Chattanooga vs. Auburn Postgame Quotes

Nov. 6, 2010

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Auburn Locker Room

Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik

"Another great win. We look at every week and wins are hard to come by so we just feel very lucky. We did about what we needed to do today. Sometimes in the game, we got a little bit sloppy I thought, certainly off some special teams units, but a lot of different mixture of young guys in there and not a lot of continuity there in certain parts of the game. We came out fast. We did what we needed to do both offensively and defensively I felt like. It was another great win. We are very fortunate that we got out of the game very healthy it seems like. We will know more tomorrow with that. Again, just a great win, and we are happy to be 10-0."

What did you think of Cam Newton's performance considering what went on this past week?
"I think he had another great game. He threw for over 300 yards (317). He was responsible for four touchdowns. He was just very Cameron-like if you will. He performed very well. I was very proud of him."

It seemed the story that came out this week didn't seem to affect Cam Newton at all?
"Like I said, I just think he played like he's played in just about all the other games. I thought he had a really nice game and had great leadership on the field and did all the things we ask our quarterback to do."

Did you feel Cam Newton's teammates rallied around him because of that distraction?
"I just feel like every Saturday we just try to do what we do. I just feel like our team played as a team today. We did like I said. We did some nice things, but I think our team was focused. It really goes back to that. We try to get that done every week. We've talked about week in and week out. I think our team was focused and again, we were a little sloppy at times, but for the most part, they played well."

Is the pressure building with the Georgia and Alabama games coming up?
"No, it's just kind of the next thing. Next week should be an exciting week for our players and our fans. It is the kind of game that you get into this business. It is the kind of games that you really look forward to playing. I know our players will be extremely excited about playing their last home game. For our seniors, it will be the last home game they ever play at Jordan-Hare. I just think all the way around it is going to be an exciting week for all of our players. They will be into it."

With this upcoming stretch, how big was it to be able to get your starters out and get a rest?
"It was big. You never know how games are going to unfold, but we felt like at some point, if that was the case that we would certainly benefit from getting the guys out, not from just the health standpoint-wise, but also getting some younger guys experience. I think we got a lot of guys into the game today that are really are some backup and third team guys, but we also got some depth on some of our special teams units which was big."

How did the young guys play on defense?
"They had their moments. There were some moments they played okay. There were some moments they didn't play very well when we got hit with the deep pass in there at some point in the third quarter. We were in position to make plays at times when we didn't, but then there are other times where Dee Ford comes up with a sack on third down. There were a lot of good things that I think we saw, but the main thing is that they all got in there and got a chance to play on game day."

When you put the young guys in during the last drive of the second quarter, did you make your mind up that they were going to play the rest of the game?
"We had made up our mind that at that point, I don't remember exactly what the score was at that time, but we felt like we were in a position where we really needed to be smart and very prudent about how we handle our guys and who we put in there."

With a nonconference game, did you re-emphasize to the team how they needed to come out with intensity?
"What we emphasized all week was that we have to be a better football team at the end of the day. When we started last Sunday and last Tuesday, we have to be a better football team at the end of the day today than we were at the beginning. That was our main goal. I don't know what that equates to. I don't know how many points that equals. I don't know any of that. I just know that when we look at the film tomorrow, hopefully we are a better team than we were before we played."

Is it a concern playing non-conference games in this point of the season and the intensity may not be where it needs to be?
"I think there is always that possibility, but for us again, with our focus and our mindset that hopefully they have bought into enough now after 10 weeks that we are not good enough to not go out there and play with the right mindset. We are just not, and if we don't, we can get beat. So, I am very proud of our team because I feel like they have really taken that to heart. There are not many cases I can cite all year where I felt like our team wasn't going out there and wasn't focusing and trying to be a better team."

Were you or the school aware of the allegations back in July when they were reported to the SEC?
"Here is the situation. I will make it real clear like I did the other night. Unfortunately, I can't talk about the incident. Cameron Newton is eligible here at Auburn. He played today, and he played great. That's where we are going to let it lie."

Cam has taken some character hits and knowing Cam like you do, would you like to defend his character?
"Let me tell you something. This is a great kid. I can speak intelligently on that one. This is a great kid. You can go back and you can talk to elementary coaches, high school (coaches). This is a great kid, and he has been a great kid at Auburn University every day that he has been around me, this staff and his teammates, and you bet. So, I don't know what is out there, and I don't know what hits you are talking about, but I can assure you this ... this is a phenomenal young man. Make no mistake about that."

Will you be disappointed if Cam doesn't win the Heisman?
"I am not that far ahead right now. We are going to take every game at a time. Cameron needs to continue to improve as a football player to help our team win, and if we continue to do those things and he continues to do those things, then all that takes care of itself."

Do you think the perception of your program changed this week?
"That's for you guys to make that call. It hasn't in terms with the way I see it and the way our players see it and certainly not the way our fans see it in my opinion."

When some teams are about to accomplish something special, sometimes they embrace the us against the world mentality or everybody is trying to knock us down, is your team turning all of this this week into a positive by just trying to prove the naysayers wrong and use it as a positive?
"That's not how we live our life. That's not who we are. Here is who we are: Every day as a football team as a team as a family, we try to improve. Whatever is out there is out there. We are going to stay focused and we are going to do what we are supposed to do to become a better football team. That is all that matters. So, we are going to live our life that way one day at a time as a family, and we are going to continue to try to be a better football team. That is as clear as I can make it and really maybe it is over-simplified, but that is it. That's not complicated."

Cam Newton, QB

On his 300-yard passing performance...
"We had an excellent week of practice in preparing for this team and Coach Malzahn and the entire offensive coaching staff prepared us for this game. We exploited the weakness of their defense. Those are the numbers that we are capable of producing."

On the offense's performance as a whole...
"We did alright. There are some things that we can always get better on. We are trying to get better and better every week."

On playing Georgia next week...
"It is just like any other game. We need to have an excellent week of practice, be coachable and listen to our coaches. There is so much success in the future that the coaches will lead us to. That is the route we want to go."

Darvin Adams, WR

On the offensive performance...
"We came out and did what we had to do. The coaches called the plays and we passed the ball a lot today. Our receivers made a lot of big plays."

On his four receptions and two touchdowns...
"Cam (Newton) threw some great passes to me today. Coach Malzahn had faith in throwing the ball to me and the offensive line did a great job. I just wanted to do my job and catch the ball."

On the next two games...
"The next two games mean a lot for the team and for our season. They are the two biggest games of our season. The first game is Georgia so we have to get ready."

Craig Sanders, DE

On his two kick-off returns...
"The first thing going through my head was that if I got to the end zone, I'd punt it into the stands. However, I got caught. It was fun. It was really fun."

On his defensive performance...
"Dee Ford and I got back there and got the quarterback. It was really exciting. Dee went crazy and the crowd got into it. The student section may have been gone, but the parents and family were out there cheering for us."

On the team's overall performance...
"We played as a team and I think we played great. We can always get better and there is definitely room for improvement. I thought we played well and we have to get ready for next week."

Terrell Zachery, WR

On today's game...
"It was a good game. Chattanooga has a good team, we just tried to come out there and take care of our business."

On his 80-yard touchdown catch...
"It was a slip screen. I went out and came back in and I was wide open. Everyone made the big blocks, including Lee Ziemba and Darvin Adams and I just ran down the field."

On the offense putting up more than 600 yards...
"You can't sleep on any team, we just came out and kept playing hard."

Lee Ziemba, OL

On today's game...
"We tried to execute some things up front and I thought we did a pretty good job, but we still need to improve on some things before Georgia comes to town. Chattanooga competed hard and we are happy that we came out with the win."

On the offensive line's performance...
"I thought we threw the ball more than we usually do. The second group that went in there did a great job moving the ball. The running backs ran hard and then Cam did his thing, as usual."

Neiko Thorpe, DB

On today's game...
"The game went good. We were looking for a `W' and we got it."

On the defense's performance...
"Our defense stepped up, we have been trying to do that more. Today we played a good team and our defense did a good job of wearing them down."

Antoine Carter, DE

On the final stretch of the season...
"This week was big. We went into the week just trying to make sure we came out of this game a better team, especially with the games we have coming up in the next few weeks. It is going to be a big part of our season. The rest we got today really helps us out. We get the mental reps instead of being out there physically. It is going to take complete focus, sacrifice and the little things to come out on top."

On the defensive preparation for Chattanooga...
"We just went back to the basics, working on technique."

On the younger players getting playing time...
"It was great, just watching them out there playing and us coaching them up from the sideline. It gave us some rest we needed. Watching them play is a great thing since they are coming up like we did - they are the future Tigers."

Mario Fannin, RB

On Auburn's depth at running back...
"Our backfield is great, there are so many different aspects that we bring to the game with a mix of up-the-middle and speed guys. Then you have Cam, and that kind of speaks for itself. Our backfield has a lot of playmakers."

On his 42-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown run...
"Our offense is very explosive, especially when we do everything right. That is one of the things Coach Malzahn tries to teach us, that we do all the little things right. What we did today, we came out and everyone did their job."

On the next two ballgames...
"These next two games are going to be very big games, especially the Georgia game, for me personally. Then you have Alabama, which speaks for itself. We have to make sure we go out there and get after it every day in practice. These next two games will tell us a lot about our team."


Chattanooga Locker Room

UTC Head Coach Russ Huesman

Opening Statement ...
"We obviously lost to a good football team. They have the talent level and they're a better team than us and that's why they're number two in the BCS. They're well-coached and I believe they're a disciplined team. They're a class act and this is a great program at Auburn. I think we executed on offense well. I know they took their starters out early in the second half. They also took a knee at the end and that they had some secondary guys that wanted to score at the end, but they're a class act."

On his impression on Cam Newton ...
"He's good. He's probably the best player we'll ever see or play against at our level and that's why he's probably going to win the Heisman Trophy. Watching him on TV, he seems like a great person. He's a good player."

On giving up big plays ...
"A couple of those plays were because we missed tackles, but some of them were because the play was going 8,000 miles and we were running only 1,000 miles. We did miss some, but some were the "see you later" type plays and that's what speed does. That's why they're winning in the SEC. They can run. If they couldn't run then they wouldn't be number two in the country."

On the passing game and any positives from game ...
"I thought our wide receivers had some nice catches and B.J. Coleman threw some good balls. We did drop some, but we got some people open. It was windy out there and that affected some deep balls. I thought we did well and our kids got it. We protected B.J. Coleman well. He hit the ground maybe once or twice today. We actually sacked Cam (Newton) three times or so. I don't even think he's been sacked that many times all year. We'll take something from that."

B.J. Coleman, QB

On opportunities to convert on pass plays...
"First things first, we tip our hat to them. They have a great offense and they do a great job of moving the football. They have a great coaching staff. On defense, they have a lot of good players and a lot of senior players. I know linebacker [Josh] Bynes had a great game, and they have three out of four defensive backs that are seniors. They've been playing great football and they do a great job of rallying to the football. But I'm proud of our guys; they came out, and they weren't worried about who they were playing, or the name on the jersey. They just went out and did the play that was called and they checked into a lot of plays, which was cool. We were able to move the football up and down the field a little bit. [Auburn]'s going to have a chance to play for the National Championship, which is what they've wanted for a long time. But we've just got to move on to the next one."

On playing the game without turnovers...
"Sometimes things just start clicking. I'm very happy for Brian [Sutherland] and Joel [Bradford], and I think all my wide receivers had catches. Garrett [Hughes] had a touchdown catch, and I thought we were going to have a touchdown in the latter part of the third quarter. There were things that we did great, and things that we're always going to have to work on. We wanted 100 yards rushing, and we got that. We didn't want any three-and-outs, and I think we only had one. It was just good, hard-nosed football today."

On backup quarterback Graham Nichols...
"Graham did a great job. We got him some short throws early and he was confident. He did what we told him to do and he got to take a shot in the end zone one time. I know he liked that. Anytime you get a guy in there for some reps, that is good.

Brian Sutherland, WR

On his kickoff return for a touchdown...
"It was a great feeling, actually, to take one back this season. Whether it's against Auburn or any team in our conference, it is a cool thing to be able to do. I just saw how they were setting it up to pursue one way and I just brought it back the other way. Not too many people are going to catch me once I get into the open, so I was pretty confident about that part."

On playing in this type of atmosphere...
"It was excellent. This is my first time playing in an atmosphere like this. It just made me want to play harder. It was a different set of athletes, and they're considered D-I athletes, and we're considered D-IAA. I just wanted to show that there was no difference."

On their offense today...
"We are a pretty efficient offense. I think we can pass the ball against anybody. We just need to have protection, but we made plays. We were where we were supposed to be, and B.J. (Coleman) put the ball where it was supposed to be."

Joel Bradford, WR

On the good things they did on offense...
"I don't think we turned the ball over. We drove the ball and we tried to execute as much as possible. I think overall we did alright offensively."

On breaking the school's single-season receiving record...
"It's pretty cool. I don't get to play at Auburn every day or every season. We've got two games left against Samford and Wofford, and we've got to focus on that."

On what they can take from this game heading into the final two weeks...
"We came out healthy and we wanted to focus on the one-on-one battles and see what we could do as receivers. We tried not to drop the ball and run the routes and the quarterback threw the ball and stayed in the pocket. The offensive line did the right things blocking today. It was those one-on-one battles that we tried to focus on. We didn't think we were going to come out here and blow them out, but, we wanted to compete and fight hard for what we have. I think we did a good job."