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Quotes - Auburn vs. Alabama A&M
Nov. 19, 2016

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Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn

Opening statement...
"We are very happy for our seniors to go out that way. The crowd was excellent. Hats off to our fans for coming out on a cold night. It's very hard to shut people out in college football. The defense played great all year. To get a shut out the last game is really special. Overall, we are very happy for our team and happy to get win number eight."

On Jeremy Johnson...
"We are very proud of Jeremy. He did an excellent job. He was really efficient in throwing the football and did a really good job leading the offense."

On Jeremy Johnson's final performance...
"Everyone is happy for him. It's a good night."

On if Jeremy Johnson is in line to start if Sean White cannot...
"We will see where we are at either Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday to determine whether Sean or whoever will start."

On why he put Jeremy Johnson out tonight...
"It was senior night and he was prepared. He was ready to play and he played well. He hadn't played a lot this year, and I think it was good for him to experience that."

On how the offensive line having a good night...
"It's probably the second or third time they've been in there this year. They've really done a good job continuing to move the football. Most of those guys are young. So that's good moving forward too."

On Joshua Holsey and Darrell Williams...
"I think Josh is going to be okay. He had a little bit of an ankle issue, but I don't think it is anything too severe. I think Darrell is going to be okay too. "

On why he didn't play Kerryon Johnson as much...
"We wanted to start him out and get some carries, but it is fine. It worked out."

On how Kerryon looked healthier and quicker...
"He is really close to 100 percent."

On Kam Martin...
"We were planning on getting Kam some touches. I think you can see he's got some talent. It is good for him to get out there and show what he can do. He is really quick. He has got good vision. He really protected the football."

On defense getting a shutout...
"I think that was one of their goals coming in; to get a shutout. It is so hard to get a shutout in college football. Our defense has played excellent all year and I think that was great to see. Anytime you get a shutout, it is something special."
On Carl Lawson going through senior day...
"This is the class he came in with. He'll speed through everything when he's ready towards the end of the season or at end of the season."

On Kyle Davis making his first career start...
"I thought he did a good job. He made a really good catch on that touchdown. You can see that those young guys keep playing more and more, and we're trying to get those guys some real time experience."

On giving John Franklin III some opportunities to lead the offense...
"He can really run, there's no doubt about that. He made some good reads and he's a good change of pace. When he comes into the game, it's a little bit different, and a lot of times the defense plays a little bit different. I thought he did a good job of managing the offense when he was in and made some really good explosive plays when he was in."

On why he chose not to focus more on the passing game...
"I think we did start out throwing the football. I guess you are talking about later in the second half. That was just part of the plan."

On what he wants to see from Sean White in practice this week...
"I think at this point it's just being able to officially practice probably more than anything at this point. We'll see where that's at. I'm not ready to predict how he's going to feel in a day or two, or how he's going to do. I'll definitely make a comment on that Tuesday and probably Thursday, also."

On how he feels about the offense going into next week...
"Obviously we've got some guys that are not 100 percent. I think that's obvious. We held some guys out trying to get them healthier. Everybody is going to have some nicks and bruises. Obviously next week is a big game, but we are healing people up and I expect us to be ready to go."

On why Carlton Davis didn't play...
"He's one of those guys that we're talking about when we decided to hold out. Tre Williams, also. I don't think he played tonight. We're just trying to get guys healthy and ready to go for next week."

On the defensive line knocking down passes tonight...
"I thought that was good. What was it, four or five passes that was knocked down? It may have been six. That was huge out there. I thought our defensive front did a really good job of disrupting things and keep them from running the ball, too."

On how important it was to have the offense progress...
"There's no doubt. There's no doubt to get some momentum offensively. I thought the offense did some good things tonight and put some points on the board."

On his first impression of Alabama...
"Obviously they are undefeated. They are very talented. That's really my first impression."

DB Stephen Roberts

On his performance at punt return...
"It's a new experience for me, but I think I got comfortable with it as the game went on. I just had to make smart decisions and go with it. [The coaches] told me to just be smart and just kind of to know when to call a fair catch."

On the defense's shutout performance...
"It's what we've been talking about all week -- just play for our seniors and get a shutout for them. Ever since they've been here they haven't had a shutout, so that was our goal all week in practice."

On the backup guys getting out there and continuing on that performance...
"That means we have depth. We have a lot of young guys that are willing to play. Just seeing them out there smiling and getting the action from the crowd, that made them happy."

On the senior class...
"I played my heart out for them; I love all my seniors. They are like brothers to me. Everybody in our family is just like brothers. Seeing them go out there for their last game is kind of sad, but they've got another journey they're going to take. I know God is going to give them something special."

OT Robert Leff

On Jeremy Johnson's success...
"There's no doubt everybody loved it. He deserved it; he's stuck through thin and thin, he's been here and he's pushed through the whole time."

On preparing for Alabama...
"You know, I haven't really thought about it too much yet. We were focused on this game and then we'll start Alabama tomorrow, but I mean obviously we're going to have to play at our best."

On Kam Martin...
"He looked like he was doing great and he's done well in games before so honestly it wasn't all that much surprising, but it was nice to see him do well."

DB/RB Johnathan "Rudy" Ford

On playing offense and defense...
"Oh it was real fun. I'm just blessed with the opportunity that Coach gave me and, man, just real thankful for it."

On how challenging it is to learn defense and offense...
"It could be a little complicated, but I just really like to dial in on what they've got me doing and just focus on that and execute those plays."

On senior night...
"Man, I just got really speechless. The years came by really quick, really fast and I love the crowd, love all the fans. Just thankful for the opportunity to come to Auburn and blessed to be here."

On the challenge of next week...
"Whatever the coaches have planned for us, we will execute their plays that they have, the game plan. And that's what we're going to turn to and focus on from here on out."

DL Dontavius Russell

On how he felt about tonight's big win...
"It felt good to do it on senior night, to send our seniors out with a good win for their last game playing in Jordan-Hare. We sent them out a good way."

On how he set up Montravius Adams with an interception...
"I'm always trying to help my teammates, and for me to get a batted ball at the line and get him the opportunity to get an interception on his senior night it's something he'll be able to remember forever. I'm just glad I was able to help him."

On how exciting it was to see the newer defensive players on the field keeping it going...
"It's good to see that they were able to go in there, not allow them to score and not be much of a drop off. It's always good to see that."

RB Kerryon Johnson

On how he felt about Jeremy Johnson's success tonight...
"It was huge. This whole week has been about him really. It's his senior day, but it's a little more special for him. He's been through a lot of adversity, a lot of ups and downs, and for him to come out one last time in this stadium and have a performance like that, I think that's going out on a high note."

On his health...
"I'm definitely getting close to 100 percent. This week and last week were the best I've felt in a long time. I'm definitely getting there, and I'm excited to be getting this close."

DB Javaris Davis
On next week...
"I'm not really thinking about next week right now. We're just happy we got this win. We'll focus on next week tomorrow."

On the importance of staying consistent going into next week...
"That's what we do. Coach says to play like that no matter who we're playing. It's going to be big game next week, and we'll be ready."

QB Jeremy Johnson
On how it felt to start at his final home game...
"It felt great. It was a great opportunity to play with those guys again. Just going out there and getting this victory for the team and for Sean (White). It's just another opportunity. I feel blessed to be out there."

On what tonight's success means...
"It means a lot. It's just another chance to get to play with my teammates, who I enjoy being around and love a lot. It's a great win and a lot of momentum going into next week."

On running out of the tunnel for the last time...
"It was a lot of emotion. After all that I've been through, I still love being around this team. That's the most important thing to me, my teammates. The other stuff doesn't even matter."

On what it would mean to start in the Iron Bowl if Sean White can't play...
"We'll see what happens next week. We'll see how he is feeling. If I'm called upon, I'll be ready."

On what it means to be loved by the team...
"I appreciate it a lot. They know that. I'll do anything for them and they'll do anything for me. They've always been behind me. I've always been able to talk to them. They've never turned their back on me. They've never looked at me a certain way. I love those guys. I'm going to miss it. I'm going to miss being around them."

DT Montravius Adams

On having fun tonight..."
You know, it's my last time playing here, so I'm just trying to have fun with some of my players. We've got two games for sure that I'll get to be with them, so I'm trying to make the best of every moment."

On senior day...
"That's great, I really haven't thought about it. Nothing has hit me as a senior yet, to be honest. I know we had a couple of guys cry before the game, but nothing has really hit me yet. I'm just trying to get better every game, and just give my team a chance to win."

On the seniors talking to the team...
"We talked to the team yesterday. Coach Steele just let the defense talk to the defense, you know, one senior at a time, and everybody said how they were feeling, and what they thought about the season, and how they felt about the other players."

RB Kam Martin

On how it felt out there...
"It felt great, just when opportunity comes, you've got to make something happen, so it's just a blessing to have fun out here and get a win. It's just a blessing to be here at Auburn, this is a great University, I'm surrounded by great teammates, and I'm just glad to be here."

 

On how it feels to have momentum going into the Iron Bowl...
"You know, we just want to enjoy this one tonight, and focus on Alabama tomorrow."

WR Kyle Davis

On his start and touchdown catch...
"It was a great night, my first start. My first start was great. They just trusted me to go out there. That's what Gus is all about, he's about trust, and I guess he trusted me this weekend, and I did what I had to do."

On what it took to earn that trust...
"Well, just consistently coming to work. That's what I always do. I'm a firm believer in always coming to work, and doing your job, and making something happen when you get the opportunity to, and I feel like I've done that."

Alabama A&M Head Coach James Spady...

On the team's performance...
"I'm not really sure yet. I'm going to need to go back, look at the film and try to figure out what the positives are. We got beat by a better team. I know that. That's the one thing that I can tell you for sure. It felt like we held up a little bit early in the game defensively. We just couldn't bring our offense to the party. I think Auburn's defense was a little bit too strong for us. That's without me watching the film and telling you exactly what went wrong, but those are my initial thoughts."

On who performed well offensively...
"Tootie (De'Angelo) Ballard played well. Beyond him, I'd have to watch the film to figure out who did what. I can tell you this though -- I'm extremely proud. This is a venue that we're not used to playing in. We don't play in front of 80,000 people every week. We don't play in this kind of arena every week. For our kids to come out here and not be intimidated by the stage, I'm proud of that. Again, we'll watch film and try to figure out what we can take that's positive."

On who performed well defensively...
"We had some guys that really had some good performances on defense. In the secondary, I think Devonte Simon. He went down with a shoulder injury, but before that, he was making some plays. I think Kenny Davis made quite a few tackles. Averee Giles, a defensive lineman, is always involved in anything we do well on defense. He's always involved. Those are the usual suspects."


 

 

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