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Auburn 42, ULM 14 - Quotes
Nov. 18, 2017

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AUBURN HEAD COACH Gus Malzahn

Opening statement...
"I'm happy with our ninth win of the season. We came out a little slow, which is uncharacteristic of us. At halftime, we really challenged our guys, and they finished like they should have. In the third quarter we played really good football, and we put the team away as we should have. Defensively, I'm real proud of the turnovers. We scored a defensive touchdown which is great. Offensively, we were fairly balanced. We had 300 yards rushing, and that's what we really needed to do. You need to give those guys credit. That was a really good coaching staff. They had a week off, and they had their biggest win before that. We knew that they were going to come out and give us their best. We're sandwiched between two number one teams, and that's a challenge. I'm very happy with our group, getting the victory and setting ourselves up for the SEC West next week."

On the slow start...
"I think it was odd. We didn't have that edge that we have. We talked about it, and we really had a good week of practice. We didn't come out like we have the last five or six times to start the game, but every game is valuable from a coach's standpoint. Even though we didn't start out real fast, we came out after halftime and took care of business."

On Kam Martin...
"Kerryon Johnson was a little tired during one of those drives and he [Kam Martin] started out as the backup. He came out fresh and it was like he just shot out of a cannon. He's done a solid job for us all year. He really gave us a boost when he came in."

On Nick Ruffin and Javaris Davis...
"It's great to have Javaris [Davis] back and healthy. He had that pick and then he stripped the ball which was a big play. Nick Ruffin looked like an offensive player."

On the offense...
"The last two weeks we've had long drives, and it says a lot about the character of your offense. You have to be able to run the ball to do that and finish, so it's really something. Our guys have a lot of confidence."

On initial thoughts going into the Iron Bowl...
"They're undefeated and they're number one in the country. That's probably the best way I can answer that right now. I'll be better to answer that on Tuesday after watching a little bit more film."

On Auburn's progression this season...
"I tell this group that I'm really proud of our team. Four weeks ago, if you told them we were in this position, I don't think there would've been a whole lot of people around the country that would believe it. Our team has put ourselves in the position to play the number one team in the country again, on our home field again. Our crowd is second to none. They're going to be ready, our players are going to be ready and our coaches are going to be ready. It's going to be a special game."

On Deshaun Davis...
"He's all over the field. He has great instincts, and he's one of our better players."

On how the Iron Bowl will decide the winner of the SEC West...
"I want them to enjoy this and relax their bodies and minds tonight, and then be ready to go. I know they will be ready. They've worked extremely hard getting to this point. That was their goal to begin with. We made that clear, so we'll be ready to go."

Jarrett Stidham, So. QB

On the slow start today...
"I don't know. Obviously you want to come out and start fast. Our motto the second half of the season has been to start fast and finish strong. I thought finished really well today; we just didn't start very well. It is just part of the game."

On Kam Martin's performance...
"I love Kam (Martin). He is a Texas guy, so I love Kam. He brings us a little spark. He is a tiny back who can hit those holes, and he is able to bounce at any play. So he did a great job coming in and doing his job and getting us rolling."

On facing Alabama...
"I am excited. This is why you play here at Auburn, for games like this against a team like Alabama. They are a very good team, and are going to have to play our best ball to beat them. It is going to be fun.

On if he pays attention to the thought of building a legacy in rivalry games like Alabama and Georgia...
"Obviously we know it means a lot to everyone on the Auburn Family. It is a very big deal, and it is a very big deal to us, but at the same time you cannot get too caught up in the moment. You have to really just hunker down, lock in and focus on your job going play to play and not looking too far ahead. Obviously there is a lot of legacy within this rivalry, but we are going to try to play for our teammates and everyone else that has worn the jersey before us."

Darius Slayton, So. WR

On his fourth game with a TD reception...
"I feel good, it feels good. I always feel good after any win."

On the positives taken out of this game...
"It is good to come out with a good win. It gets us some momentum heading into next week, and obviously, we have to get ready for Alabama."

Javaris Davis, So. DB

On being on the field again...
"It felt great! Just being back out there again with my brothers and it was a great win for us as a whole."

On how frustrating it has been for him for the last couple of months...
"It has been very frustrating on me because I want to help my team out in any way possible. I felt like I was letting them down. I'm just trying to come back and help any way possible."

On Auburn forcing turnovers in the game...
"It was coach. He has called some great calls. He has put us in position to make plays. I tried to make some plays and God bless it, I did."

On the turnovers helping the offense get going...
"Really, we feed off each other. Even if the offense is struggling, we know that they can depend on us and vice versa. Sometimes we may not be doing so well, and we know we can depend on them. We are all one team, one unit. I just try to make a play for the team, and I did."

On whether he was disappointed not coming up with the second interception...
"Yeah, I was kind of mad at myself. But like I said, I have another opportunity to take advantage of it."

On what the defense did differently after the first ULM touchdown...
"We just talked as a unit and we know that we are an elite defense and we know that. It doesn't matter who we are playing. We came out real sluggish, but we picked it up and did what we had to do."

Ryan Davis, Jr. WR

On chasing the Auburn single-season receiving record...
"No, I haven't looked at the number recently, I didn't know I was close. I never really even thought about it, honestly. I didn't know what the record was 'til this season, but that is pretty cool. Hopefully I can accomplish that."

On Alabama game coming up and ULM being sandwiched between two big games...
"Yeah, it's a big game coming up. We just had a slow start and didn't come out how we wanted to. We wanted to keep the momentum going for our offense, and that was crucial for us. I feel like we finished well in the second half, and hopefully we can carry that momentum into next week."

On looking ahead to Alabama...
"I mean, it's Alabama. You don't really have to say too much. It's a big game. They are a great team. Year-in and year-out, they are at the top of college football and we just have to come with our A-game."

On preparing for Alabama like any other game...
"You can't change anything. We pretty much prepare the same, but the game itself is different. Everybody has a little bit of extra pep in their step, but the game itself, everybody already knows the meaning of it. You don't need to do too much talking. There is a little extra preparation. Guys will probably study a little harder but everybody already studies hard. It's just whatever you need to do. Nothing really changes though."

Kerryon Johnson, Jr. RB

On starting slow...
"It was hard and we definitely struggled, but that second half we came out like how we were supposed to start the game off. It happens, there's nothing you can do about it now. We've just got to make sure that we put that behind us."

On facing Alabama...
"It's going to be a crazy atmosphere. It should be one for the ages, but we've got to come out and play because if we don't we'll lose. We've got to protect the ball. We've got to limit our penalties. We've got to execute, and I'm confident that we'll come out on top if we do that."

On success this year...
"I've been banged up but I'm happy to just be a part of it. We're on a streak and we have a tremendous opportunity, the best opportunity since I've been here to win the SEC Championship or at least go. To me that's huge. That makes me smile every night."

On being mentioned in the Heisman discussion...
"It's nice. Like I said last week, still not there, so I've still got work to do. But it's nice to see that support, and obviously I think I belong there, but until it happens it's just a wish."

On how big confidence will be for next week...
"It's going to be a similar confidence. We play Bama every year. It's no different than any other year. We've got to execute and if we do then we'll win, and if we don't we won't. And it's just like any other game."

On getting a break in the second half today...
"It was good. I was happy to see Malik (Miller) and Kam (Martin) and those guys. It's probably been six or seven weeks since they've gotten more than five plays each. It's nice to get those guys in the game and get their confidence back and see what they can do. I was happy with the way everyone played today."

Kam Martin, So. RB

On embracing his role on the team...
"I'm a change-of-pace back, just doing whatever I have to do to help the team and that's what I'm going to do. I love that, I just want to help out the team. I'm a team guy just doing whatever it takes for the team."

On his relationship with Kerryon Johnson...
"Kerryon, he's a great guy, man. He deserves everything that's coming his way. The running back group is so close. Anybody that touches the ball, we're all happy for them, and that's how I am with Kerryon."

Deshaun Davis, Jr. LB

On Auburn's defense today...
"It was an okay game, not a strong start at all and we're aware of that. I thought we came out in the second half and, early on, made a lot of adjustments and woke up and played football. Our defense gave up late touchdowns. By our standards, that wasn't our standard at all and we're disappointed in that, but we came out with a 'W.'"

On his play today...
"I was just trying to do my job and play my role and try to give off energy to my team. I knew we started off kind of slow, and I knew I had to have momentum as a linebacker. I think I did a good job of that."

On the importance of playing Alabama next week...
"It's really important. We know what's at stake, they know what's at stake. We expect our best to be played, and they expect to have their best to be played so we'll see who comes out on top."

On Nick Ruffin's role...
"Guys like that, especially with a game like last week, we're going to need them to step up and make plays. He did a good job this week when guys got tired or guys got banged up. He came in and made some plays. Nick Ruffin is a guy we consider a starter. We don't really have just 11 starters, we could go 22 deep and put our seconds in, and they could start at another university. We always know that Nick is a great player and I'm glad he had the game that he had."

Derrick Brown, So. DL

On how long until he begins to prepare for the Alabama game...
"I am just going to celebrate the win tonight with my teammates, and whenever it is time for coach to call us to the office this week, then I am going to go over there and work on next week's game."

On the Alabama game...
"I think we have put ourselves in a great position. All we have to do is listen to the coaches and have a great week of practice and just take it to the next game."

ULM HEAD COACH MATT VIATOR QUOTES

On the first half...
"I was pleased. I think we competed hard and made some plays on defense. We just could never get a whole lot going on offense the whole game. We turned it over in the second half. Give them credit, they're really good. They are hard to move the ball against. We were just a little bit off. Some of that was because of them and a little bit of that was because of us. I like the way we competed. We came out and played hard."

On the second half and turnovers...
"One of the turnovers was a great play by one of their players. He undercut one of our routes. They got a strip. We can't turn the ball over and especially against a team as good as Auburn."

On scoring after Auburn did to begin the game and on wide receiver Brian Williams...
"He has had a big year for us. I'm really proud of him. He has hung in there and with the program. He moved from quarterback to receiver and is a really good football player. I am proud of him and with the level he is playing and I think he will get a chance to play at the next level."

On Kerryon Johnson and both of Auburn's lines...
"They are really good on the offensive and defensive line. That is where it starts for them. I was telling Coach Malzahn pregame I would like to see some of practice drills where they go good on good with offensive and defensive line. I bet that is really competitive. They're good football players."


 

 

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