Samford vs. Auburn Postgame Quotes

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Nov. 19, 2011

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Auburn Locker Room

Head Coach Gene Chizik

"I have to give a lot of credit to Coach (Samford head coach Pat) Sullivan. Coach Sullivan did a great job of preparing his team. No doubt about it. It was not pretty at times as we know, but again, I am going to go back to being very proud that we just got our seventh win of the season, and that was the objective today, to win the game, and we did that. We understand right now that we have a lot to clean up and a lot to get better at. There is no question about it. We will start on that again tomorrow. Again, it is good to get our seventh win, and my hat is off to Coach Sullivan for how he prepared his football team."

On Auburn having a hangover after the Georgia game
"I can't answer that to be honest with you. I can make all kinds of excuses about how at times we didn't play well. I can pull them out of the kitchen sink now, but the reality of it is there were times where they played really well and there were times where we didn't. Again, I thought they did a great job, and I am not going to make that as an excuse that the game before beat us twice or let us not play well twice. We have to get them ready to play. In the second half, we did some things and we made some adjustments that we thought would be effective. The kids came out and played quarters three and four, and we got the win. So, no excuses. Again, we didn't play pretty all of the time, but at the end of the day we won."

On being disappointed about the fumbles
"Yes, it is very disappointing. It is concerning right now. It is by guys who usually don't fumble. It is the second time that we fumbled on an option. That's disappointing, and Mike Dyer, who is usually very good at protecting the ball, he let one get out today. It is disappointing. We will go back, and it will be a point of emphasis for us this week as we prepare for next week, but we have to get that cleaned up. We are not good enough for those types of negative plays against a good team, and obviously come back from it."

On facing Alabama next week and do you like where you are right now?
"We are going back to work. We know who we have to play next week. We know what it means. We are going to go back to work on Sunday and be excited to play in another great game and a great rivalry."

On how the secondary played without T'Sharvan Bell
"I thought at times they did well. I thought at times some guys stepped forward. We were playing with a lot of freshmen back there today who got a lot of playing time. I thought Jonathon Mincy stepped up and did some nice things. He missed a tackle early that I wished that he had made, but other than that I thought he played well. I thought Chris Davis did what we asked him to do today and then Jermaine Whitehead, another true freshman, played a lot today either at the nickel spot or at corner. So, those young guys stepped it up."

On playing from under center more today
"We just felt like coming out of halftime we had to get more physical and run the football downhill more. So, that is what we did. We went to the power running game and that is something we thought, again, the second half we felt like we had to try to wear them down. We had so many opportunities in the first half, but then we would fumble. To wear a team down, you have to be out there enough to do it. Even if every one of those drives didn't turn into points, at some point you can wear on a defense as long as you are running it downhill. So, that is what we decided to do."

On Eric Mack filling in and moving Chad Slade back to tackle
"We did. Eric went in at guard. I can't speak right now on how he played, but we will know more tomorrow. Chad went out, and earlier in the year, that's what he played, but he filled in nicely there and had to play more than half the game there. Again, we will go back and look at both of those spots and see how they both did. Again, I'm proud that Eric came into the game and got a chance to play."

On Michael Dyer moving into 10th place on the Auburn career rushing list
"We all know Michael is a good back. There is no question about it. Again, he had his opportunities today, and we were going to give him those opportunities. I told him that before the game and again coming out in the second half, that was kind of our idea work him as a physical, downhill back. Eventually, he will break one of those. I thought he ran well for the most part today. We have to get the turnovers cleaned up, but overall, that is a great accomplishment."

On how much Auburn will have to play next week to win
"Much better. We are going to have to be a much better football team. There is no question about it. We will have to unequivocally play without a doubt the best game of football that we have played on offense, defense and special teams. No question about it."

On what game this year do you think Auburn has come close to putting it all together
"I don't feel like we have put it all together in really any game to be honest with you. I feel like we have survived some games to where maybe defensively we weren't playing well and offensively, we picked it up or offensively we weren't playing well and defensively we picked it up. Special teams has been pretty consistent throughout the year. I don't think that has been an inconsistency issue, but to say we have put our best game together, offense, defense and special teams, I can't recall one that I feel like we've done that in to be honest with you, and again for us to have a chance to win this week, that's what we are going to have to do. That's what we are going to go back to work on."

On your former team, Iowa State upsetting No. 2 Oklahoma State Friday night
"I didn't get to see a whole bunch of it, but I saw some highlights, and I saw some young guys that I am really glad for. It was just an awesome win, an awesome win for the program, an awesome win for a lot of those guys, and well-deserved."

Running Back Michael Dyer

On today's game...
"We wanted to finish the season out strong. Everybody did their jobs today. The offensive line played well. Our second-string line came in and did a great job of knowing the plays and Clint (Moseley) did a great job of reading the defenses."

On seven-straight carries after reversed fumble call...
"I was upset at myself. I thought I had turned the ball over and I wanted to go back out there and put another drive together. I wanted to show my team that we could go out there and win."

Running back Onterio McCalebb

On his performance today...
"The coaches told us all week that we have to go out there and worry about nothing else. We needed to go out there and win game seven. That's what we did. We didn't play well in the first half but we came out and did what we needed to in the second."

On wearing No. 22...
"T-Bell (T'Sharvan Bell) is like a brother to me. When he went down, it hurt me very bad. We spend a lot of time together. After he went down I asked coach if I could wear 22."

On preparations for Iron Bowl...
"The whole offense needs to improve as a group. It's going to be a physical game but we have all week to prepare for it."

Quarterback Clint Moseley

On tonight's game...
"Today was a frustrating game. We didn't play as well as we wanted to. It wasn't anywhere close to where we needed to be. One thing is that we never gave up. Throughout this season, we've had a lot of lows, but we've never given up. "

On better offensive production in the second half...
"I think it was our focus. It just comes down to us executing the plays. We had a lot of stupid mistakes and I had my share. It comes down to us owning up to our mistakes and not letting them happen again."

On necessary improvements for Iron Bowl...
"Everything. We have to improve on every phase of our offense. We have to use our full week of practice. I'm looking forward to it."

Linebacker Eltoro Freeman

On getting the seventh win against Samford...
"Every win is a great win. They had a great offensive plan and that just shows you how great Gus Malzahn is. Rhett (Lashlee) coached for Malzahn last year. They had us watching our Ps and Qs every play."

On preparing for the Iron Bowl...
"This next game is very personal. We're happy with going into it with a win from today. We can now turn all of our focus on Alabama. It will be a great football game."

Defensive back Erique Florence

On getting the seventh win of the season...
"It is awesome. Before the season, a lot of people doubted us. They said we wouldn't win two or three games. To have a winning season and a good chance of finishing the season on a good note. It gives us nothing but momentum heading into next year."

On preparing for the Iron Bowl...
"I am from the state of Alabama, so it means a lot to me. Everyone on this team knows what it means and about the traditions. We are going to come ready with everything we have."

On playing for injured teammate T'Sharvan Bell...
"We showed up and were ready to compete with Georgia. When we got there, everything just seemed to turn around on us, and then he went down. You never know when your last play is, so you have to make the most out of every second you get on the field. That is what we have taken from this."

Defensive End Nosa Eguae

On getting the seventh win of the season...
"Anytime you go out there after put in work with your teammates and get the win on Saturday, it is what it's about."On preparing for Iron Bowl..."It is the biggest game of the season. This is the game we work hard for every day. We are looking forward to getting out there at practice and doing whatever we have to do to get a victory."

On Samford's offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee...
"They did some things out there that we have seen before, with Rhett (Lashlee) coming from Auburn. They executed very well. Kudos to those guys, they had a great gameplan."

Defensive Tackle Jeffrey Whitaker

On his performance in Auburn's win...
"We were going to bend but we weren't going to break. Our defensive line came out and we played with our flat backs, used our hands and showed resiliency. We weren't going to take them lightly, we knew it was their last game of the season so we knew they were going to come out and fight hard. It's been happening everywhere around the country right now. It was a lot of these guys' last games and we knew they were going to come out and fight hard."

On the defense's performance...
"I love the way the defense played today, they had some plays but we didn't give up. The deal was we weren't going to let them in the end zone. After the first touchdown that was the goal, they could do anything they wanted to do but we weren't going to let them in the end zone. But now we have to move on and get ready for next week."

On next week game against Alabama...
"Next week's game is all about pride and effort. That's what next week's game is all about. So, the deal is, whoever has the most pride, whoever gives the greatest effort, whoever has the most resiliency will come out on top. That game is about nothing but will. When I came in here as a recruit in 2009, I watched that game. When I saw that will and effort, I just knew this game was just different, it's just different. You just come off the ball harder. You don't care what happens, it's going to be low scoring and after last year, you know they're going to have a chip on their shoulder. They just got back to No. 2, so you already know they're thinking championship, but they have to come through Auburn. We already have a mutual respect, but you know how this rivalry is. It's not the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry, it's Auburn and Alabama - that's why they make specials for games like this."

Wide Receiver Trovon Reed

On Auburn's win over Samford...
"Tonight was a total team effort, we came together and we won it together."

On his performance tonight...
"It was nice to be back out there and not being injured. Being out there with my teammates, performing how they expect me to perform, it felt great."

On how he rated his performance ...
"I felt that I played alright, we got the win and that's all that matters and it's what we came here to do."

Linebacker Daren Bates

On leading the team in tackles...
"We just did what we had to do and we had to be where we had to be, after watching film we knew we had to be in position to wrap up and make the tackle. It was a team effort tonight."

On the T'Sharvan Bell tribute written on his arm...
"He's like my brother and I wish he could be out there with us and I'm going to miss him over the next few games. I wanted him to know I was showing love for him every time I was out there to play."

On the defense's performance today...
"I think we played good at certain times, they were able to gain a couple yards on us running but we buckled down there at the end and made tackles and wrapped up every time."


Samford Locker Room

Head Coach Pat Sullivan

Opening Statement...
"I kind had mixed emotions about the game. I wanted to win the ball game. The positive side is that I felt our kids came in and put it all on the line. When we got to the fourth quarter, they finally washed us down and did some things. I was talking to Coach Chizik and his staff, I know all of them, they have an outstanding football team and their future is going to be bright. They have a lot of the pieces and Michael Dyer is a heck of a running back. The scheme that they run, with their linebackers and two back, our big time player. The other thing that had a big impact on the game was their kicking game. Their kicker puts it in the endzone every time. It puts us at the twenty and it gives us a long field to play on, which makes it tough. Their punter puts it up for about four and a half seconds every time. It makes a big difference because it puts us back forty to forty-five yards every time, and it makes it tough. I thought Jeremiaha Gates, our freshman running back, came in and did a very nice job. Our defense played well and made a couple of turnovers. Cameron Yaw did a great job. He has come through for us all year long. He had a couple of nice kicks."

On what it was like to be back in Auburn...
"It was special. I did not anticipate all of this when we made the game a couple of years ago. When we made the game, I was just trying to help Samford make some money to pay the bills and buy new uniforms. I would not be standing here without my wife, Jean. Going all the way back to our days in college, she has been the rock in our family. She takes care of me and she reminds me that I do not want to wake up when I am fifty years old and not be doing something that I love. That is a commitment that a lot of people do not make this day. Having my teammates back was important. If I had anything that I could change, I would have my father and Coach Jordan here. I know I did not win any award without my teammates and coaches and I know they felt the part today like they did forty years ago. My new family, the Samford family, has kids here that have never experienced something like this. Hopefully that has given them some idea of what we talk about all of the time. That these relationships are important. It was good to see guys like David Housel and Dr. Andrews. I remember when Dr. Andrews was just a yound guy working for Dr. Howard."

On pregame ceremony...
"It was certainly the way I wanted it. It was very appropriate and nicely done. One of the things I did not know until the end of the week was that both teams were going to be involved. I really appreciate Coach Chizik and the Auburn team being apart of it."

On Ronnie Ross (former captian of 1971 Auburn team) and his passing...
"It goes back to the relationships. Ronnie Ross was the captian of our team my junior year. He passed away with cancer about a year ago. He was one of our leaders, everyone was close to him. He caught the first touchdown pass I ever threw. When we were taking pictures before the game, one of my teammates came up to me and said, 'I have Ronnie's ashes, and I am going to put them where he caught your first touchdown pass.' I will never forget that.

Running Back Jeremiah Gates

On his performance...
"I just came in trying to play the game with my team. Fabian (Truss) went down and someone had to step up. The coaches put their faith in me and I feel that them doing that built my confidence."

On getting 28 carries...
"I had originally thought I was going to rotate every other series. As the game went on, I stayed in and got into a groove. The coaches must have seen me getting into a groove so they left me in." On the reverse pass..."It was a play we have been holding onto all season. Kelsey (Pope) made a good pass and I was wide open."

Linebacker Keith Shoulders

On team effort...
"I think everyone played hard. We mis-executed, which cost us the game but Auburn is a good team."

On the game...
"Overall, everyone came with the right mindset. We just wanted to play our hardest and try to execute. When it was time for people to step up we made some plays, but we did not execute on certain plays and that is why we lost. That is what it came down to."

Defensive Back Alvin Hines

On Coach Sullivan being honored before the game...
"He told us all week that it was going to happen, so it was expected. We congratulated him because it is a great accomplishment."

On what he thought the game meant to Coach Sullivan...
"It meant a lot to him. He said to us that the ceremony was for him, but the game was for us."

On the game...
"We wanted to win really bad. We came into this game believing we could win. We came in here believing it was a regular game, even in the locker room, we believed we could win. It was a tough break and we kept it close even in to the fourth quarter. We believe we can play with anyone from the SEC to the SoCon. No matter what team it is, you go into a game preparing to win. It is tough to take a loss, but they are a great team."