Auburn 24, LSU 17: Quoting Gene Chizik

Auburn's head football coach, Gene Chizik, comments on his team's football victory on Saturday over LSU.

Auburn, Ala.--Comments from Auburn's head football coach are featured following his team's 24-17 victory over LSU on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

"Obviously, that was another great game that came down to the end and somehow another our football team found a way to win it. I've said this for the last seven weeks, but my hat's off to our football team.

I thought we were a little bit beat up tonight going into the game defensively. I could not be more proud of our defensive staff, our defensive players. We were playing with true freshmen. We were playing with walk-ons. We were just fighting, clawing and scrapped our way to playing well today. I really appreciate that by our guys.

"Offensively, again, every week, Cam (Cameron Newton) seems to be playing better. I don't think today was any exception to that. I think we had another 100 yard rusher in Michael Dyer. Special teams-wise, we put our offense in the hole just about the whole second half which was really disappointing. We felt like that was going to be a better part of our game. We certainly have some work to do there. Offensively, my hat's off to those guys, too. It is just a blessed day for all of us at Auburn, and we will enjoy this for the next however many hours, and we will go back to work Sunday."

Has Auburn gone from good to great yet?

"I don't know that you can make that claim until the end of the year to figure out exactly where you land. I think we've gone from good to better. I don't think there is any question about that."

On Nick Fairley's performance:

"I thought he was a dominant force. We will know more certainly when we watch the film. Nick certainly, I thought, took the game over inside. I think our front four got a lot of pressure period today. I don't know how many sacks we had. I know he had (2.5), and there are some other guys it seemed like they had some, too. Just as an overall defense, starting with Coach (Ted) Roof, and what the defensive staff did this week to get a scheme that with two quarterbacks. That gets challenging. Again, it goes back to our players executing and doing what the coaches are asking them to do.

"They got us on a trick play there. I think it was in the fourth quarter. Other than that, we made them drive the ball and earn their money tonight and work for it. Again, it starts with the defensive line usually.* On rushing for 440 yards against a team that is giving up an average of 80 yards per game rushing?

"I think the numbers speak for themselves. I don't know what I need to say about that. I just don't want to lose sight of the fact that our offensive line has become a really good offensive line. From left tackle to right tackle, those guys have played every snap now for eight games. They are beat up. They are tired. They get beat up during the game. They find a way to continue to press on. Everything starts with those guys up front. When we got the ball on the perimeter tonight, Onterio McCalebb made a great run, but I am going to tell you something.

"Keep a close eye on the perimeter blocking from the wide receivers. That's what makes a team in my opinion. I think it is all working together and we are getting better."

On having a lot of confidence in your defense by going for it on 4th and 6 from your own 40:

"No question. I mean if it was a track meet tonight against our defense, I wouldn't have done it. I would have punted and tried to pin them down."

On Newton's 49-yard touchdown run:

"It was just another great run that Cameron does a lot on his own. He is going to make somebody miss usually in there. I think he did that again on that play. It all started with the point of attack with our offensive line. Again, that is where it always starts. Usually when Cameron gets to the second level, he has the ability to make a guy miss, and on that play, I believe that happened. His speed is very deceiving. He is very fast so he gets out there and basically outruns everybody."

What is more impressive, that 49 yard touchdown run by Cam Newton or after 28 carries and as many hits that he took, that he leaps the fence and goes celebrate with the students?

"I didn't see that exactly, but I am sure that was impressive as well. He has a good vertical. I know that."

What halftime adjustments did you make when LSU scored right before half to tie it?

"That was one thing defensively that I was disappointed in right now was the penalties that kept some drives alive. Whether there was a face mask here and there, the face masks, they don't bother me as much as the offsides, it never happened today, but some of the post-snap penalties. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot when we had great plays working on defense to get them in a bind. It seemed like a couple of times off the top of my head, it seemed like we got ourselves a penalty and put ourselves in a bind. That was disappointing tonight, but again, they found a way to rally back."

On Jonathan Evans coming in and playing well when you needed it:

"I don't know how he played. I know that he was ready to play, and that he was excited about playing. We have been getting him ready, again, another young guy who had to step up when Daren Bates went out. You have a guy like Chris Davis tonight, a true freshman corner, against some extremely talented wideouts that had to go in there and hold up. You have Neiko Thorpe out there playing beat up and banged up. Playing without Aairon Savage, Mike McNeil had to step up. It was a M*A*S*H unit in the secondary, but they never flinched. They came out there and played, and I am really, really proud of those guys.*

On the inside running game of Michael Dyer?

"Going into game nine, I think Mike has really gained a lot of confidence. I don't think there is any question with that. He runs with such a low pad level. I think he is starting to get his eyes up now where he can see the cuts that he needs to make. I think game by game, when he is healthy, and he is getting healthier now, game by game I think that he is improving and playing with more confidence."

On the Ole Miss game next week being a trap game, how do you keep the team focused and fresh when you haven't had an off week?

"We haven't had an off-week. The same way we have tried to proceed every other week. This doesn't change anything for us. It doesn't change the way we prepare. It doesn't change the way we talk to our team. It doesn't change the way we practice. It doesn't change anything. This is a step-by-step, day-by-day process, and I know that sounds like coaching clichés, but that is what it is. We are not going to talk about where we end up ranking-wise. We are not going to talk about being 8-0. We are not going to talk about any of that. We are going to talk about Ole Miss next week starting tomorrow, and that is how we will proceed."

What factors make Auburn so good closing out fourth quarters week after week?

"Well, I want to give a lot of credit to our strength staff first of all. Make sure that it is real clear that a team that can be strong enough and have enough endurance in the fourth quarter to win a game, your strength and conditioning staff have to be doing something right. Coach (Kevin) Yox(all) and his staff do a great job. That is one thing. I don't think there is any question with that. Then, I just think it is the team chemistry and the belief in each other as teammates.

"There were a lot of times in that game that it did not look good, but I say that every week. Then, they find a way to win it. I don't know what makes team chemistry. I have no clue. I only know that in my heart of hearts that we have it. I think that is how you play better in the fourth quarter."


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