Auburn vs. Arkansas Quotes

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AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Oct. 7, 2006

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Post-Game Quotes

Auburn vs. Arkansas

Saturday October 7, 2006

 

Auurn Head Coach Tommy Tuberville

Opening statement...

            "You have to play as a close-knit group.  You can't wait on somebody else to make the play.  We haven't been doing that.  Most guys have been stepping up and making plays. There were some good things out there today, but not very many.  They lined up, and they came off the ball.  They beat us to the punch on both sides of the line of scrimmage on offense and defense.  Our special teams weren't near as good as they have been, but again, you have to find ways to get it done, especially here at home.  We are disappointed, but this is not over.  We know we have a lot of football left.  That was the first half of the season.  We are not that bad of a football team."


 

 

 

How concerned are you defensively?

            "We've looked at that long before the South Carolina game.  We've given up some yards.  There has been a lot of people saying how good we are. We've had guys step up and make plays.  But again, somebody is going to find some plays that are going to work against you and when it happens, they will keep doing it.  This was a totally different game than last week.  Passing didn't beat us here.  It was the running game.  We prepared for it, and we worked for it, and we didn't even come close to stopping them.  A lot of it has to do with coaching.  You go to technique, fundamentals, alignments and assignments.  The effort, again, was good.  We have to go back and look and see if we are doing the right things.  We gave up way too many big plays.  We gave up the pass, and we gave up the long run.  That's not Auburn football.  We have not given up big runs like that and passes.  We don't give up big plays.  When somebody scores on us, we make them earn it, and that didn't happen out there today."

 

On not kicking a 51-yard field goal in the second quarter when it was 10-7

            "We decided to go for it.  It was just one of those things.  I didn't feel good about the crosswind.  A lot of wind was blowing right to left and a 50-yarder out there in that kind of wind is pretty tough.  That's rolling the dice."

 

How much not having Joe Cope at center hurt the offensive line?

            "We don't have any excuses.  We'll look at what we have to play with.  We moved Jonathan Palmer most of the second half into center.  We're trying to find the right combination.  There was some communication problems, but again, most of the problems we had were on the other side of the field.  They made those problems.  We can't worry about who we are playing.  Whoever is out there has to play.  It is like I said earlier, this is not a group of superstars.  We have a lot of hard-working, blue collar guys that work hard and they have to play well together, especially the offensive line.  If you have any breakdowns up there, you have a quarterback back there that is not very mobile, that is going to have a long day in which we did today.  We threw the ball 29 times, and that is more than we need to throw it.  Again, it goes back to being able to run the ball.  You have to be able to run the ball for this offense to work."

 

On the play of Brandon Cox...

            "They played a lot of man coverage.  We worked all week long with our receivers vs. our corners.  We pressed and beat on our guys, just trying to get them open.  The problem was the pocket would close down and Brandon would be struggling trying to find the receiver if there was one open.  Again, that's good football.  They came into win this game.  They came in to press us, put pressure on us, and they did exactly that.  It worked, and it was a good game plan by a good football team."

 

What did you tell your team after the game?

            "What do you say?  They know.  They know what happened.  This was not a game that anybody could say, man they were looking forward to next week.  That had nothing to do with that.  We started the week off by making our guys fully understand that this was the most important game that we would probably play all year long because it was the only other undefeated team (in the SEC's Western Division).  As I just told you exactly what I told them.  We have guys that have to play together.  One or two guys are not going to win a game for us.  It is going to have to take 11 out there at a time.  We have done that in the past.  Last week, we found a way to win the game even though we didn't play well.  Most of the time we played as a team.  Today, we didn't play near as good as a team.  I thought we were leaning on other people and waiting for our coaches to pick us up.  It is not the players' fault.  This is my fault.  We have got to get systems, whether it is offense or defense, plays called, defenses called, to help what type of talent we have.  We almost didn't do it last week, and we surely didn't do it this week.  This starts with me.  The players are giving good effort.  I have no problem with that.  They are going to continue to give a good effort.  This is a good group of guys.  Today, we just got beat." 

 

 

Auburn Offense

 

Kenny Irons, RB

On the running game...

"We ran the ball hard all day. We definitely have improvements that have to be made. The Arkansas defense was running a lot of stunts and twists that hurt us. We definitely have to get better."

 

On if they were mentally prepared for the game...

"We came prepared to play. We come to play every week. We have to turn around and do this again and prepare for Florida. We still have a shot at the SEC West."

 

Brandon Cox, QB

On the offense being slow...

"We couldn't find a rhythm. We were moving the ball well at times, but after every big play we took a penalty or a sack. We just couldn't put drives together."

 

On the sacks...

"A couple of them were coverage sacks and a couple were situations where guys missed assignments."

 

On the third play of the game swinging the game's momentum...

"It definitely swung the momentum. We had a couple of big gains before that and they got us in second and long and we couldn't' recover."

 

Rodgeriqus Smith, WR

On the offense's inability to make big plays...

"Their defense came here to play. It wasn't that we couldn't get open, just that they were playing good team defense."

 

On Auburn's approach to the rest of the season...

"We have to put this behind us and focus on Florida. You can't lose a game in this conference and dwell on it, or you'll get beat the next week too."

 

Auburn Defense

 

Jonathan Wilhite, CB

On his play...

"I feel like I came back out there and competed. We need to make a lot of corrections on our team defense as a whole. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done before next week."

 

On Arkansas' passing attack...

"They got one big shot. They threw one real long and their receiver went up and they completed it. They really didn't take too many more chances the rest of the game."

 

David Irons, CB

On his play...

"I played pretty well. It wasn't that they threw the ball a bunch, just a few times, and our coverage was pretty good on those times. They just ran the ball. Overall I need to work on being more patient."

                                        

On this making him more excited or hungry to play Florida...

"No, not really. I am excited to play every game. I'm more excited about this being my last season here and me getting a chance to play with these guys for a few more games. It doesn't matter who we play, I am going to be excited for my senior season."

 

Sen'Derrick Marks, DT

On Arkansas' two big plays...

"They had a lot more than just two big plays, even though it looked like that. They played really well. They came out really wanting to win."

 

On Arkansas' rushing attack...

"They have a really good running game. They have two very good running backs. They came out and beat us at what we do best, which is lining up and running."

 

   

Arkansas Head Coach Houston Nutt

Opening statement...

"I am really proud of our guys. I thought they really fought hard. I told them not to look at the scoreboard. You could tell Sunday when we got back that we had a really high level of concentration and focus. That's what you have to have when you go on the road. I'm just proud of our guys. From top to bottom, they came to fight.

 

"On defense I thought the coverage was really, really good. I think they showed tremendous heart. I have a lot of respect for Tommy Tuberville and the team he has. We know how physical they are. This was our game for two hours and 45 minutes. We were a better team today for that period."

 

On the win...

"It's huge. I told our guys `you won't know how big it is until on down the line.' To go on the road and win a game like this against a team with the caliber of Auburn, I am really proud of them. We have to build on this and keep going."

 

On being in first in the SEC West...

"That's always been your goal. It's your goal every year to be SEC West champions. We have a real chance now."

 

On Arkansas defense...

"They played great all day. I thought Reggie (Herring) did a great job. I thought our coverage was really good. We had to keep their quarterback off balance. We had to stop those backs because those backs are good. We stopped the run."

 

On Arkansas QB Mitch Mustain...

"We knew it was going to be loud. We practiced a couple of days with a lot of noise. You can never explain it to them, but he did a great job."

 

On the trick play...

"You've always have to carry four or five and we have four or five. We picked a good time for it. We caught them off balance with Reggie Fish. He is a perfect guy on that play to hide behind the line."

 

On Arkansas' offense...

"The running game solves a lot of problems. We blocked well and kept them off balance. We made some key throws too."

 

On Darren McFadden's touchdown run...

"It was just a matter of time. Danny Nutt thought he had his best week of practice. He hit the hole and we know once he gets into the secondary he has a real chance because he is real exciting."

 

 

Arkansas Players

 

Mitch Mustain, QB

On the win

"I definitely envisioned having a good start, but not this soon. It's the first time we have played a complete game."

 

On the noise...

"We knew it was going to be loud. We practiced for it all week. It got really loud in pre-game."

 

On the trick play...

"It was something we kind of had stored away. We had been wanting to run it, we were going to save it for the second half. We got close enough and it was perfect."

 

On the fast start...

"The faster you start a game, the easier it comes. We did a pretty good job early. I felt better after I completed a couple of passes. The earlier you get it, the more confident you are."

 

On the touchdown pass...

"We let a guy go. I threw it to Marcus Monk. I under-threw it a little bit and I thought it was incomplete."

 

 Sam Olajubutu, WLB

Thoughts on the game...

"Overall we played very well today.  It was one of those games today where both the offense and defense came together. The offense ran the ball very well and the defense was able to stop Auburn's running game.  We knew if we could do this we would have a chance to be successful."

 

Using this game as motivation for the rest of the season...

"This was a motivational win for us. We have several tough games coming up but we knew if we won this one we have the ability to beat anybody."

 

Darren McFadden, TB

Thoughts on the game...

"It is just a great feeling to come down here a beat the No. 2 team in the nation in Auburn.  It is just a great feeling."

 

On the success of the running game...

"This week we knew that in order to win the game we would have to run the ball and score touchdowns off the run.  If we couldn't do that we wouldn't have been able to win the game.  That is what do - we run the ball and today we did it well and were able to win."

 

On preparations for this game...

"We had talked about how physical this game was going to be and how physical Auburn was.  We just came out here and played real hard today."

 

Felix Jones, TB

Thoughts on the game...

"It is just great.  The offensive lined made some great blocks and opened up holes for us so we were able to run the ball.  That was our goal and that is what we did."

 

On the success of the running game...

"It wasn't easy out there today.  The lineman did a great job so I have to give credit to them for making those tackles and giving us opportunities to score.  We still had to make moves and take hits but it was mostly the lineman who made it happen for us."

 

On preparations for this game...

"We have worked hard for the past two weeks just specifically on this game.  We knew we had a lot of work to do to prepare for this game.  But we came in and did what we knew we could do."