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Auburn vs. Kentucky Postgame Quotes

Oct. 9, 2010

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Auburn Locker Room

Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik

Opening statement...
"Obviously it's hard to win on the road in this league, and this was a battle. We said at halftime this was going to come down to the end. We're finding different ways to win every week and I can't be more proud of our football team. For you to go 90-some-odd yards with five to six minutes left, be able to get first downs, eat the clock and kick the game-winning field goal with no time left on the clock (was great). That's another way we've found to win. I just can't be more proud of our football team. I feel very blessed to be around guys like this that work and fight. I'm just blessed to be around here at Auburn. It's just a great win. Again, it's a great road win and it's good to be 6-0."

On the defensive changes Kentucky made in the second half...
"I think they did a couple of different things. I think they got more aggressive. It just seemed, from the outside looking in, they decided to get a little more aggressive with some blitzes and some pressure things. They cranked it up a notch in the second half and we just played better."

On quarterback Cam Newton's performance...
"You saw it. I mean, it was great. This guy is a worker. He is a competitor. When the game is on the line he wants the ball in his hands and that's what the quarterback position should do. I couldn't be more proud of the guy. The way he works and the way he handles his business and he continues to improve every week. We'll look at it tomorrow and I'm sure there are some things that obviously he'll be able to improve on next week for us to be able to win. But I couldn't be more proud of him."

On the situation of the game near the end of regulation...
"Well again, I think it goes back to it's hard to win a game on the road knowing you have to go 96 yards to score - or 94 yards, whatever it was. Again, we methodically got first downs, we methodically milked the clock, we methodically did the things you have to do to win games. Again, this is kind of another one in the string of finding different ways to win."

On Kentucky's receivers finding ways to get open...
"They have some great receivers. They've got a quarterback who's really, really good. And their offensive line protects him extremely well - I think he's had two sacks going into the game tonight. It's tough to get pressure on him. We'll look at the film and see what we need to do better. Obviously we've improved all the way around. Three hundred and thirty six yards of offense is obviously not where we want to be (defensively), but at the end of the day I think the defense stepped up and made some plays when they had to which was really, really good to see. I think the second half we got put in some bad field position issues. But we'll look at the film and see where we need to improve."

#2, Cam Newton, Jr., QB

On the last drive ...
"Our focus for the last drive was just to have a chance to get three points at the end of it. We know we can move the ball and our main focus was to execute the plays I was calling. There really was no difference in what we were doing but we knew we had to get it done. The defense leans on the offense and the offense leans on the defense and we were just trying to get them a breath of air, to let them get their legs back under them because we knew we were putting them in some hectic situations and that can not be done, going three and out consecutively. We just can't do that especially on the road or period. Our coaches put us in the best situation to win and when the play is called we have to execute it to the best of our ability. That was excellent plays that we were calling but as far as our execution and how we run plays, it has to be better."

On the lack of points in the second half ...
"It's kind of embarrassing on the offense in some regard but we just have to go back and learn from our mistakes. We have to get better each week."

On his play ...
"I was just trying to do my part to get a win on the road in the SEC, whether it was throwing a pass or handing the football off, that's my job to be dominant and give it my all every single play."

On Kentucky's play in the second half...
"I sensed that they were very aggressive in their attack. That's a heck of a team and as far as making in-game adjustments like that, they did an excellent job with that but as far as us, we still had times that we could have made plays and we just weren't executing for the most part. We went three and out consecutively and we just can't do that."

#89, Darvin Adams, Jr., WR

On the last drive...
"Coach has enough trust in me to call a play at a certain time and I think the whole team did a great job giving Cam enough time to throw the ball, trying to make a play for the offense. The drive means a lot. It shows that we can drive the ball and take time off the clock and come out in the end and win a game. Everybody knew what they had to do. They just did their own job. Cam (Newton) did good. He ran the ball well threw the ball well. I think he did pretty good."

On the win...
"It's a good win. We're 6-0. We have a lot of work to do at practice tomorrow. We have to look at film, see our mistakes and go for it and get ready for next week."

#18, Wes Byrum, Sr., K

On the final drive...
"You know, whenever it gets close like that at the end I always go over to the guys and tell them that we can win. When we had the ball there and we got it back with eight or nine minutes left, I knew our guys could drive down and we could score. They did an unbelievable job."

On the game-winning kick...
"To go 94 yards, and eat up six or seven minutes, it's an unbelievable effort by our offense. You know there is always a little extra emphasis on field goals when they are late in games. But, it was a short field goal and it went right through the middle."

#98, Zach Clayton, Sr., DL

On the final drive...
"It's one of those things where we are just really lucky to have a good quarterback like we do that can step up with plays that keep the drive alive."

On the importance of pulling out a Southeastern Conference road win...
"It is extremely important. We had talked about it all week on how it was going to be a fight to the finish. It turned out to be that way. We came in with the mentality that we were not going to give up, and thats what we did."

#4, Zac Etheridge, Sr., S

On his thoughts on the game...
"I think we started off fast and played well, but with a lead like that, we have to do a better job of finishing."

On Auburn's personal fouls...
"I don't make those calls the refs make those calls. You know, they threw the flags, but I just kept playing."

Kentucky Locker Room

Head Coach Joker Phillips

"First, our injury situation: Cartier Rice had a quad which happened on Wednesday and did not play, and Evans tweaked his ankle again, and played a few plays. Derrick Locke had a left shoulder, left and right shoulder, a stinger, and then he had a bruised elbow. So that's the reason why he didn't go back in the game.

"First, my heart aches for these guys. They played their hearts out we asked them to come in and prepare like champions on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and we got that. I told you guys. We prepared like a big-time football team's supposed to prepare.

"I mean, our guys were into it, played hard, played inspired, played with emotions. Made plays when we needed to have them made, just came up a little short.

"But my heart aches for those guys because I asked those guys to play and leave everything on the field, play with heart, play with emotions and they did it.

"0-3 in the league, but we're back home next week with South Carolina, and we've got to prepare the same way. For three solid days we've got to get ourselves physically and mentally ready to get up to play a South Carolina team that's playing good football at this point.

Q. Is that the way, in the second half, you expect your defense to play all season?
"Exactly. We've got to get stops. We've got to get stops. Our defense created a lot of stops in the second half, and our offense just came up a little short in the two series. Which is a bad time, because we had been moving the ball pretty well, and we kind of sputtered in the two series.

"We've got to put points on the board when we get stops, especially the way they had played in the first half. I mean, we didn't get them stopped in the first half, and we were down two scores. We had a big kick right before the half. Made it a two-score game, and we needed to come out and play fast, give us a stop then go put points on the board.

"We got a turnover, and we didn't get anything out of it, and the second series was the same. It was not until the third series, I think, that we got something on the board.

"We've got to, when we get the momentum, we've got to take advantage of it, and our offense didn't in the first two series of the second half."

Q. Did you do anything different in the second half?
"No, played technique, stayed in gaps, and blitzed them when we had the chance. Throwing downs is when you need to call up blitzes against an offense like that. So we got them in some third and longs that they were able to come with some heat on it. Made a couple of plays, made a couple of stops and got the offense with some opportunities."

Q. What is your thought as they got to the 15-yard line in the last minute and a half? Did you consider to let them score and try to get the ball back?
"No, no. Anything can happen. I mean, we're playing for the turnover; that's what we're playing for. We're not playing to let them score. We're playing for the turnover.

"They put the ball on the ground four times tonight. We didn't get any. The ball bounced -- didn't bounce our way tonight. But we were playing to get a turnover. We weren't playing to let them score.

Q. Can you talk about Cobb's performance tonight?
"Not much needs to be said. If you watch the game, this guy's the best football player I've ever been around. Just makes plays. From the time he's got the ball in his hands, something exciting is going to happen.

"He's hard to tackle. He makes people miss. He catches the ball in tight spaces. Not blessed with great speed, not a real strong guy, just makes plays. He's got the knack of making plays. He has "it." And we've tried to describe what "it" is numerous times, you guys have. I don't know what "it" is. But we need to get more guys that have "it."

Q. Have you learned a little something about your team when they come back in the last half?
"I always knew what this team was about. This team will fight you to there are zeros on the clock. This team has heart; there's no question about that. I hope everybody else recognizes that. This is a team that has a lot of heart and will fight you till the zero is on the clock."

Q. After you tied the game in the fourth quarter, did you ever think your team wouldn't get the ball back?
"No, there was no doubt in my mind that we would get them stopped and our offense is moving the ball on them. There was no doubt in my mind that we're going to win the game.

"I mean, they try a reverse and we tipped the ball. Actually tipped, get a fingernail on the ball and it kicks right back to them. If we get just a pinky on it, it probably kicks away from them. We got just a fingernail on it, it kicks right back to them. We get them backed up, and there is no doubt in my mind that we're going to hold them because we've held them the whole second half.

"Only given up three points, and there was no doubt in my mind that we were going to get them stopped and our offense was moving the ball on them. There was no doubt that we were going to go down and score."

Q. I assume they're a Top 10 team and they come in and you guys are so competitive. But do you worry about the psyche of a team when you're on a losing streak and you lose one this close?
"No, you guys asked me that question last week, too. Many of you thought this team was down and out. This team is a team of fighters, and we'll be ready next week. We'll prepare the way we need to prepare over these next three days. Prepare our minds mentally on Friday, Saturday and be ready to play again next week.

"There is no doubt in my mind that this team will be ready to play next week. And last week it was the same question, and I had no doubt last week, and it showed. This is a team that has a lot of heart."

Q. The defense played with a lot more emotion in the second half? Did you say something to get them going?
"We talked about it in the first half, too. That was just not something because we're down 14 we're going to talk about it. I thought they did, yeah. But I think a lot of that starts when you get them stopped.

"We made a couple plays, and got them stopped, and, therefore, you start playing with a little bit more excitement, a little bit more energy, little bit more juice. After the first interception, it got the defense going, and the stops started coming after that."

Q. What did you think about Mike Hartline's performance?
"What was he? 23 or 28, couple drops. 25 or 28? I mean, Hartline's playing his tail off for us. Please, you've got to recognize that. You have got to recognize that Mike Hartline's playing like an SEC quarterback's supposed to play.

"He hasn't taken sacks. He didn't turn the ball over at all tonight. He made some big time throws, the slant throughout to Randall. That is a big time throw. That is an SEC quarterback. That is a big-time throw in any league.

Q. You've been on the end of it as a player or assistant, does it hurt more?
"No, they all hurt. They all rip your guts out. Whether you're a player, I don't feel any different than those players do, anybody, or those assistant coaches. They rip your gut out; there's no question about that.

"But we've got to pick ourselves up, still got a lot of football to play, and we'll start getting prepared tomorrow."

Q. What did you think about Donald Russell's performance?
"He made people miss. Had a chance a couple times to pick up some blitzes and did that and made it. Made some plays down the stretch that gave us a chance to win the football game."

#23, Donald Russell, So., TB

On the loss and preparing for South Carolina...
"We're playing hard. We gave it all we got and it's hard that we came out with a tough loss. We've just got to get this behind us. Come this week, [we need to] get ready for the next game which is South Carolina and come prepared."

On what made the difference in second half for the offense...
"I think momentum. We had a good flow going with running and passing. We tried to capitalize, tried not to have too many mistakes and we came out successful."

On taking over for Derrick Locke in the second half...
"It's a mental thing. I stay mentally prepared. I talk to my coaches, I also always talk to my family and they always tell me to stay mentally prepared, even when things don't look like they are going your way. That's what I did. My number was called and I had to basically step up, and that's what I did. I think I did pretty good. Everyone is telling me I did good. I picked up on blitzes and I had some good runs. I think I did good today."

#46, Ronnie Sneed, Jr., LB

On the loss...
"This is the second week that we've lost a tough game. It's a heartbreaker. We worked harder than we've ever worked before this week in practice. We felt very prepared. I felt like all of my guys played their hearts out. We played a hard-fought battle, but we just ran out of time in the end."

On lessons learned from the game...
"I think everybody saw what we do against adversity. We were down, the defense kept battling, the offense, they fought even harder. [All of us] together, we all wanted that win. We bit down and we fought them as hard as we could. Sometimes it just comes out like that. We realized how good of a football team we really are."

On the difference in the first and second halves for the defense...
"We started containing No. 2 [Cam Newton]. In that first half, he was running wild. Once we got a lock down on that, it balanced it out and they weren't moving the ball as effectively. We ran some different fronts and changed our alignment on some plays to try to take away a lot of those outside plays. They were killing us on the outside. It really helped."

#21, Winston Guy, Jr., S

On how much this one hurts ...
"It hurts a lot. We left everything out on the field and came up short again. I think everyone played to their potential. We had a slow start in the first half but we have to come back next week and have our three days of practice really hard like coach Philips has been telling us. Against South Carolina we have to play the first half like we played the second half."

On what was the difference between the second half and the first half on defense ...
"I think everyone got together at halftime and we all rallied up. Defense wins games so everyone got together and got on the same page. We felt like we could stop Cameron Newton and what they were running and everyone was given a job to make plays and make stops."

On what was it like playing against Newton ...
"He's a good player; I'm not going to take that away from him. He uses his size to his advantage. I think that his size was killing us in the first half. He would just get outside the pocket and use his speed to his advantage and we couldn't stop him. Eventually we got the hang of what they were doing and the hurry up offense and we got the flow of the speed, but he was just making plays. We can't take nothing away from him, he's good."

#5, Mike Hartline, Sr., QB

On battling back to tie the game but coming up short in the end ...
"It's hard. You can't really say much about it. We ran out of time and just came up one drive short."

On is it tough to sit there on the sideline so long while they had the ball ...
"It is. They had six plus minutes to score and we just kept telling ourselves we were going to get an opportunity even under a minute we were going to get a chance. You have to give credit to Auburn they played a smart game and played well. Just too little too late."

On are there things you can take from this one ...
"Yeah, we all knew we played our butt off. We all knew we played hard and were right there with the No. 8 ranked team in the country. It shows you how good we can be and how hard we still need to work. Not to take games for granted or weeks for granted in terms of practice during the week. It's just going back and putting this one in the books and going on to the next one."



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