Auburn Post-Game Quotes
Auburn vs. Vanderbilt
Pat Dye Field at Jordan-Hare Stadium
October 6, 2007
Head coach Tommy Tuberville
"We are making improvement. That's what it is all about. I was very, very concerned today going into this game after playing the way we did last week expending all the energy and with all the accolades afterwards and players listening to things. That shows you that we are growing up a little bit. At times we look like a junior varsity team in terms of age, not how we were playing.
"Man, we have a lot of guys hurt. Jason Bosley got hurt today. Sooner or later, he is going to get a break and this team is going to get a break. I don't know how long he will be out, but it's not good. I am real proud of the offense with the way they came out and set the tone. That's the first time that we have really done that this year. We are starting to look a little bit better each week. I think the momentum that we had last week in being able to control the ball helped us this week.
"Brandon (Cox) had a good day. He made a couple of errant passes, but again, made a lot of good decisions. It's good to have Brad Lester back. Ben Tate keeps getting stronger. Our offensive line is improving as we go along. We are still a work in progress. Our receivers are doing a good job.
"Defensively, you can't say enough about the defense with the way they have been playing. I think we had four starters out on defense today, and the defensive coaches and players did a great job against a very good offensive team that has given a lot of people problems. We are getting a lot of yards and doing some good things. It is good to see that happening. Our kicking game is getting a little bit better. We need to improve in some areas.
"Vanderbilt has a good team. Bobby Johnson has done a good job of bringing his team to another level. They came in here with higher expectations than what happened today. They just caught a pretty good football team getting better and making improvements.
"I'm proud of the entire team. I'm proud of the coaching staff. It's been a tough first six games in terms of setbacks with injuries and things. It's hard to improve when you are having to play different guys each week. We are halfway through the season at 4-2. It wasn't a very good start to the season, obviously, but these guys have rallied and come back and have played pretty good football. We have a two-game road session the next couple of weeks that is going to be very tough. I like where we stand. We are making strides. This team is getting confidence, and we are starting to believe in each other and starting to play as a team."
On Auburn's offensive line
"I think the level of competition when you start competing makes the guys play harder. They reach back and get a little extra. That is the main key. Hugh Nall's worked very hard in trying to find the right combination. That's a team within a team. You have five guys who have to play well together. We had some injuries early on. We didn't have the same group out there all the time. We've had a little consistency. Now, that (Jason) Bosley goes down, Ryan Pugh moves inside. King Dunlap moves to his old spot and hopefully we can keep that going. That is a concern. We had to bring out two more kids today that we would have loved to have redshirted, but we don't have the opportunity to do that in Ryan Williams and Josh Bynes. They came in and played and played pretty well. It's been one of those years. We are 4-2 and we'd love to be a little bit better than that, but under the circumstances, I really feel good about our team and where we are after six games."
On Brad Lester...
"Brad Lester brings quickness and change of tempo. He'll get better. He was nervous. Here;'s a guy who has been with us for four years and he was nervous like it was his first day playing college football. He has been in some tough games and has done some great things for us. You're still dealing with young people. He got hit a little bit, and it was good. He'll get better. He's going to help all three of those guys back there and make the entire offense better. We are going to need it for the next six games in terms of trying to keep some consistency on the field."
On Chris Evans...
"Chris Evans has been a warrior for us. This kid came into the season second team and has ended up starting most of the games. If anybody has really held this defense together, it's Chris inside the middle having to play outside linebacker and inside for all of these injured linebackers that we have had. Hopefully we can get Merrill Johnson back soon to help him, but he has done a really good job for us."
On being able to get out to a big lead...
"You were able to rest your starters a little bit and give them a break. We have five straight games now before we get an open date. It is pretty important going into two road games as tough as these are going to be and try to give them a little bit of a break. Practice is hard, and we have been pushing them because we haven't been really consistent. You can't go out there and go through the motions. You have to push them hard. I was a little concerned today that we wouldn't have a lot to give in terms of stamina because we have really pushed them the last two weeks. Even though we won last week, we came back and pushed them real hard in practice with a physical practice. They responded. It was good to see this group come out and have something good happen to them early."
On the team getting better and better...
"I think the coaches have done a good job. We haven't panicked. We kept doing the things that we were doing. Brandon, obviously, is playing better. The quarterback is a very important part of your team ... not just your offense, but defensively in keeping them off the field, which we did today. Again, this is a young group. I looked out there one time and we had six or seven freshmen on the field at one tijme. You would think that we would have struggled a little bit more today with all of those young players out there, but they are growing up. They are getting better. Last week gave us a lot of confidence when you go down there and win the way we won. This week, we were scared to death of this game, but they showed a lot of maturity coming out and said, `Hey, we can win this game. We can run it. We can move it and score it.' The defense played tremendous. We are starting to come together as a team. We still have to understand that with injuries and youth, we still have a lot to do."
Offensive Player Quotes
Brandon Cox, QB
On keeping up momentum after last week's victory over Florida...
"After a game like last week, it would be easy to come out flat. We wanted to continue what we did last week. We were solid all around. We threw the ball and ran the ball well."
On connecting with receivers...
"Our receivers really stepped up again today. They didn't drop anything out there and that makes a difference. They did a really good job of running after the catch and pushing for those extra yards."
Brad Lester, RB
On first appearance of the season...
"It feels really good getting back out there. I never felt like I left. Coach Gran and all the other players never let me feel like I wasn't a part of this team. Every week I felt like I was out there playing with them. It is really good for a player to have teammates like I do."
On staying sharp after win over Florida...
"There are no excuses now. We came out against one of the best teams in the country and played strong. We feel like we are one of the best teams in the SEC and we have got to keep playing like it."
Ben Tate, RB
On coming out strong after Florida...
"That is really big because a lot of teams would not be able to maintain their focus the next week. Good teams don't play like that. Playing like we did today really shows that we a good team that is really maturing as the season goes on."
On personal performance...
"I feel pretty good about today. We just got out there and got the job done. I really like the rotation we have going at running back. It's really fun to do it like that. It creates more competition and just makes us all better. It feels really good coming out with another win."
Defensive Player Quotes
Zac Etheridge, DB
On sacking the QB...
"It was a great call by coach Muschamp. They didn't block me when I came through because they fanned the other way. It was a very good opportunity to get the crowd involved, which is very important in home games."
On Auburn's defense against the pass ...
"We tried to take away their best receiver, Earl Bennett. He is an excellent player and we were able to limit his impact."
Craig Stevens, LB
On the importance of playing despite major losses due to injury ...
"We get a lot of people involved in practice. There really isn't a ton of drop off when the backups come in. It is important to have a lot of depth like we have. A lot of young guys are getting snaps and playing extremely well."
On Auburn's ability to stop the run...
"That is our goal every week - stop the run. We feel that it all starts with that, and if we can stop the run then we will have good things happen to us."
On Vanderbilt's offense...
"They have a lot of playmakers. Both quarterbacks are good and very mobile. Earl Bennett is a real threat to make plays. He is one of the best receivers in America. We knew if we could shut those playmakers down we would be in good shape."
Antonio Coleman, DE
On Auburn's defense...
"We knew going into this game that we were going to have to stop the run. That was very important to us and we were able to do that."
On playing games with early starts...
"Recently we haven't been able to play well in these early games. Today we really wanted to show we could get up and get ready to play. We were able to do that. We are going to try to keep this momentum going and just keep rolling."
On coming in for Quentin Groves...
"I've been playing a lot and getting a bunch of snaps in practice. So, it wasn't my first time to play. I knew what I had to do. If I just go out and make plays, good things will happen."
Vanderbilt Post-Game Quotes
Auburn vs. Vanderbilt
Pat Dye Field at Jordan-Hare Stadium
October 6, 2007
Vanderbilt Head Coach Bobby Johnson
"I think we all saw the same thing. You have to give credit to Auburn; they came out and got us in the first quarter. They took control of the football game and never allowed us to get back in. They were tougher than we were, more physical and we didn't have what it took to get back in there."
On Auburn's defense:
"Auburn is very aggressive and they tackle well. They covered well and put pressure on our quarterback. That is about the total package."
On substituting quarterback Mackenzi Adams for Chris Nickson:
"Well considered a lot of things, but Chris didn't have a good day. We went with Mackenzi in the second half and gave him an opportunity to get in there and do some good things. We will examine that situation and see what we are going to do.
"You can't blame it all on Chris, but our quarterback is key and a very important part of our offense and it is important for him to execute. He doesn't have to be spectacular all the time, but he has to be able to make reads and he has to be able to decide when to throw it away and make some ordinary throws. You don't have to fantastic, you just have to execute and do the things you are supposed to do."
On Brad Lester's first game back:
"He is very quick in the back field. I think he was fresh and sometimes in this part of the season, fresh legs mean a lot. Auburn did a good job of blocking us. Auburn did a good job of making tackles and we didn't tackle very well."
On Auburn's coverage in the first half:
"When you run a zone blitz like we did most of the time and they pick you up, there isn't much you can do. They did a good job of picking us up. When you are without a defender and you can't get to the quarterback, it gives him a chance to move around and pick out a receiver and it is hard for the pass defenders to cover the entire field. So we let our secondary hang out there a couple time and not put pressure on the quarterback."
On Auburn's energy from win at Florida:
"They were playing hard, I know that. They came at us and took it to us right away. We had a pretty nice drive in the opening series, we just didn't covert. They made big plays on their opening drive, they were fighting pretty hard. I think the early touchdown really took a lot of wind out of our sails."
On moving on from this game:
"We are going to examine this game closely and our competitive nature. We are going to challenge our team. We have a lot of football to play this year. This is a tough pill to swallow and I thought we would compete better and I thought we had a chance to come here and have a great game. We didn't do either."
On effort of the team:
"I wasn't disappointed in the effort. When you are down you just have to have the right techniques. You have to make sure you don't start freelancing and doubting your teammates and yourself. Everybody plays hard, go's hard and works hard and I don't think we have a problem with that at all. When you get behind you have to go with what you know and what you do best. I think we abandoned some of our technique."
On positives on the game:
"I thought MacKenzi game in and did a good job, despite being behind and Auburn having the advantage of knowing that we were going to have to pass. He is a tough guy and Jared Hawkins played well at the end of the game. We will find some positives and find something to build on. We will get back to practice and challenge our guys and they will respond."
Chris Nickson, QB
On the momentum change:
"It was a little bit of both, us messing up and Auburn's defense playing good. Sometimes you have to be perfect, we came out fired up and then something just changed in us."
On the incompletions:
"It got me out of my rhythm. It is hard to get back in the grove and keep playing when you have so many incompletions in a row."
On the loss:
"Auburn has a great team. I didn't us see getting completely stopped the way we did. We don't see any team in this league that could do that to us."
Mackenzi Adams, QB
On Vanderbilt's offense:
"Auburn has a great defense, but it was mostly just us not executing and not playing our hardest."
On coming into the game already down:
"It is my job to do what I am supposed to do no matter what the score is, which is to go out and score touchdowns."
On Vanderbilt's running backs:
"It is a blessing to have them. They all bring something different to the team and it can really help when the passing game is struggling."
Myron Lewis, CB
On the interception:
"Coach put us in the right position. I read the quarterback size and made my break. I got it down to the 20-yard line and I thought we got some momentum going. I thought that it gave us a spark but Auburn made some plays and kept us out of the end zone."
On Auburn's running game:
"Auburn just ran power football. We couldn't get off our blocks and make a tackle. Auburn rotated the running backs really well and they seemed like they always had fresh legs."
Earl Bennett, WR
On record-breaking catch:
"It is good to break the record, but I would much rather have a win."
On the Vanderbilt offense:
"We came out and had a really good first series; then we hit a wall and couldn't get anything rolling after that. We didn't execute the plays the coaches were calling."
On the quarterbacks:
"Chris will bounce back, he is a great competitor. He will come out this week and practice and be ready to go against Georgia next week. Mackenzi came in and did a good job; he was composed and ready for what we were going to do. We just didn't help him out and make any plays. Games like this make me want to get back on the practice field and get ready for the next game."
Reshard Langford, SS
On week leading up to game:
"Auburn did some things differently today then what we saw on film, especially early in the game, they gave us some different looks. We didn't adjust to what they were doing quickly enough. We need to play better fundamentally. We didn't tackle very well and give ourselves a chance to get off the field."