Quotes - Auburn vs. Arkansas
Oct. 22, 2016

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn

Opening Statement...
"First off, I'm very excited for our team. I'm excited for our players and coaches. We played a complete game. We talked about improving each game. First of all, our defense holding that group to 25 yards rushing was really unbelievable. That was one of the goals: to try to make them one-dimensional and try to get after the quarterback. Our guys up front in those passing situations did a super job. Our defense, I can't say enough about and they're improving each week. Offensively, our plan was we felt we needed to run the football. We were able to run the football, which was a big, big thing. I think we had 543 yards rushing against that bunch, which is really good. I told our guys that that was one of the more complete games that I think we've played since I got here. The good thing is that we are improving, and that's really the name of the game. I'm really happy for our guys. The crowd was unbelievable, once again. We are in a good spot moving forward."

On the physical play in the trenches on both sides of the ball...
"Our defensive front has been very good all year. The week off really helped us. We got fresher and healthier up front. Offensively, we just kind of carried over from the Mississippi State game about the physicality up front and getting a push. Kameron Pettway, once again, had a big-time game. Stanton Truitt really came on as a good change of pace, and of course, Kameron Martin had the big run. We didn't have Kerryon Johnson; he was hurt. He wasn't 100 percent, but we dressed him out and tried to see what he could do in pre-game, so it was good to be able to rest him. The big thing offensively is we didn't have any turnovers. I think that is a sign of good things moving forward."


 

 

On how the defense performed tonight...
"It feels great. We were clicking. Rhett (Lashlee) really had it going. He and Herb Hand had a good plan and got the tempo going. You guys have watched us before; when we get the tempo going, especially being able to tempo and downhill run, we are at our best. We had some big plays and the big pass play, which I thought was big, too. Sean White continues to improve. I really felt good tonight. He had a couple of big runs, and we talked preseason about the quarterback needing to be a runner. He is definitely sufficient enough when called upon."

On the offensive line and averaging nine yards per rush...
"Wow, did we? That's really something. Our offensive line is getting better. We are starting to kind of gel. I felt the off week was good. We are a downhill running team and were able to do that tonight."

Is starting Golson at center and James at tackle the plan moving forward...
"That's just what we felt like. We felt like we played very well the last game out. We felt like we would stick with that lineup. Xavier Dampeer is a very good player in his own right, and it gives us six guys who have started before. That was kind of the thinking going into this thing."

On Eli Stove and other younger players playing more...
"We talked about in the off-week our older guys resting and getting healthy. The young guys -- we've got some really talented young guys, and we focused on the young guys getting some more reps. We just felt like getting (Stove) the ball first play -- that really set the tone. He can run. He's a good athlete. We had a lot of young guys out there. I really thought they took that next step. Nate Craig made a really good catch, and of course Kyle Davis has been playing well all year. It's good that those young guys are starting to grow up."

On Stanton Truitt...
"He's a great change of pace for Pettway. He made some great runs inside, he bounced the ball and of course got the wheel route to the field. Sean White just hit him in stride right there, and when you're able to run the football, the play actions open up."

Did playing time against Mississippi State help Truitt...
"It helped a lot. He went full-time tailback about three or four weeks ago, so for him to be able to do this and play at that high of a level really says a lot about him. He had a very good game and it was great to see."

On the defensive line holding the SEC's leading rusher to 22 yards...
"That's a wow thing, really, to be able to hold him to 25 yards rushing."

On third down focus...
"Third down was one of our points that we were really wanting to continue. We were 7-12 and our goal was to be 50 percent and we felt like if were 50 percent we would score some points there. So we're getting better at third down. Our third down defense has been great all year. I think we were 3-15. I think our offense and defense on third down ranks in the top 20. So we have to continue that."

On Sean White's runs...
"Yeah. Anytime you have Kamryn Pettway running the ball successfully downhill, they all focus on him. It just takes that one time to sneak out; nobody really knew he had the ball. He split them there. He's faster than people think he is. He showed some speed. I knew he wasn't going to take it to the house, but it was nice to see him a long run."

About the Arkansas and Auburn players at pre-game midfield...
"I don't know. We have never had that happen before in our prayer circle. But we were wanting to win the football game, and we were plenty motivated."

Was the team fresher after the off week...
"Any time you play like we played tonight, it gives you confidence. We'll see how banged up we are. Right now everyone is feeling pretty good, but it was a physical game. It was a good physical game for us."

On the big picture...
"Here's what we're doing. We are playing one week in a row. We're going to Ole Miss next week, and that's all we're thinking about. We will see how we are at the end of the year. We're playing good football right now. We will continue to improve, and that is the only thing on our mind."

Does he remember a more dominant all-around performance...
"This would be the game. I'll have to have time to re-watch everything and break it down, but when you beat a Top 20 team that played well last year against a conference opponent, that shows something. We played pretty good in all three phases."

On Auburn's lack of penalties...
"We talked at the mid-way point. I'm not a big stat guy, but a lot of times halfway through the year, you try to figure out what you're good at and what you need to improve on. Penalty yards was one of the best. We were one of the best in country for penalty yards. We need to continue to build on that. I think it says a lot about our players and their discipline. I think it says a lot about our assistant coaches. That's the way they coach so we have to continue that."

On Eli Stove running the ball and running down the kick returner...
"He can really run. You're talking about the one that called back? I just saw the flag but I really didn't watch. You just told me something I didn't know."

On Stanton Truitt...
"He's in a good spot right now. I believe everything happens for a reason. He's got an opportunity, and he seized the moment and now he gives us another weapon in the backfield. He's a change of pace type of guy. The big question coming into this year was the running backs. Do we have enough running backs and are they durable? I think it gives us some more depth."

Has the team improved from the first part of the season...
"It's a hard question to answer right offhand. We're getting better. But this is just one game. We have to continue to get better. We have improved. If you look at it, we lost to two pretty big teams, and I wish we would have played better. But it's all about getting better. Very few teams in college football this time of year get better. That's our challenge; if we can continue to do that, we'll see what happens."

On Kyle Davis...
"He got a lot of third downs. He's kind of been our third down guy."

On playing a complete game...
"It shows a lot about the depth of our team. We put a lot of twos in there. We continued to play good defense and we continued to play good offense. So it says something about our depth. We challenged them at halftime and they came out and played well."

Redshirt freshman defensive back Javaris Davis

On the defensive performance tonight and moving forward...
"We had an excellent game plan to be physical, everybody just do their jobs and keep our foot on the gas pedal. Everybody did their job. Defensive line was very big. I think they are one of the best defensive lines in the country, and you see the results."

On his interception...
"I think I got an interception from the defensive linemen and their pressure. I kind of read the quarterback's eyes a little bit and just made a play on the ball."

On how much it meant to the defense to hold Austin Allen out of the end zone...
"I feel like we weren't really trying to go against him, we were just trying to do what our coaches asked and do our jobs, and that's what we did."

On the linebacker play and holding Arkansas tight end Jeremy Sprinkle to only one catch...
"All of them just read their keys and that's what they do. They play physical. They do their jobs and they make our jobs easier."

Sophomore defensive end Byron Cowart

On how the offensive line and the defensive line feed off of each other on the field...
"It's momentum. I'm starting to learn myself how big momentum is, and it's crazy because you feel it. When the offense is rolling and the defense is rolling, we're picking each other up."

On how it feels to have such a huge win against an SEC team...
"We're just trying to keep our eyes on the prize, stay focused and take it one game at a time. But this is a big game."

Sophomore defensive back Carlton Davis

On the events that occurred between the two teams during the pregame at midfield...
"We were already amped up for this game because of the loss last year and it was just fuel to the fire. It made us work harder."

On how this game affected him personally...
"I really had a bad, bad itch from the game last year and I really wanted to get those guys back. It was extra motivation for me during the week through practice just to get better and make sure that we came out victorious today."

Senior offensive lineman Alex Kozan

On comparing this game to the 2013 SEC championship game...
"Both teams we played were ranked at the time and had good defenses, but we had an opportunity and we kept pouring it on. They never really stopped our run so they were both great nights."

On what it's like to have multiple successful running backs...
"It speaks to our team. We are unselfish. We have a bunch of young guys carrying the ball. A lot of those guys are getting their first opportunities. They're really starting to step into their roles. It's great to see that anyone can step in and get yards."

Junior linebacker Tre' Williams

On the defenses performance...
"We had a b ye week, so we had a lot of time to get ready and we were well-prepared."

On if it is the best game he's played since he's been here...
"I think so personally; I mean only 25 rushing yards? I've never seen that, especially with me playing. We played a really good game, but there's still things that we need to work on."

On the defense's confidence...
"This has shown that we've put those losses behind us, and we just need to keep on pushing. Those two losses haven't defined our team, so we'll just continue to push and we will win at the end of the season."

On pregame around the Auburn logo with Arkansas...
"Normally we pray before every game and we pray around the AU. They were standing in the middle of our AU, that's low-key disrespectful to stand on our logo. We just tried to let them know that they needed to get off of our logo. That is our time to give God praise and they were really messing that up, so we let them know."

On the defense's consistency...
"That was us just being really focused on our assignment. Once everyone was able to just focus on their individual assignment, then the whole defense was able to come together as one."

Sophomore running back Stanton Truitt

On being used multiple ways on the field...
"During the bye week I got a lot of reps, so just being in there getting the reps helped out a lot."

On his breakout performance...
"I didn't expect it to happen like that. I just expected to do my part and play my game, and as a team just get better."

On his three touchdowns...
"It was thrilling, it was an adrenaline rush, and really I was just out there having fun. I couldn't really see the catch that well, but I ended up just grabbing it and taking it. In practice we're always talking about taking advantage of every play, and we definitely did that tonight."

On his dad playing for Arkansas...
"There's not really any bad vibes about it, he just really wants to see me do well."

On his transition from WR to RB...
"It was really just about helping the team. Guys are kind of getting banged up, so it was really about just being able to help. It was tough at first just trying to figure out the ins and outs of being a running back, but KJ (Kerryon Johnson), Kamryn Pettway and Kam Martin made it easy for me. They really welcomed me with open arms and Coach Horton as well. It's fun being there."

"During the bye week Kam Martin and I both got a lot of reps, so that really helped us get comfortable with everything. We weren't really feeling scared about anything."

Sophomore running back Kamryn Pettway

On his role in the offense...
"It feels good to know that the offense can depend on me when another person is down or when it's time to carry the load. It's a great feeling."

On what the win means to the team...
"It means a lot for us. We know we're going in the right direction. We just need to keep going that way."

On Arkansas players stepping on the Auburn logo at midfield before the game...
"We were motivated coming into this game, but them stepping on our AU felt a little disrespectful. That gave us a little boost."

On the offense's improvement throughout the season...
"We've improved a lot. We've matured a lot. We came together fast, like we wanted to. That's what we were trying to do."

Sophomore linebacker Deshaun Davis

On the team's performance...
"All teams get better and better every week. It was a complete game, no doubt. If someone had said we would win 56-3, I probably would've just smiled a little bit. I know if we put our mind to it though, we're capable of it. Our coaches put us in great positions. We trust each other as a team."

On the defense compiling 11 tackles for a loss...
"It's all about the defensive line. Those guys give a great push. Even at practice, Coach G (Rodney Garner) is always on them about winning the line of scrimmage. As a linebacker, that makes our jobs a lot easier. You just have to credit that to the defensive line."

On holding Arkansas to 25 rushing yards...
"That's big. That's the leading SEC rushing team. Their offensive line is pretty good. They have great running backs. We wanted to come in and try to contain them. Our goal was to hold them to under 100 yards and we held them to 25 rushing yards. Credit our defensive line for getting some sacks. I tip my hat to those guys up front. I love my defensive line."

Sophomore quarterback Sean White

On the offense's performance...
"It seemed like every play we called worked. That's thanks to the O-line, the running backs and receivers. Everybody was contributing. It was a fun day to play football."

On how the team can build on this performance...
"It gives us confidence when we play well and do what we're supposed to do. We just have to keep working in practice and keep improving."

On the team's turnaround since losing to Texas A&M...
"Even though we were 1-2, we all knew we were better than that. We knew that we had a long season left. We had only played three games. We knew that if we kept the faith and kept going, we'd turn it around. We're starting to do that."

On the team's performance...
"I had confidence that we'd win. I didn't think we'd win 56-3, but that was awesome. It was a great performance by the defense, obviously. I think Arkansas ran for 25 yards - that's incredible. On the offense, everybody was making plays. It's a lot of fun to play when that happens."

Arkansas Head Coach Bret Bielema

Opening statement...
"First, I give a lot of credit to Auburn. Obviously they came ready to play and executed their plan. They played very, very well. I thought our guys had a good week of preparation and I was excited to get in the game and I think they were as well, but obviously once that whistle started from that first play in the first quarter we didn't play well. Defensively, we definitely gave up too many free yards and too many things uncontested. The first play that goes to the house you knew they couldn't wait to get off that bus and run that play. We have to take a serious look at some of the things that we are doing, how we are making guys play and what we are asking them to do. The bye week comes at a very critical time for us. Obviously, we have to collect ourselves. Tomorrow will be a long day and it won't be a lot of fun, but it is one that definitely has to happen. Starting with me as a head coach and my assistants, we have to do a lot better of a job to put our guys in the position to have success. The position we have been putting them in can't be executed or called, then we have to make changes. We want to approach these last four weeks as an opportunity to get better. We are a 5-3 football team that can end on a high note, but we definitely have to make corrections moving forward. As far as injury wise, Austin (Allen) was injured. They did all the tests and whatever they could do on the field to allow him to come back in there. The reason we pulled him at the end was because it started to swell up on him and get a little more tight. I don't know the full extent on that. Brian Wallace felt something in his foot. It happened there at the end and we will probably have full answers on that tomorrow, but it was a foot injury."

On keeping Austin Allen out after injury occurred...
"I just made sure that he was cleared. Obviously I am not a doctor. We just go by what they say. When he was warming up, I asked if he was sure and he nodded his head. He is a tremendous competitor and it is going to take a lot to try to hold him out."

On allowing a school-record 543 rushing yards...
"On the very first one, we didn't have the edge set. We didn't spin down when that motion created the leverage on the play. For the most part, that was the story of the day. When we don't have an edge, we don't have a defense. If we have to look at personnel or if we have to look at the call or look at the scheme, that's really two types of starts to a play. That play was very similar to the Alabama play. As far as what's going on, we need to get it fixed or move our technique or scheme."

On blocking adjustments after averaging less than one yard per rush...
"When the game got a little bit out of hand and when the rushing numbers got a little bit more skewed, we have two third-and-shorts in the first half that had penalties that backed us up that made them third-and-longs. We definitely can't play that way. Our run game got really off schedule by multiple scores in that first half."

On defensive struggles...
"From what I saw, there was a play that broke around the left edge in third quarter where we have a defensive end that is in the right spot, and he gets nosy and sticks his nose in and all of a sudden the ball bounces out. Again it is an edge issue, but you have to call that you expect that guy to be the leverage of the defense and it doesn't happen. There was a third and short, and we ran McTelvin Agim inside to cancel A/B, and the ball bounces around the left edge and he goes for the first down. When you are playing against teams like this, especially teams that like to run the football as well as Auburn, it is as simple as being gap sound, edge sound and support sound. We unfortunately aren't that way at this point."

Senior WR Keon Hatcher

On his expectations for the game...
"I expected to come in here and get a victory. I am just at a loss for words at what happened. I don't know what to tell you. We had a great week at practice. Everyone seemed prepared. You look in guys' eyes and it seemed like everyone was ready."

Thoughts after the first play by Auburn...
"As an offense we have to go out there and score. We have to go put it in the end zone. That was the mindset, but things just didn't go our way."

On Austin Allen's injury...
"That's one of the toughest guys I have ever met. Same goes for Brandon (Lewis), those guys will take a beating for you and get right back up and say `Let's go.' My hat goes off to that guy. I just hope he is ready to get a break this week and then come back for Florida."

On the importance of the upcoming bye week...
"Going eight straight weeks and three SEC games back to back, it is going to be good for us to try to get back up and get our minds right. They put a spanking on us, and we have to come back and get our minds right and get ready for Florida and put this behind us."

On how tough it was to not get the offense going...
"It was very tough, and frustrating at times, but you have to keep your head up and keep your poise and try to do what you can to get those guys going and go out there and make a play for them, and that what I was trying to do. "

Senior DL Taiwan Johnson

On the first play of the game...
"It was a misfit. Guys weren't where they were supposed to be. I don't know exactly what happened. But that's the way our defense works. One guy is out of position, then it all falls apart. We have to get it corrected."

On the importance of having a bye week next week...
"It worked out good I guess. After a game like this we have the bye week to get healthy. Make the corrections we need to make. We have a lot of them. Not just guys on defense, but myself. We have to make those corrections, and bounce back."

On frustrations when losses like this happen...
"Very frustrating. It's something we have to get fixed, I know I keep saying that. But it's paramount. We have to get it fixed. I think once we can, then we can make steps in the right direction. Until we do, stuff like that can keep happening to us."

On whether it is realistic to think it can be fixed this year:
"I think so. I know the guys I work with every day. I know the locker room that I have. The guys aren't going to quit from this. We've been down before but we've always found a way to shake back. I think we will."

On Auburn's running game...
"The running back is very physical. He's running downhill, big strong guy, he's hard to tackle. They just ran him, you know, workhorse."

On the pregame confrontation at midfield...
"Every pregame we have a little captain's walk where we talk in the middle of the field. I guess Auburn didn't really like it, we were on their logo. We tried to diffuse the situation, but it just escalated. We just got out of the way."

On what he would tell underclassmen moving forward...
"Make the corrections. Understand that you can't point fingers at anyone. You have to look at yourself. Myself included, I'm going to do what I need to do to help this team. When the team runs for that many yards, there's something that I can do to help. Just keep your head up, we played a good team. If we let this loss affect the rest of the season, it won't turn out how we want it to."

Tigers Unlimited
  • Auctions