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Quotes - Auburn vs. Louisiana-Monroe
Oct. 1, 2016

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

AUBURN VS. ULM
October 1, 2016
Jordan-Hare Stadium | Auburn, AL

Gus Malzahn

Opening Statement...
"This was a good win for Homecoming. It caps off a five-game home stretch. I thought our fans have been outstanding and it meant a lot to our players and coaches. I thought we played well in all three phases of the game. Our goal this week was to improve from last week in offense, defense and special teams and I think we did that. Our defense played outstanding. I thought our offense played extremely well and it was very balanced. Our special teams played well, too. We had a big punt return, which we have been trying to improve on. Overall, we played well."

On Kerryon Johnson...
"Kerryon is starting to come into his own. He is very illusive, breaks tackles and he is running extremely hard. We think he is in a good spot."

On throwing the ball down the field today...
"We talked about that two weeks ago, that we needed to give our guys more chances downfield, and that's been an emphasis for us. We had one that was a pass interference and another that was close. We have to take chances down the field. I think we had two freshmen catch touchdowns on deep balls, so that is always good."

On the red zone performance today...
"We have been focusing on it and that is going to be an emphasis moving forward. We have to keep carrying that over and score touchdowns down there. Primarily it's about running the ball down there. If you are going to be a good red zone team, you have to be able to run the football in, and today we were able to do that. We just have to keep working and keep building on that."

On the importance of the third quarter today...
"At halftime we challenged our guys to come out and take care of business. We did that early and put the game away. We were able to play some of our young guys and get them some experience and that is vital. They got some experience and I thought the young guys did a good job out there."


 

 

On the offensive line changes...
"Xavier Dampeer was on one leg during the LSU game and he really fought through that and wasn't able to go. We moved Austin Golson to center and Darius James played left tackle. I thought they did a good job. They presented a lot of different things with their pressures. They were blitzing from different angles and I thought our guys did a good job of passing the zones off and get our running backs to the second level."

On Malik Miller's injury...
"I am not sure exactly on his status right now. He took a pretty good lick."

On Gary Walker's safety...
"Gary Walker is one of the favorites on the team. He is a true team guy and a very good football player. You can see how the guys reacted. They love him and it was very good to see a guy like that make a play."

On Sean White's performance...
"Sean did a good job. I thought he did a very good job and was efficient in the passing game. I thought he kept the ball when he should have kept the ball in the zone read. I thought overall he had a really good game, and back to back games he's started to settle in."

On the importance of freshman receivers getting playing time...
"I think it's very important. Those guys are very talented. It's just a matter of time when the light goes on and they can start playing and not have to think. The more times they get out there, the better. It was good to see all three of those guys make plays, and I know that will help us later on in the season."

On Tony Stevens...
"Tony is a guy that has been with us for four years, and we talked about for us to be good on offense, Tony really needs to take that next step. I think that he is in the process of doing that. He's starting to get confidence. I can tell that Sean is starting to get confidence in him. He's playing better without the ball, too. Today, that's really what caught my eye."

On John Franklin III not throwing the ball more today...
"He got a chance to run the offense. You saw him on that zone read when he busted it for 70 or whatever. He threw the ball vertically. This game just didn't present itself. At that point in the game, after he threw the deep one to Nate Craig-Myers we didn't want to put the ball in the air anymore."

On how the defense responded today...
"I think our defense really responded well. They did a great job today. They've been playing good all year. I know coaches challenged the guys to play their best game today, and there was a lot of good stuff out there defensively, especially after the turnover. When they got the turnover after the sudden change we had, that was a huge play in the game."

On playing young guys in the secondary...
"It's real big. We are processing depth, and in this league you have to have depth. It was good to get those guys in the defensive backfield out there and see what they could do."

On Montravius Adams...
"He's playing his best football right now."

On finding ways to get Franklin involved...
"He's our number two quarterback, so he's got to be prepared at any minute. When needed, we'll definitely have him. He's getting better and the more that he can get out there and play like he did today, that really helps him. He brings a different dimension than Sean does, and I think it's good to have both of them."

On Franklin's touchdown pass...
"It was a really nice throw."

Auburn Player Post-Game Quotes

Junior safety Tray Matthews

On the halftime talk in the locker room...
"Coach told us not to let up and get complacent, keep going back out there and act like we are down. Coach gave us a good prep talk to fight us back up. "

On how he feels about going on the road for the first time ...
"I'm excited. The entire team is excited. It's something we've been talking about for a long time. We've had a lot of home games which is a great feeling because of the home crowd. We're ready to work the all-white uniforms now."

On playing a "complete game" defensively...
"We needed that game because we needed something to keep the momentum going from the LSU game. We want to continue to keep the momentum going, and keep getting better and better each week."

On the defense's improvement this season...
"Our defense keeps going and getting better every week."

Sophomore running back Kerryon Johnson

On the Tigers performance...
"I feel pretty good. We executed in the red zone, and that was our goal this whole week in practice. By getting better we had to execute in the red zone and we did. We just have to carry on every week on out."

On executing in the red zone...
"Like I said, that was a big focal point this week in practice. We knew we could get there, we've been getting there the whole season, but we knew we had to execute. We knew we had to make the right read, and I think we did that today."

On progress this season...
"When you start getting to the harder part of the season you have to start to get into a rhythm. I feel like our offense as a whole has found a rhythm. For me, it's just running the ball like always."

On if he's answered all his questions on his physicality and ability so far...
"It's a long season and we still have plenty of weeks to go, so once I finish this season then I'll be able to answer that."

Junior offensive lineman Austin Golson

On when he knew he was going to be back at center this week...
"I worked some this week at practice and it was kind of a game-time deal. I really knew yesterday and I really enjoyed it, it was fun. I'm just going to keep moving forward."

On if it was tough moving from tackle to center...
"I just want to do what's best for the team, that's what I'm here for. I want to win and do whatever is best for the team, and whatever that may be I'll be happy to give it my all."

On his performance today...
"They gave a lot of stuff defensively, they brought a lot of different blitzes. I feel comfortable that I made all the calls. Obviously I have some stuff I need to clean up getting back to center, and really just pick up where I left off."

On why they remained fired up all throughout the game...
"We want to play to make Auburn better, so no matter what the score is we look at it as 0-0 and a chance and opportunity for us to get better."

On how he feels about heading out to their first road game...
"We have a lot of momentum, and I just feel like this team has something good in store and I just can't wait to see what happens next."

Senior wide receiver Tony Stevens

On how the offense played...
"The offense played well today. Everybody was clicking from the offensive line to the running backs to quarterbacks, receivers."

On moving the ball into the end zone...
"The O line, I think they did a pretty good job up front, moving the guys out of the way so the running back can get through."

On how a high-scoring game takes away stress...
"Yeah, scoring in the red zone takes a lot of stress off of us. Everybody was having fun out there really that's all it's about, just out there having fun. That's all we wanted to come out there and do, just go out there and put up points."

On the passing game...
"It's very important, you know, once we make those explosive plays the secondary have to back up and that gives the running back room to, you know, go out there and break free."

Sophomore quarterback Sean White

On showing people he can run...
"I can run a little bit. You know, obviously not as fast as John is, I mean that was pretty sick. But, I mean, I can run a little bit when it's needed and open it up for our running backs."

On Tony Stevens...
"Oh he's been great. He's been a really good guy in practice since I've been here, since I've gotten to Auburn and I think this year it's starting to show. And he can do it in the games too."

On how the freshmen played...
"I think that's just how it is with young players, with freshmen, as they move along, as they get older throughout the season, you know, they start to learn the playbook they start to figure out the college game and adjust to the speed and all that, so I think they'll just keep getting better all year long."

Junior linebacker Tre' Williams

On the defense's performance today...
"We played really good defense. We just have to keep it consistent throughout the game. I feel like we played pretty sound defense."

On the defense's performance throughout the season...
"We've improved each game. That's our goal for this season, and we've been doing that."

On whether this game was the defense's best performance of the season...
"I feel like it was. I feel like everybody from freshman to seniors, at every position, had their best game."

On how the defense executed their game plan...
"They really emphasized that no matter who we play, we're going to play Auburn football. All of our coaches put emphasis on that throughout the week. No matter whom we play, we need to know our assignment and do our job. If we do that, we'll be fine."

On the first road game coming up...
"It's going to be a bit of an adjustment, but we're going to be fine. We're still going to play Auburn football, no matter where we are or who we play."

On how the defense can build on this performance...
"We've had momentum since LSU. As the coaches tell us every day, no matter who we play, we're going to get better. Like I said, no matter who we play next week, we're going to continue to improve as a team."

Junior quarterback John Franklin III

On how he was able to break an 80-yard touchdown run...
"I didn't see anything, so I just kept it going. I felt like I was going to have a big run all day today. I kind of called it before it happened, but it felt really good when it happened."

On his 39-yard touchdown pass...
"Any touchdown is a pretty touchdown to me. It was definitely a nice pass to Nate (Craig-Myers). He got open and made it easier for me to drop it in. I was just thinking, 'don't miss this touchdown. It's too easy right now.'"

On being able to get into a rhythm...
"It felt good to just play. I love playing this game. I feel like I have the abilities to go a long way in this game. It felt good to just go out there and showcase it; and put a couple of points on the board and help our team win."

On his morale throughout the season...
"I'm just trying to get better as a quarterback and as a person every day. I feel like I have a role on this team. I'm just going with the flow. I'm not stressing about the future. I'm just taking things one at a time right now."

On his comfort in the offense with more playing time...
"I love playing. That's the best motivator for me. I just love playing in front of people. I love to perform. I feel like the more opportunities I get, the more positive things come with it."

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