Arkansas vs. Auburn Postgame Quotes
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Oct. 16, 2010

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 


Auburn Locker Room

Head Coach Gene Chizik

"I just feel really blessed to be around such an unbelievable group of young men, and this football team amazes me in different ways every week. That was an extremely good football team tonight, and I guess it was another way that we found how to win a game. I think it just goes in line with us finding a different way every week, but that again was such a team thing. It is unbelievable. Our special teams, that may be one of the best special teams all-around, coverage units, return units. Coach (Jay) Boulware has done a fantastic job with our special teams, with field position. Offensively, I think we punted maybe twice tonight. They were spectacular. Defensively, we struggled for a while there against what is a very, very potent good offense. But, the thing that stands out to me the most is that at the end of the game we were able to get three turnovers to change the game. What that says in my opinion is that our football team is just resilient. Our defense is resilient. We know we didn't play well all night, and there is probably numerous reasons of why. We will see that tomorrow on film, but when it was the fourth quarter and when we had to make plays and when we had to get turnovers, we got three. For all of the games that we didn't do well as a team, we beat an extremely good football team tonight. That's the bottom line. Again, my hat's off to all of our players and our coaches. They made some great adjustments in there and players executed to the best of their ability, and we were able to win the game. Again, I couldn't be more proud of this Auburn Family. Our fans tonight were off the charts spectacular as usual, and they deserve a lot of credit, too."

Is there something that you can see that makes this team take it to another level in the fourth quarter?
"We just believe in the fourth quarter, the importance of that fourth quarter and how much time we've put in and trained and just emphasized the importance of winning the fourth quarter. We emphasize it daily, weekly. Our team gets together at the end of every third quarter, and basically the mantra is that if we are not ahead, we are going to win it and come ahead and get ahead, and that if we are ahead, we are going to keep the lead. That is pretty much it in a nutshell. They get together and they sprint down the field right now and the message is that we are going to have energy in the fourth quarter, and we expect to win those games, and I think we've found different ways to do that all year."

Is there anybody in America playing football better than #2 (Cam Newton)?
"I don't have the opportunity to watch everybody in America, but I can tell you this: Number 2 is one spectacular football player, and I am not one to go out on a limb, but everybody in the world sees it. It's not like I'm telling anybody anything new. He is a competitor. He wants the ball. He is humble. He keeps working, and he gives us a chance to win every week, and the level of play from our players around him needs to get elevated from every position in every spot. He just brings a dynamic to our team that I think if it will continue to get better can be special, but he has been playing and like I said, I haven't seen everybody, but he has to be playing as good as the best ones."

When Tyler Wilson comes in for Ryan Mallett, does that change anything offensively with what they do or is it just a different trigger on the same gun?
"I have to give him a lot of credit. It is the same idea, the same offense. He made some incredible throws. We didn't play some of the coverages very well. Some of it was their receivers went up and just played better than our secondary. He put some of the throws ... they ran the wheel route on a linebacker there for a long ball. He put it in the only place that you can put it. The double pass, he put it in the only place that you can put it. I thought he played very well."

Did you talk specifically about kickoff coverage after last week's game?
"That team right there is filled with a bunch of freshmen, and they understand that their role this year on this football team because we were very poor at it last year, is to gain us field position. It is that simple. You have a bunch of guys who have really bought into that role, but if you look real closely right now, you are going to see guys that want to be on it. You are going to see Darvin Adams covering kickoffs. You are going to see Eric Smith covering kickoffs. Some of our older guys mixed in with some of the younger guys, they understand the importance of field position wins games, especially when you are playing very potent offenses, and I thought they were outstanding today."

On Auburn's defense and its ability to flip the switch when they need to all season long
"We try not to let how we play be based on the circumstances around us. You can be playing very poorly, and you can get beat on this, and they can have a couple of 70 and 80 yard drives, but if you let that beat you twice then you are going to have a problem. We always talk about not letting something beat you twice so they just kept playing. We just felt like if we kept playing, kept playing and just keep chopping wood, something eventually has to happen good. Again, I think three turnovers in the fourth quarter was huge."

On Auburn not throwing a pass in the third quarter and after they took the lead, it looked like you really turned up the tempo on offense. Does the fact that they took the lead change your approach there?
"Not really. Everything we do offensively is going to be based on what we think they're giving us. It depends on what coverages they are in secondary-wise for wanting to throw the ball. It depends on do we feel like we have an advantage on the offensive line because their defensive line is worn down. We felt like at some points in the game we speeded it up because they were. We felt in some points in the game we didn't need to do that, and we do other things because the secondary was giving us that. I don't think there is any magic to it. We just try to do what we think is the best opportunity for us to move the ball run or throw."

On Auburn's first blocked punt in a while
"Just a great job again by Coach Boulware scheming up the punt for the week. We have kind of gone after a couple lately. We felt like we were getting close. We work that every day. We felt like we could get one, and it was great to actually see them go in there and get their hands on one. Again, it is the overall special teams. It is the blocked punt. It is the kickoff return. It is the kickoff coverage. I just thought all the way around they were really good."

Does the fact that you had to overcome mistakes again to win the game help you keep these guys grounded and not feeling too good about themselves?
"I don't think that is their nature. I think that their nature is more to be humble and every guy day by day has an opportunity to make himself better. I don't worry about that, but certainly when you look at the film and see the mistakes that we made, you couldn't be that way. We will go back to work tomorrow."

As a defensive coach, can you imagine what it would be like to try to scheme against Cam Newton?
"I would think it would be difficult. I think he brings so much to the table because he is not one dimensional. Let's put it that way. He throws a really, really nice ball. He makes really good decisions. He usually doesn't make the same mistake twice ... usually. Then we all know what he can do with his legs. He is a special guy."

How much of an emotional lift was the fumble return for a touchdown at a point where nobody was really stopping anybody?
"It was great. Again, when that kind of game is going back and forth and everyone is moving the ball and people are having a hard time slowing everybody down, you are looking for that one momentum swing, in our case, on the defense because we were struggling. It seemed right after that, that gave them a little more oomph and a little more confidence, and then of course, we went down and had a turnover the very next series as well. Again, I am just really proud of how they finished."

How hard was it for the guys not to get down when Aairon Savage got hurt after all that he has been through?
"I can't say enough about that young man. I don't know what the final prognosis is of the whole deal. We will know more tomorrow, but it breaks my heart. When I went out on the field and he is laying there and he is crying and he has tears in his eyes, that hurts me. This guy has done everything we've asked him to do to come back and be a football player at Auburn because he loves Auburn and he loves football, and that hurts."

On being 9-of-9 in red zone opportunities and the importance of being able to execute
"I think it is probably one of the most important things that an offense can do. Going 9-for-9 down there is pretty special. It is hard to do. I think our guys have a lot of confidence down there. I think Coach (Gus) Malzahn has great gameplans week to week, and they are all different. When we get to those different landmarks on the field, and I think we have confidence when we go down there we can score."

Onterio McCalebb, RB

On kickoff return to the Arkansas one-yard-line...
"The coaches came up with the perfect blocking scheme. I saw the hole and I was able to make a long run. "

On his second-quarter touchdown run...
"It was awesome. Coach called the play and my blockers lined up and blocked. It was wide open and an easy walk in."

On Auburn's rushing performance...
"It was personal. We all had a lot of downplaying before the game - people saying we were going to lose. A lot of people were predicting us to lose, but we just had to go out there and make a statement."

Demond Washington, DB

On his 122 return yards...
"That was not all me. The 10 guys in front of me did an awesome job tonight coming out and blocking. Onterio McCalebb opened some lanes anybody could run through."

On his defensive performance...
"I feel like I played well. We came out with a victory. We all played together when the times got tough tonight. We all played hard and stuck together as a team."

On preparing for LSU...
"We will come in tomorrow and do the same things we did this week. LSU is a tough team. Any SEC game will be tough. We are going to go back and look at the film and correct our mistakes. All we can do until next Saturday is go out there and work hard."

Kodi Burns, WR

On personal performance...
"I feel like I did alright. I had two pretty good catches and blocked well on the perimeter. We stuck together as a team and got the win. We pretty much scored whenever we needed to, even when we shot ourselves in the foot. Overall, I think we played pretty well."

On LSU preparations...
"We need to work on eliminating stupid penalties. Every time we get in the redzone, we need to get six instead of kicking field goals. We need to start scoring more points when we get in the red zone."

Josh Bynes, LB

On Arkansas second-string quarterback Tyler Wilson...
"He did a great job coming in for (Ryan) Mallett. That's a hard quarterback to replace. Towards the end of the game, as a defense, we figured out what was going on and came up with some big turnovers."

On his first interception of the night...
"After I made the catch, I was looking for a cutback down the sideline but couldn't find one. I like to hit people instead of getting hit."

On the week ahead...
"Our offense is tremendous. It is incredible to watch sometimes, especially with Cam back there. The LSU game is going to be a great one. They are going to bring their defense and we will have to do the same. It is going to be a dogfight."

Mario Fannin, RB

On the offense getting 330 rushing yards...
"We are getting better every week and we are finding ways to get things done. We work hard every day and that's why we have a great offense. We executed our plays well and we trusted our teammates."

On another comeback win...
"We just pulled together. Whether we win or if we lose, we are a family. We lean on each other, and we have faith in each other. It works out for us."

On putting up 65 points...
"Everybody did their assignments. The offensive line did a great job blocking, and Cam did a great job of operating the offense. We were running the ball downhill, so everything worked out for us."

Cameron Newton, QB

On his performance tonight...
"It was amazing. We went out there and played as a team. The offensive line was the key. Running behind them, it just wasn't me. The whole running back core, all of them had an excellent game. So, it just wasn't me running the football, the glory goes to the whole offensive line."

On the comeback in the fourth quarter...
"We are very resilient and we will refuse to lose."

Nick Fairley, DL

On the defense's performance...
"As a defense, out there on the field, we always want to be consistent. We are always looking to get a three-and-out. As long as we go out there and don't let them score, we did our job and tonight we did that. Our defense may bend, but it won't break."

On adjustments made in the fourth quarter...
"I'm not sure if we made any adjustments, we just went out there and settled down. By the fourth quarter, we went out there and said `let's go.' The offense put up enough points for us to win. We just had to go out there and stop them, and we did that."

On another comeback win...
"This team has a huge heart. When we are together no one can stop us because we play together and we played together tonight.

Mike Blanc, DL

On the defensive performance...
"It wasn't one of our best performances, but we will take it because we came away with the win. In the second half, specifically in the fourth quarter, we did a good job creating turnovers. It wasn't a perfect game, but we went out there and helped the offense out."

On adjustments made in the fourth quarter...
"We knew we had to raise the level of intensity. We knew that starting in the fourth quarter we had a whole new game. We went out there and got after it and hustled and hustled and tried to get turnovers."

On the fourth quarter comeback...
"We're not going to break, we practice hard. We prepare hard during the week, so when it's Saturday on game day it shows on the field."

Zac Etheridge, S

On tonight's game...
"Defensively, we have miles of work to do. It is a win and I am excited. The offense did a great job putting up 65 points. So you have to give it to them."

On fumble recovery for a touchdown...
"I saw Daren Bates and Mike Blanc tackle a guy and I saw the ball pop out, so I just picked it up and ran. My hat goes off to the guys that smothered the ball and made the play."


Arkansas Locker Room

Head Coach Bobby Petrino

Opening Statement...
"It was a tough game for us. You have to tip your hat off to Auburn, they played well and Cam Newton did an unbelievable job running the football. We matched them for three quarters, and I was really happy with the way our guys rallied around Tyler Wilson. They all played hard. I really thought we would find a way to win the game, but we came up short. Obviously turnovers affected us in the fourth quarter, and it was the difference in the game."

On Auburn's special teams' play ...
"We got beat in the kicking game. There is no question they had a huge advantage on special teams with huge kick returns, and they held us to no returns. It was a big difference in field position, and made a big difference in the outcome of the game."

On Tyler Wilson...
"I thought he had a lot of poise and executed very well. He was concentrating, focusing and making plays. The way the team rallied around him and came out and played to help Tyler was something good to see. We give both our quarterbacks time in practice, Wilson takes all the individual reps, and splits the team reps. We always try to have a player prepared to play. We have a list of plays we think Tyler executes well, and we try to stay to that. I have a lot of respect for Tyler Wilson, he's a really good player and can throw the football. I was happy with the way he was calm out there, he gave us a chance to be in the position for us to win in the fourth quarter, and obviously we didn't get it done."

On challenges Cam Newton presents ...
"Mainly his ability to run the ball, even when you have guys there, he breaks the tackles. He's also fast and big and can really run the ball. He's just a really good player."

On Knile Davis...
"Knile ran the ball hard, and he did a real nice job in protection. He continues to hit the holes on time. He's been real physical running the football, but had one mistake right before halftime. He did a real nice job in the second half of being in the game, and helping everyone else."

Thoughts on what makes the difference in a high-scoring game...
"Usually it's big plays and turnovers, and tonight's game it was also special teams. Auburn had a huge advantage in special teams and that certainly played a big part in it."

Effect of blocked punt on the momentum of the game...
"I don't feel that was the turning point of the game because we responded very well. We came back and got the lead, nobody put their head down, and I felt like we competed hard."

On Arkansas' defensive performance...
"I am disappointed any time you give up that many points and that many yards. I don't think we played as fast as we have in the past. I don't think we got enough guys to the ball like we've been doing. Auburn played real well, Cam Newton is a great player and they run a good scheme."

On possible scheme change for Newton at halftime...
"We tried to get numbers on Cam Newton all night. We had guys there at times, and at times they got him."

Tyler Wilson, QB

On mindset when finding out he was going into the game...
"You've got to be ready when your number is called. And for a while there we knew that Ryan wasn't going to be ready to go. You've got to prepare yourself mentally, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that this week. I think I prepared myself pretty well."

On completing first 15 passes...
"There's a point where you think `this night is going to be magical,' and it was magical for a little while. Everyone was there with me, and I was happy because that happened. It just didn't turn out there right at the end."

On how getting action in Spring practice prepared him to step into a big game...
"Definitely. Bonding with those guys, learning how those guys run routes and getting to know the offensive line as well. Who's in there and how they relate to one another, and having a relationship with them--it was definitely huge to have that coming in."

On what he saw when he threw the two interceptions...
"One was a play-action deep throw down the field, and they were in single-high when I made my fake. They came back and I tried to throw to Joe Adams in the flat and I underthrew him a little bit, and the linebacker was able to get his hands on it. As for the other one, it was the same play call for which we had thrown a touchdown to Joe Adams down the middle earlier. It was a miscommunication. I thought he was going to go over the top and I took a little off the throw. I realized what he was doing, and I ended up throwing a pick."

On the difficulty in avoiding interceptions when the other team knows you're in a passing situation...
"Auburn did a great job. They brought some pressure in the second half, and they pretty much stayed in the zone. Towards the end they brought some more pressure, and we made some more mistakes."

On the reception from the team when he came onto the field...
"I just felt like they had my back when I came in. That meant the most to me. I saw belief in their eyes and they told me `We're going to follow you. Just keep doing what you're doing.'"

On how much this helps him prepare for next week if he should have to start next week...
"Well, it's definitely game experience. You know what the crowd is going to be like. It's going to be loud. You know what it's like to have the lights on you--it's a very helpful experience."

Joe Adams, WR

On feeling the pressure of having to score on every possession...
"We knew it was going to be a shootout when we got here. They run basically the same offense that we do. Their offense likes to put up points and we like to put up points, so we knew it was going to be a shootout."

On missing an opportunity to take the lead after the fumble return for a touchdown...
"It wasn't just that play alone. We had a few things, like on kickoff we weren't getting past the 20-yard line, so we've got to get back and watch film and get those things corrected. So it wasn't his fault at all."

On the difficulty in returning kicks...
"We've got to get in and get those things corrected so that we can get guys to block their man and stay on their man so our returners have a good chance to get past the 20."

On the team attitude when Wilson came into the game...
"We needed Tyler to step up, and that's what he did--he played a great game. At the end things didn't go our way, but we're not going to blame it on Tyler or Broderick's fumble. It was other parts of the game where we didn't hit our assignments, and that's what happens."

On Tyler Wilson's interception...
"I didn't know that he had thrown it until I looked up and the linebacker was running it back. We've just got to get in and watch film, and see what went wrong on that play."

On what he can take away from the game...
"Confidence. We can take confidence. I thought our confidence was great coming out into the second half. And to play like that in an away game where the crowd is really loud--because Auburn's crowd is real loud--and just to play our game like that coming out in the second half I thought we did real good. We've just got to get in and watch film, and get it figured out because we've got Ole Miss next week."

Jerico Nelson, OLB

On Cam Newton's performance...
"He did a great job leading his team. He put the ball in his own hands, he broke tackles, and he got into the end zone."

On the defensive performance as a whole...
"We needed to take a big step. We weren't making the right calls, and we weren't communicating. When you're playing against a good team, you've really got to get those things right."

On Coach Petrino saying that they weren't playing as fast as they normally do...
"It was more like our defense wasn't all on the same page."

On the defensive miscommunication...
"The pace and the different kind of formations that they throw at you--you look at the sideline and get a call based on a formation, you look back and it's a different formation. And they have a fast pace, so we've just got to communicate better."

Jake Bequette, DE

On being in position to make a play, but not being able to finish it...
"We had opportunities to stop them, but they made plays. Cam Newton is a great player, and he really hurt us today."

On the overall defensive performance...
"Obviously not very well, we gave up too many points, too many big plays. We couldn't get off the field on third downs."

On being out of sync on defense...
"They played a great game. They seemed like they had a great game plan for us. They really attacked our line with free will, and we didn't execute. We had our own game plan, we just didn't get it done."

On playing against Cam Newton...
"He's a strong guy. He's also very fast. He's very elusive--you've got to give that guy a lot of credit. He's a great player. He's going to do that to a lot of people."

On the difference in playing this year's Auburn team versus last year's team...
"Cam Newton. He gives a different dynamic to the team. He's like another running back back there."