Skip to main content Skip to footer
Auburn 42, Texas A&M 27 - Quotes
Nov. 4, 2017

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

Post Game Quotes
Auburn 42, Texas A&M 27
November 4, 2017

Gus Malzahn, Auburn Head Coach

Opening Statement...
"It was a very good win for our team. I'm very proud for our staff and our players. It's very important how you win and we overcame a lot of adversity against a very talented team. This atmosphere is as good as it gets in our conference from a fan standpoint. A lot of ups and downs and adversity but the bottom line is our team finding a way to fight through it. One of the things that really stood out to me was the blocked punt for a touchdown right before half that was huge and that gave us some momentum. That first half was extremely challenging and a lot of things went wrong like the fake field goal and big hold and they blocked a field goal right after that. They had some momentum and I thought that was big."

Second half difference...
"In the second half the thing that really stood out for me was our defense holding them down there inside the 10-yard line and then our offense going 96 yards and I was really proud of our team. Kerryon Johnson had another big time game. He continually shows why he's one of the best running backs in the country and not just our league. I thought our quarterback played extremely well against one of the best teams in the country rushing the passer. He was under some duress early. We had some offensive linemen who gave it a shot and tried to play and after a couple of series they just felt like they couldn't do it and I'm real proud of our offensive line."

On the blocked punt...
"We've been talking about blocking punts for the last two years. Last year we came extremely close and Coach Horton and the special teams staff really worked hard this week to put some different personnel out there and we went after it early. We just felt like that was a great opportunity. Nick Ruffin made a big-time play. We talk about seniors stepping and making big time plays. That was a huge play and it really changed the momentum of the game."

Jarrett Stidham, Auburn Sophomore Quarterback

On playing in Texas again… "It was great. Obviously, I've had this one circled for a while. Any time I get to come back home, being so far away, it's exciting for me, and my family and friends. It was great. Ultimately, we got the win and that's the most important thing."

On his start to the game…
"We started to execute a little bit better. We got some first downs, got up to the line and ran some plays. That established a tempo for the rest of the first quarter, into the second quarter and ultimately the rest of the game.

On the deep touchdown before half…
"It's huge. Any time you can make a big play like that—hit a pass like that—it's really exciting for us. It's something we try to execute every week. It was great to see that."

Nick Ruffin, Auburn Senior Safety

On blocking the punt…
"Coach talks everyday about doing your job—doing what's asked of you and not trying to be a superhero. That's really all I did. I told Coach Malzahn after the first one that I thought I could get there. I told him 'Let me go get it again. I promise you I'll get there.' He put enough confidence in me and said 'Alright. I'm going to give you a chance. Go get it.' Thankfully, I got it."

On breaking through the wall…
"After the first one, I saw they weren't meshing together. I figured if I could get off fast enough that I could get in between them, and I was able to do that."

Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M Head Coach

On blocked punt to end the first half…
"There was a minute and 36 seconds and 14 points were scored in that time, and that was a game changer. Even with it, you still have a whole half to play. We talked about that at halftime, it being a one possession game, but that is why we let it run down and took a timeout to take some time out of it. They got the block for the touchdown, and that was disappointing, but you still have to play. You still have plenty of time to do something about that, and we didn't respond."

On his plan for the quarterback moving forward…
"When you're dealing with a young man with a broken ankle, which is what happened at UCLA, it takes some time. We go with our doctor's recommendation. During that time, there's really no practice for him. He can't go out and get reps. We have some virtual reality stuff but he's still not getting that in live time. Once he was cleared, there's also strength and conditioning and then, getting reps in. I think what you've seen the last couple weeks is Nick is rusty, but he's doing okay. He left the game today with some pain and that's the first time he's really felt that which was an issue. He got on the bike and walked around and he's alright. The growth process for him is not just to pick up football and just start throwing it again after being gone for a month and a half with an injury like that. As I said, he was available a couple weeks ago in emergency situations. As those weeks have gone by, he's practiced more and obviously he has healed a lot more so we felt better with him playing. He was our starter to start the year. There wasn't any indecision in the last couple weeks. It was all based on him being healthy and what he can do and how he can do it. Obviously, today he played pretty good, all things considered. He took pretty good care of the football. Moving forward, I think he's earned his spot back and we'll go down the road like that."

On the progress of this year's team…
"We've been up and down this year. We've shown some good things and we've shown some not-so-good things. I think we've got a nucleus of really good young players that have played at times like young players. You look at these guys with the quarterbacks and the strength of the running backs, with Keith Ford being the only guy that's going to leave there. Christian (Kirk) had a pretty good day and so did (Damion) Ratley as the older guys. The young guys have to make some competitive plays. I looked out there one time and everybody but Armani (Watts) out there was a true freshman in the secondary against a pretty experienced football team and a good quarterback. With these young guys, they continue to grow and I think the future is bright for them."

Keaton Sutherland, Texas A&M Junior Offensive Lineman

On game overall…
"We were just playing our ball and pounding the rock, but things got away from us. Auburn is a really good football team, so you can't let things slip away or else they will keep pounding it. We were just trying to play our ball. We saw a light at the end of the tunnel (before halftime). We played well at the beginning and had the lead, but we let things slip away. We had some errors, and Auburn capitalized on them. They are a good team and that's what they do. There has been plenty of games this season that we have fought back and won, so we were just trying to get another chance and stay in it and win."

On playing with Nick Starkel…
"We were just trying to make him feel comfortable. It is never easy having to change people and come in there like that, but we were just trying to make him feel comfortable and let him get after it just like Kellen (Mond) would have."

On losing three straight at Kyle Field…
"It is never easy to lose, especially at home, but we have plenty more games down the road. We have three more, and that is all we are looking forward to is winning the next game."

Armani Watts, Texas A&M Senior Defensive Back

On frustrating back to back losses…
"Even one loss is frustrating but we don't want back-to-back losses to happen. Like I said last week, we're going to have to go back and fix our mistakes and prepare for next week."

On controlling the first half and then two plays happen to put them behind…
"We played well but explosive plays can change the momentum of the game. We need to figure out how to stop big plays and play like that the whole game."

On how difficult it is to defend Jarrett Stidham and Kerryon Johnson
"All of their athletes are great athletes. They put them in the right positions and make plays. We have athletes too. We have to be able to get in those right gaps and do our assignments."

Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M Sophomore Running Back

On the running game after Nick Starkel entered the game…
"Nick is great in the pass game, and he's really accurate. He makes great reads to kind of open it up for us. He did very well, so that made the run game go."

On the offensive performance…
"Getting a rhythm and being great in this game, it's all about execution. Everyone has to do their job, win their one-on-ones and some plays that guys didn't win their one-on-ones. It all comes down to winning your one-on-one and execution."

On the team going forward…
"We try not to look at the overall picture. We try to take it game by game. It's frustrating because you take a loss at home, but things happen and we have to bounce back. We will do that and get back to the drawing board and get ready for next week."

Kingsley Keke, Texas A&M Junior Defensive Lineman

On the missing piece…
"We need to do our job more. We need to try to fly around more and make more plays that we should make and correct the little things that mess us up. If we can get that right we should be back on track."

On defending Auburn's run with Jarrett Stidham as accurate as today…
"It's tough. They want to establish the run game every game. Hats off to them, they have a good offensive line and running back. They did a good job today."


 

 

Buy Tickets

BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE!

Aubtix.com is your home for buying tickets to Auburn athletic events.

Auburn Store

GET AUBURN GEAR NOW!

Shop for your favorite summer items at the Auburn Tigers Official Online Store.

Tigers Unlimited, Join Today! Click for more information