GUS MALZAHN (PHOTO BY JASON CALDWELL)

Quoting Auburn Football Coach Gus Malzahn: AU 51-14

Comments from Auburn's head football coach are featured following Saturday night's victory over Arkansas State.

Auburn, Ala.--Comments from Auburn's head football coach Gus Malzahn are featured following his team's 51-14 victory over Arkansas State are featured. Here are his comments:

“That was a good win tonight. I am very happy for our players and coaches. Our goal was to get better from week one to week two and I think we did that. We had an outstanding crowd tonight, they were off the charts. I really appreciate our fans.”

 “I thought we did a solid job on special teams. We had no punts and that was big. Third downs were a big focus for us coming into tonight and we did pretty well. We had a fake field goal for a touchdowntonight and that was a big momentum play for us.”

 

“On defense, we gave up a big pass play down the middle, but for the most part, I thought we did a really good job. I think our guys played well. We have to continue to get better. We are playing two tough SEC opponents the next two weeks.”

 

On the importance of the backups getting playing time …

“That’s one thing we talked about in the locker room. It was great to get young guys quality experience and that will help us in the future with our depth. Overall, that was a big factor and it will definitely help us moving down the road.”

 

On the confidence of the first team offense …

“We came out and looked like an Auburn offense for the first time. When we can run the football, it opens everything else up. We had a lot of different guys carry the football and I think our offensive line got better. If you have an inexperienced offensive group, week one to week two is usually where you see your biggest improvement. Without looking at the film, I can tell that they definitely improved.”

 

On Sean White …

“I think he did very well. He was able to run the football and I think that is a big factor. He did a good job with some of our read zones and gap zones. He also did a good job when things broke down. The play where he pitched it to Kerryon Johnson was an unbelievable play for him just to get the ball out and then KJ made a wild play when he cut it back across the field.”

 

On the importance of the vertical passing game …

“That was something we felt like we needed to do coming in. We hit passes early. Kyle (Davis) made a circus catch. It was good to get those young receivers out there. They are very talented.”

 

On Sean White blocking for runs …

“It makes you flinch a little bit. He is a tough guy that just plays football and that’s the way he plays. His teammates like that about him.”

 

 

On Tony Stevens impact …

“I hope the night he had tonight will help him with confidence moving forward. I know Sean (White)has confidence in him. He created a lot on his own. I know on that third down on our sideline, where he kept his feet in, was a big play. The touchdown that he got on his back shoulder was big. Also, the dig route where he made a guy miss and took it to the house was big. Tony is a talented guy and he had a very good night.”

 

On John Franklin’s running ability …

“He was close to taking it to the house a couple of times. It was really good for him to get out there and get some game reps too.”

 

On the value of the one-two punch at running back …

“I think it is very valuable. We are still learning about those two guys as well. KJ has had two games in a row in which he has carried the ball numerous times and tonight was (Kamryn) Pettway’s first time to really carry the load. Those guys will continue to get better and they could be a good one-two punch moving forward.”

 

On TJ Neal …

“I chose not to dress him out.”

 

On what he learned about the team tonight …

“I learned that the guys responded to the challenge. Obviously this past week our offense had a tough week because we didn’t perform up to our standard. This week will give our offensive guys some momentum and some confidence. We are going to need it because we play two tough SEC opponents the next two weeks.”

 

On Texas A&M …

“I have been focused on Arkansas State this week and I haven’t really looked at them. We know they are talented and we know that they have good pass rushers and a transfer quarterback that is a very good quarterback. They are a good team and it’s going to be a tough game.”

 

On if Devaroe Lawrence is injured …

“No, he’s not hurt.”

 

On what it means to Sean White to have good receivers to go up and get a ball …

“There was a couple of guys that made plays for him.”

 

 

 

On the last time he called a fake field goal…

“It’s been a while. We felt like it was the right opportunity and we got the right look. We felt that it would be there. Coach (Scott) Fountain and coach (Herb) Hand are in charge of field goals and they came to me in the middle of the week and felt like we had a chance. So we got the look and our holder made an outstanding throw. That’s not an easy deal, and I don’t know if you saw but you had one guy coming in and then one guy looped out. We weren’t expecting the guy to loop out and (Stovall) just made a great toss with it and of course Daniel’s an athlete, he can run and it was pretty well executed.”

 

On Daniel Carlson…

“Daniel’s an athlete, there is no doubt, and they were glad it was up this week. They were real excited.”

 

On Kamryn Pettway…

“He’s a load now. He’s a change-up from him and KJ. He showed some speed there. They got a couple guys who can run and he almost busted that one right before half. He had another long one where they just barely got his foot. The more he carries the ball the more comfortable he’ll get. That could be a good 1-2 punch for us”

 

On Kerryon Johnson’s first quarter touchdown…

“KJ, he’s got some unique abilities. He can do some things that can kind of wow you at times, and I thought that was really impressive. There was some good blocks too, but he made something out of nothing on that one”

 

On the team’s preparation this week…

“They had a good week of practice. Last week obviously we were disappointed in our offensive output, specifically running the football. I thought the guys had a good week of practice and were just kind of still figuring out who we are, learning about our personnel. We got a lot of new guys that are out there, not just the new freshman but some other guys. We’re kind of figuring out who we are and each week I think that will help us.”

 

On Sean White…

“He did a great job tonight. He is our quarterback. He did a super job and I think he’ll have a chance to get better and better, but I was very impressed by the way he played tonight and showed some toughness. Like we said before a quarterback needs to be a runner for us to be as good as we can be and he was a runner tonight.”

 

On Landon Rice…

“Yeah, Landon has left the team for personal reasons. He’s got a great family, and his brother still plays for us.”

 

On the defensive line…

“We’re deep up front and we got a handful of guys that when they get in one on one situations, they have a chance to put some pressure on the quarterback. When you can stop the run then you can pin your ears back on third down and they didn’t really have big runs between the tackles, I think most of them were on the perimeter.”

 

On the defensive line’s depth…

“It’s very important, it will do nothing but help us. Derrick (Brown) is getting better every snap he is out there. He is very disruptive. He’s got a chance to be a very good football player”

 

On the wide receivers…

“They did some good things tonight. We’re still learning about our receivers, it’s a new crew now. We got Tony (Stevens) who has been out there and Marcus (Davis) who has been out there and the rest of them, we’re learning about them. Coach (Kodi) Burns has done a good job with them and we just got to continue to get better and continue to execute.”

 

On Darius Slayton…

“Darius he’s got a lot of winner in him, he just needs experience, he just needs reps. He wants to be good and he wants to be coached. He’s a great practice player and anytime a great practice player carries over to the game field, it’s a good feeling.”

 

 


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