Dec. 29, 2009
Tampa, Fla. -
DeBartolo Team Luncheon Press Conference Coordinator/Player Quotes
Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn
On joining the Auburn coaching staff
"It's been a great experience for me being here at Auburn and coaching this group. A lot of them bought in completely offensively in what we've done. I know all the experiences they had before, there's probably some hesitancy. They bought in. It's been a true blessing for me to be a part of this group. The future is great. Like we told this group we're laying the foundation for a lot of good things."
On getting off to a fast start in the last two games
"I think rhythm has a lot to do with it. You think back, the last two games we have come out strong. We had the rhythm going and we were playing fast. The game slowed down a little bit and it kind of took away our edge. We're going to try to keep that rhythm going later in the game and into the second half."
Defensive Back Walt McFadden
On the SEC versus Northwestern and the Big Ten
"I'm a big fan of the SEC; I would take the SEC any day. Just by watching them play other teams in the Big Ten it's a good league. I see that they had a lot of tough games. It seems like every weekend they had to play somebody that was good; it wasn't just an easy win."
On Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka
"My only concern is just keeping my eyes on my man because their quarterback is very mobile. Once he starts running some DBs might want to come up and try to make the play. But you've got to remember this guy can run and he can throw and run as well."
Offensive tackle Andrew McCain
On playing on New Year's Day in the Outback Bowl
"I think it's very important, especially these days, because there are so many bowl games. I certainly don't want to cheapen any of those, because any time you get the opportunity to play in one whenever it is, that's special. To have the opportunity to play on New Year's Day and to play in the very first game to kick off in 2010 is very special for us. It's a great opportunity and we couldn't be more excited to play against a great Big Ten opponent in Northwestern."
On the Northwestern defense
"They do a whole lot of stuff, but they're good at all of it. You can tell from top to bottom they are a defensive-minded team. I think that starts with their head coach. They are strong and they're athletic, but they are very gap sound. You have to account for every player on every play. You don't catch them out of position too often. That makes our job really important just because we know we're not going to get away with anything. If you're going to make positive yards you're going to have a hat on a hat every single play."
On the 2009 Auburn Tigers squad
"I couldn't be more proud of the guys on this football team and what they've done over the course of the year. Starting over a year ago when Coach Chizik was hired and started bringing in his new staff, so see how everybody bought into his system, to see how he extended himself and his family and the assistant coaches did the same, it just created a real family environment. The camaraderie just developed. Everybody has just banded together and this is a football team that is just really special. It won't go down in the books as one that has won more games than any other team at Auburn, but I think when you look back on it and look at the direction this team is headed several years from now they'll be able to look at this year's team and say they really helped build a foundation for a whole lot of great years."
Quarterback Chris Todd
On playing in the Outback Bowl
"Honestly, this being my last year, it's always more fun to be able to finish out your year with a good bowl game and be able to enjoy it and go out in this way. To be able to play in a good bowl game like this speaks a lot for our coaches and all our players and what they've done."
Defensive end Antonio Coleman
On the Northwestern offense
"They're a great football team with a great quarterback that can throw and run the ball. They're physical and sound. They have a great offense. I haven't seen too much of their defense, but on offense I think they're going to give us a lot of looks. We just have to be ready."
On his time in Tampa
"It's been a great time. This is a vacation, but on the flipside every day is a work day. We've been enjoying ourselves, but we've come here to win a football game."
Defensive tackle Jake Ricks
On spending time in Tampa
"We know what we're down here to do. We're here to have fun but at the same time we know we're down here to win a football game."
On the seniors finishing their careers with a win in the Outback Bowl
"We want to go out with a win and send us out the right way. It will be a big game for us."
Linebacker Craig Stevens
On the Northwestern offense
"They have a pretty respectable offense. They have a pretty good quarterback that's a dual threat; he can throw the ball and run it. I think we're going to have to be ready."
On the biggest challenge for the defense
"I would have to say the quarterback's running ability. We're going to have to respect every receiver out there. Once they're in their routes he has the ability to just tuck it and run it. We're just going to have to always keep our eyes on him."