regroup somehow offensively, we're going to be okay. We couldn't give Marcus (Lattimore) any room at all. I don't know, they were right there waiting on him just about the whole game. He did make one run that opened up nicely. We'll look and see how we can get better. We'll go from there. We'll make some changes if we need to, and we probably will.

On what changes will be made
Right now we're just going to lick our wounds and look at the tape to see if we need to make some changes around here. I thought we played pretty well against these guys. They hadn't been playing very well defensively. We made them look like about the best defense in the league most of the night. I think we had two long balls and that was about it. We got nothing consistently. We need to make some changes, but we won't know what they are until we watch the tape.

On the strategy at the end of the game
We had to get it in field goal range. We made the first down. I thought his knee went down with at least one second left. In fact, I know it did, or, at least I think I know it did. The referee said when his knee went down it showed 0:00. That's what he told me. I said, wait a minute now, don't you review that. I thought they reviewed it after the Tennessee - LSU game that happened (last season). He said no, that it was zero. He said that's it. It's all over. I thought his knee hit, and then it went from one on down. If we had one second, the clock stops on the first down, maybe we could have gotten one off. I don't know. It was eight to start with, usually it doesn't take too much more than eight. We threw about a ten to 12 yard pass. It doesn't matter now; it's in the history books. So it's all over. We got beat. Still haven't beaten them.

Assistant Head Coach Ellis Johnson

On the amount of plays Auburn had
I coached at ECU (and) I think we had some 100-play games. It is a problem. You can see some of the fatigue. Our attacking was obviously not as physical at the end. The pass rush was still good but not quite as effective. It affects you mentally.

On if the defense could be called an "elite" unit
I don't think anyone in the building needs to use the word elite right now. We have a lot of things we need to get better on. We're making mental mistakes. We're covering a lot of those things up with physical play.

On if Auburn's running game was effective against South Carolina's defense
I don't think the running game was effective tonight because they got to run the play over and over. If you look at the accumulation of yards, it's there, but it's there because they kept running plays. We played bad against the wildcat on one play. That was the worst play probably in the running game. .... You have to give kudos to (Auburn's Michael) Dyer. He was hurt and came back in the game. I wasn't displeased with our running defense tonight other than the fact that we had a few misfits.

On Melvin Ingram and the need to see film before assessing his performance
He did some good things and made some plays. Sometimes these guys have all these statistics and you go back and grade the film and see missed assignments. I know he's making big plays for us.

On C.C. Whitlock
The one element of that is you feel like you have to give him credit for bouncing back and making what I thought was an unbelievable play. But at the same time if you take care of that football you wipe out six or seven plays in the second half that caused all of that fatigue.

Senior Quarterback Stephen Garcia

On the loss
It's tough losing, especially like that. We had a chance to win and we had our chances to keep the lead. It just didn't work out for us tonight.

On what's missing offensively
It's hard to tell right now. We maybe had a few scramble plays that we wish we could have hit. We just didn't make the plays tonight.

On the last drive
I wish that we had all three timeouts. That ended up costing us. I had that throw to Alshon (Jeffery) that was a little high. That wasted about four seconds. On that last play, I thought we could have at least gotten a play off with that one second left. It just didn't happen.

Sophomore Running Back Marcus Lattimore

On the fourth down
We just tried to give Alshon (Jeffery) a shot and we were going to spike the ball real quick.

On Stephen Garcia
He had a tough week. He fought hard. He fought hard the whole game really, and he got some yards that we needed running and throwing the ball. He'll bounce back against Kentucky, a team that beat us last year.

On moving on after tonight
The defense played good, and the offense we didn't play so good. We just left it at that. We just need to get ready for Kentucky now because they're an Eastern Division team. It's going to be a tough game. They beat us last year.

On the amount of running plays called
We did what we had to do. We were going against a tough defensive line and linebackers. It was kind of hard to get some holes. I just stuck to the game plan and trusted Coach Spurrier and Coach Mangus calling plays.

On what the team needs to do to bounce back
We just have to keep getting better. We have to get better in practice. The defense is doing what they need to do. It's just the offense. We have to pick it up. We'll preach that in practice and get ready for the next game. One loss can't really hurt our season that bad.

On what he knew of Auburn's defense coming in
I knew coming in that it was a good defensive front. I knew with those numbers (coming in), they've only played two SEC teams. Those numbers didn't affect our game plan because we knew it would be a tough game up front. We didn't question anything. We just kept running what we practiced.

On dropping a third game to Auburn
It was tough, those last two games we lost. We could have beaten them tonight. They outplayed us (defense against offense).

Senior Defensive End Melvin Ingram

On if the defense was tired after 92 plays
We weren't really tired. We were just playing hard. Coach Fitzgerald conditioned us real (well) so when the fourth quarter comes we can still play like it's the first quarter.

On playing against Auburn's Kiehl Frazier at quarterback
We just had a couple of misfits on how we were supposed to play that (wildcat). It wasn't anything spectacular. It was just a couple of misfits and not knowing how to play the ball.

On his individual year so far
I don't really pay attention to individual stats; it doesn't matter to me how great of a night we have because if we have a loss it doesn't mean anything. I'm a team player so if we get a loss I don't take it that way.

On losing to Auburn three times
It's always going to be frustrating but we feel like we can't dwell too long. We have to learn from it, just like the two losses last year. We need to make it a stepping stone to build off of. We can't dwell on it because if we do that we'll take two steps backwards and one forward.

Senior Spur Antonio Allen

On C.C. Whitlock
He made an excellent play on the ball. He just needs to tuck in a secure ball. He came back and made a great play in the end zone.

On the defense being on the field for 92 plays
We stayed out there a ton but we were just trying to get the ball back in the offensive guys hands, try to let them score and make a big play.

Junior Wide Receiver Alshon Jeffery

On if there were struggles between quarterback Stephen Garcia and the receivers
We were open out there. He just didn't have enough time (to get the ball off), or he overthrew us on a couple of plays.

On losing the game
Unfortunately, we weren't able to win. You just have to move on to the next game.

It's a tough loss. I don't think South Carolina has beaten them since the 1930s or something like that. There's nothing I can say about the game. They won the game and we lost, so that's all I have to say.

Everyone wants to win. No one wants to lose. It's just something you have to build from and learn from. You have to take a loss to be a great team, so you just have to build from it and learn from it.

Freshman Wide Receiver Bruce Ellington

On his performance
Coach told me I was starting the second half. I went out there and just played. Stephen (Garcia) threw some good passes and I caught them.

On if he expected to be as involved in the receiving game
I played slot receiver at practice so I knew some passes would come to me since they came to me at practice.

On what the team will tell quarterback Stephen Garcia after the game
Just tell him that it's a new game. We have to move on to the next game. We need to put this game behind us and move on.

On his long reception in the second half
Coach told me that the right safety was going over and I should be open in the middle. Stephen (Garcia) made a great pass.



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