Oct. 15, 2011
Auburn Locker Room
Head Coach Gene Chizik
"That was a great win. That was a great all-around team win. I don't think there was any question about it that every phase of our football team contributed, and that was a very good, very talented football team that we beat tonight. No question about that. My hat's off to our coaching staff all the way around. Coach Roof and the defensive staff just did a tremendous job. I think our defense is getting better every week. I think that is something that is obviously one of our goals because we've had a lot of room for improvement. Offensively at times we were not really where we wanted to be, but when we had to get first downs, when we had to have a couple of big plays in there, we were able to do that. Then, the kicking game again was off the charts. I really feel like it was the difference in the ballgame. Our punt game was outstanding. Our coverage was outstanding. Again, I think we had two turnovers simply because we were getting great height on the ball and getting great coverage down there in the returner's face. I really think it was a great win for Auburn. We had a lot of ex-players come back for this game and it's for our great fans because they played a huge part in this as well as they always do. The home field advantage that we get playing at home is something that we certainly love to play in front of. So, it was a win for everybody. It was a great win so I am very proud of our staff. I am really, really, really proud of our players, and it was just a great win for Auburn."
On the quarterback situation?
"We will evaluate it and we made a change at halftime and put Clint (Moseley) in there and Barrett (Trotter) has done a real nice job for us, and so we are not in any way shape or form saying Barrett can't play anymore. That's not the message. The message is that we needed a spark, and we needed to see if we could get something going offensively. Clint came in and had a couple of big plays down the field ... one to Q(uindarius) Carr and one to Philip Lutzenkirchen at critical times in the game. We needed to swap the field position in both of those cases. We needed to score or swap the field position, and we did that. So, he came in and gave us a spark, but we used Kiehl (Frazier) tonight again, expanded his package a little bit, and we will continue to do that. But as far as I know the question that everybody is going to ask is what now? What does that mean? Quarterback-wise we are going to evaluate the game like we always do, and we will proceed from there. I am not going to stand up here and say that all of a sudden there are all these changes and all of those different things. I don't know the answer to that right now. I have to go see the film. Again, it was the right people making plays at the right time. I think that is what won the ball game."
On Auburn's dominant defensive performance
"I think that is a good word. Dominant. I think that is the only word you could use. Probably 40 or 50 yards of their offense came on the last drive when we knew they had two scores. I couldn't be more proud. I see it in practice. I see the way they work in practice, and I see a pattern of them understanding the urgency of being a better defense. They've understood that, and we've certainly gotten better in the last three weeks, and I've said that so they will continue to improve. We will continue to work in that direction, but I am really proud of them because they don't listen to all the stuff out there. They just kind of come out there and really try to play good football. I think tonight on third downs, again, I think every week we've improved on third down getting off the field. We are just playing better. They are playing more physical. That was a really, really good running game Florida had. They had a lot of speed. They had a lot of success running the football, and our number one goal going in was to stop the run, and they did that tonight."
On stopping Florida's perimeter run game
"I felt like we had to set edges to our defense, and when we didn't set an edge to our defense, the week before it resulted in a long touchdown (at Arkansas) so most of the year we've been doing it pretty effectively in terms of setting the edge to the defense. At least certainly the last few weeks we have. So that was going to be the name of the game with these guys ... setting the edge of the defense, and they did a lot of different things with different people at quarterback. They had different ideas with different people which made it a little bit difficult to game plan for who was doing what. I thought the outside perimeter run game pursuit and tackling was very good tonight."
On proving the prognosticators wrong in being 5-2 right now
"I am happy that we had the win tonight. Quite frankly, our expectation at this point in time was to be 7-0. I mean really that is what our players thought. That's what our coaches thought, and we had our chances to win two games to win the two that we lost. We lost two football games to two top 10 teams and had our chances. We are happy we won the game tonight. We are happy that we are getting better as a football team in different areas. We have a lot of work to do in some areas, and I think that was obvious tonight. But at the end of the day, we have fought and clawed and scratched to five wins, and that is how we are going to have to do it."
On DeAngelo Benton
"I think it is enormous. I think it is huge. He was down after last week. He knew he had opportunities and he knew that he did not capitalize on those opportunities and so to see a young guy that has worked so hard. I am so proud of him. With his background and what he has been through it is just awesome to see a guy like that score a touchdown tonight, and that was not your routine catch. He had to go up and grab that ball and snatch it and bring it down, and he did that. So, hopefully that will give him some more confidence moving forward."
Was Emory Blake available at all?
"I think he is making some strides. We just didn't feel like he was at the place where he could go in there and be effective at getting off press coverage and doing all of the things. We didn't want to take the chance of him going out there and playing 10 plays, him losing ground on how much he has gained in terms of getting better and then he is out three more weeks. So, we will continue to rehab him and continue to treat him. Hopefully, he will be getting better."
On Auburn being able to pressure the quarterback more in recent games?
"I just think defensively the kids are really executing the plan. I just think whether it is four man rush, I think we are getting a little more pressure or whether it is true blitz pressure, and I think Ted (Roof) has done a good job of really mixing up the calls and mixing up the coverages. Again, I just think overall the defense is gaining confidence, and they understand the importance of pressuring the quarterback and what that does for you getting off the field or keeping you out of those 3rd and 2 and 3rd and 3 situations. I think they've continued to improve and get better in that regard."
On Auburn's special teams
"That's what I am saying. Our punt unit, our special teams unit, we've said it all year, they are game changers. For us a game changer is not necessarily always a guy dropping a punt, and we recover it. Obviously that is a no brainer game changer. Game changers for us is switching field position because we are a team that has to win by field position. That's it. That's where we are at, and Steven (Clark) has done a great job of A. flipping field position for us numerous times and B. tonight punting some of those balls up there that bring rain. I mean those things are in the clouds and our coverage is excellent, and when you can get that kind of hang time on your punts and you have Onterio McCalebb or Ikeem Means or one of those guys in the returner's face. That causes problems."
On Clint Moseley
"I am really proud of Clint. I really am. I am really proud of him. We had a conversation a couple of weeks ago, and I just said, `Hey, when your time comes, shame on you at the opportunity presents itself and you're not ready' and I think he took that to heart. And I didn't say that for any reason other than I just felt like that it was really time to talk to Clint about in practice really upping his game and upping his level, and the opportunity presented itself tonight and there will be things that we look back on that he didn't do well, but again, he sparked enough in our offense at the times that we needed it to be able to help us to win the game. So, I am really proud of him. I thought he played with poise. I thought he held his poise, and I thought that under pressure he did a nice job."
Quarterback Clint Moseley
On Auburn's win over Florida... "It was a great win for us. Anytime you can beat a program like Florida, is a great experience. It will be a boost to our momentum and confidence. The majority of the credit should go to our defense. They played incredible, holding Florida to six points. They played so great. Special teams also played excellent giving us good field position."
On his personal performance... "I've waited for this moment. I have dreamed about this moment. I put my faith in God and it really paid off. There were some plays I wish I had back, but I'm going to get in film tomorrow and try to fix my mistakes."
Wide Receiver Quindarius Carr
On Auburn's win over Florida... "It was an awesome team win. We played well and the coaches made great calls. We executed the plan."
On 42-yard catch in third quarter... "Coach (Gus) Malzahn made an excellent call and the line did a great job blocking. We just took a shot downfield and I made the play."
Defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker
On Auburn's win over Florida... "It was a great defensive game. It was a great team win. The defense was calm and stuck to the game plan. We came back out in the second half with the same intensity we started the first half with and came out with a very important win."
On improvement of Auburn's defense... "The first step of improvement is believing in yourself. We don't listen to the naysayers. We use it as reverse psychology - as motivation. It doesn't matter what they say. The only thing that matters is what happens on the field."
Linebacker Eltoro Freeman
On starting at middle linebacker... "It felt good to start, get back out there and help my team win. It doesn't matter if I start or not, I'm just very thankful to be on the field and never take it for granted. It felt great to get this win for the Auburn family."
On Auburn's third-down defense... "That was a weakness of our defense at the beginning of the season, we have been hearing all of that talk and came together as a group and decided that we had to improve."
On picking up third SEC win of the season... "It feels great but the biggest thing is the fact that we kept our home winning streak alive, that was the main thing we told ourselves that no one was going to beat us at home. We are still 3-1 in the SEC so we still have a shot at the SEC Championship."
Defensive End Nosa Eguae
On picking up third SEC win of the season... "We knew the atmosphere tonight was going to be crazy and that our fans were going to be loud. We just wanted to make them proud. We wanted to come out and finish the game and do the types of things you are supposed to do to get a big win."
On Holding three of the last four opponents to six or fewer points in the first half... "Our coaches give us a great plan to win and we just have to go out and execute. Last week, we executed at times but made some costly mistakes. We wanted to come out today and run on all cylinders for four quarters, and that's what we did."
Linebacker Daren Bates
On third SEC win... "It's hard to win in the SEC and we have three. We just have to keep on executing and win out so we can try to get back to Atlanta."
On Auburn's third down defense... "We had a plan and we just worked it. We wanted to get hats to the ball."
Defensive Back T'Sharvan Bell
On team's overall performance... "It was defiantly a team win. We needed this and we fought on all sides of the ball. Offense started off slow but they definitely got it going. Just getting first downs and keeping the chains moving helps the defense out a lot."
Thoughts heading into LSU game... "This win was a big momentum boaster coming into next week. LSU is a very strong team and we are not going to take them lightly. We have to do the best we can this week to prepare for them."
On Defensive performance... "Our goal is to be the most improved defense at the end of the season. All I can say is that we took about four or five steps towards reaching that goal tonight."
Tight End Phillip Lutzenkirchen
On his performance in Auburn's win... "Clint came in there and on one he scrambled around and found me. On another he stayed in the pocket and hit me on a seam route right before I got to the safety it was a perfect ball. All the credit goes to Clint and the offensive line giving him time. Clint just delivered."
On the offense's play in the second half... "We just knew that we'd been stalling on our drives, we knew we needed to continue drives. Defense played phenomenal again and we didn't want to hurt them again like we did last week by putting them in bad spots. We just put our heads down and went back to work and Clint led the team to two scoring drives."
On Clint Moseley's performance tonight... "I give credit to Clint, staying locked in. He's had it a little rough since he wasn't named the starter. You know he could have gotten down about everything but he just kept his nose in the playbook and kept his hopes and confidence up and he came and showed that he's a leader. He really looked like the Clint we knew from high school when we recruited him."
Defensive End Corey Lemonier
On leading the team in tackles... "At practice, I've been working on the small things and it has helped me out. I've been steadily improving this season and I need to keep working at it, it's a reflection from practice to this game."
On this teams transformation on opposing third down conversion rates... "Every week at practice the coaches would be on us, `get them off the field, get them off the field third down three and out.' It was instilled in our head, tattooed in our head to go hard on third down trying to get them off the field so our offense could get going and do there thing."
On the defense's overall performance... "It's a group effort. Defense by committee, everybody did their job today and it's a reflection of our work."
Wide Receiver Quindarius Carr
On his 42 yard catch... "It was an excellent call by Coach Malzahn, the line did an excellent job by holding up and then Clint [Moseley] made an awesome throw. It was where we needed to make a play and my number was called and I had to make a play."
On Clint Moseley... "Clint did an excellent job. Both of our quarterbacks did an excellent job, to me. Clint just stepped in and made plays."
On the offense in the second half... "We came out fired up because we knew we had them, we came out made plays and executed the plan."
Florida Locker Room
Head Coach Will Muschamp
"Tough, hard-fought game. Obviously, three turnovers lead to 10 points. We've got to create some positive momentum for our football team and our offense and we are not doing enough of that. That is something we've got to be able to do. [Turnovers] leading to 10 points is really disappointing. Injury situation, Ronald Powell did not practice this week. He will be back for Georgia after the off week. He will be fine. Jeff Demps was a game-time decision. We didn't feel like he was full speed. He practiced some this week, but not much. Turnovers kill us. Three turnovers lead to 10 points and really cost you the football game."
On spark in team...
"I told them that losing is hard. Losing is tough. It's not fun. We are going to stay the course here. The guys fought and competed hard in the game and I thought that a week ago. We didn't get the results we wanted, but we took a positive step forward. I saw some good things. I saw some things that we obviously need to correct. I'm very proud of our effort. We competed in the game, in a tough place to play. I thought we didn't win the game, which is what everybody wants to see, but I see a lot more than that. I see things that we've got to do as a program to take steps forward. Unfortunately, we didn't get the win."
On offense not being in sync...
"Both guys (QBs Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett) didn't do anything that really hurt us in the game, but then again didn't do anything to help us. We had a missed throw on the flea flicker - we need to hit that. The more reps and the more turns those young men get - they are going to be really good football players. I'm excited about both of them. We just need to continue to move forward. It's been tough with Jeff being hurt a little bit. We are going into the fifth week of the season and Jacoby didn't have a whole lot of reps because he's the third-stringer. That's the reality, but that's part of the game."
Are both QBs not ready at this point...
"Playing at quarterback as a true freshman in this league is difficult. They are going to be fine. You can't score six points and win games. It's going to be tough. Then again, it's not all their fault either. You've got to play better up front, play better at the wide out position, got to develop some things in the run game position. You've got to do a lot. Those are things we've got to continue to improve our team. The open week is coming at a good time from the standpoint that we've got some guys banged up. But we've got to go back and work on fundamentals of what we are trying to do, not that we haven't done it before, but get better at being a fundamental football team."
On going for it on 4th down at the 16-yard line...
"Caleb Sturgis injured his leg and was unavailable at that time. Kyle Christy would have been the kicker and I've got confidence in Kyle. We had not moved the ball extremely well at that point. You kick a field goal and it's still a five-point game - you need a touchdown. You score and you go for two and it's a tie ball game. That was the reason."
Plan to play Driskell...
"We knew Jeff was going to play in the game. We came in at halftime. We talked just as far as Jacoby's play was nothing we were disappointed with. We just weren't moving the ball effectively enough and felt like we needed a change. With Jeff, we had a couple of nice drives. Again, we need to more. We need to play better around both drives."
Brantley's Potential Return for Georgia...
"I'm hoping so. We will see what happens. I don't know. I'll update you as far as I know."
Foresee the punt return issues...
"No. We haven't been having any issues at all."
Multiple QB's causing problems for Jacoby...
"We had six points at halftime. We needed to do something different. If you continue doing the same things, you are going to get the same results."
Disappointment from this week with offensive line...
"Again, I think we've got to play better at all positions. Those are things that we continue to watch film and evaluate what we need to do. We need to put those guys in situations where they can be successful, and I'm talking about the quarterbacks. That's what we are trying to do. We mis-executed some things tonight. We had opportunities that we didn't capitalize on. We had some missed opportunities down on the field that we didn't capitalize on."
Feel better or worse about this game than the previous game...
"I don't feel any different. When you lose, you lose."
Wide Receiver Frankie Hammond
On the loss... "I mean, its football. Nothing is going to come easy. They did a good job of preparing the schemes and playing at the line of scrimmage. We have to go back and see the mistakes we made and see what the problems were and get them corrected."
On the team's progression... "We made tremendous strides and until the end of the game, there was still a chance for us to come out with the win. To me that is a positive coming out of this game."
On SEC East not being in their control... "You just take it a game at a time, in my perspective. This game is over with, and we are going to put this behind us. We have two weeks now to prepare for Georgia."
On recent losses... "Like I said, its football. You are going to make mistakes. Every game is not going to be perfect and drawn out exactly how you thought it would be. We just have to go back, see the mistakes we made and get prepared for Georgia."
Defensive Tackle Jaye Howard
On the youthful mistakes on the defensive side of the ball... "We are seven games into it now and I feel like everyone has matured. We are just making little mistakes here and there."
On the lack of creating turnovers over the past several weeks... "We have not created any turnovers. Whenever we do create turnovers it looks good for the Gators. It helps put our offense into good field position. Lately, we have not been getting any and we need to get back to playing our style of defense by causing havoc and disrupting the quarterback."
On where the defense is relative to where it needs to be at the mid-point of the season... "Our goal is in front of us. We can still stand up and make big plays. Our goal is in front of us and we want to play in Atlanta. We want to control the east and we just need to take it one game at a time."