Quoting Chizik: AU vs. Alabama A&M Postgame

Comments from Auburn's head football coach are feataured following his team's 51-7 win on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Auburn, Ala.--Comments from Auburn football coach Gene Chizik's postgame press conference are featured following Auburn's 51-7 victory over Alabama A&M on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

On the carries given to the running backs:

"Tre (Mason) got his fill of carries, and we wanted to make sure especially with Onterio (McCalebb) being a senior, we want to give him enough carries where we felt like he's going to have a good game that he's going to remember. That was the idea behind that."

On Jonathan Wallace:

"He's a little bit beyond his years when you talk about toughness and maturity for a young guy. Our players see that in him and really respect it. Our coaches see it and respect it. He's taken a few good shots this year. He always bounces back, and he does not want to come out of the game. He's done that several times, but I think that's just kind of the case and point for him with how much football means to him, and how much it means for him to be out on the field."

On Christian Westerman starting at guard.

"Christian, it was really the first week where we felt like he was really healthy. We kind of weaned him in a week ago, and he really had a good week of practice this week. We thought it'd be a good idea to let him good some good reps and let him start his first game. He was working in that direction before he got hurt, and just moving Chad (Slade) out to left tackle and letting him get some reps out there. We just thought that this was going to be a good week to be able to do that."

On Christian Westerman's injury:

"I don't know. We'll know more tomorrow. We'll probably know more tonight, but right now I'm not sure."

On Chad Slade starting at tackle:

"Obviously, we have to have some more production from the left tackle position as well. Chad's been a guy that had played left tackle before, but hadn't had a chance to really do that this year. It was really kind of several things, but the move to get Chad out there and get some reps at left tackle was a wise one simply because if something does happen there, we just didn't have many answers right now because of so many guys that have been hurt."

On if today's game was a diversion from other games this season:

"Today was just a great day to go out and play football. I want to say something, too, about our fans. Since we don't have school next week, a lot of the students had the chance to go home, but I was really proud of a lot of the fans who came out to send our seniors off in great fashion. I really appreciate the fans. All the other stuff, I'm just glad we had the chance to go out there and play football with (Alabama) A&M and have fun doing it."

On Trent Fisher's interception and return for a touchdown:

"It was great to see him do that. We're looking for more production at that position, and we started Trent out there today, and again, we thought this would be a good day to do it. It was really good to see him, at the end of the game, get a pick for a touchdown.

"He's just one of those guys that he came here, walked on, earned his scholarship, and he's just one of those guys that deserves that opportunity. We are looking for more production at that position. That was why he got the start today."

On if he thought there was improvement in blocking and tackling this week:

"I don't know. To really be able to assess that, we really have to go back and look at the film. There were some good things that we did today, and there were some things that I'm sure if we watched the film right now, we'll see we weren't as good at. You know more when you watch the film. That's just really kind of hard to judge today."

On the Iron Bowl next week:

"It's obvious. The challenge next week is going to be huge. Just the meaning of the game and what it means to the fan bases on both sides is huge. We have an enormous challenge in front of us, but we're going to embrace it and have a lot of fun going over there and playing."

On Demetruce McNeal being replaced in the starting lineup despite being the leading tackler:

"When you look at production, that doesn't always tell the story. When we say we're looking for more production, it's because there's a lot of other things involved than just tackling. That's why we made the move."

On Tre Mason's performance:

"Tre is one of those guys that's gotten better as the season has progressed. I don't think there's any question about that. He runs the ball hard. He runs for tough yards. It was really good to see him bust open a run that long. I think he's just gotten better as the season's gone on. I thought the offensive line covered people up well enough today to give him some cracks and be able to run the ball. I think Tre has become a more physical runner. I think he's playing with good vision. He protects the ball. I'm proud of him."

On Onterio McCalebb:

"He's very productive as well. Onterio can do different things for you. He's obviously always had a perimeter game here with the ball in his hands. He's always been pretty effective. He's learned to run between the tackles a little bit better this year than he has before because he's gotten more opportunities to do it. He's a productive guy.

"If you go back and just look at his whole career, whether it's a kickoff return guy or whether it's a speed sweep guy, or whether it's right back there behind the quarterback in I-backs, he's been productive. If he hits a crack or he hits a seam in there, he always has potential to break it. He's just a very productive guy. Very much a team guy."

On President Jay Gogue evaluating the program after the season:

"I've already addressed all that stuff."

On if winning the Iron Bowl changes the perception of the season:

"I think that anytime you get a win in the Iron Bowl, it really sets the tone for pretty much whatever's happened previously in that year, and I think it sets the tone for the next year, too. A win in the Iron Bowl for anybody is huge."

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