SEAN WHITE (PHOTO BY JASON CALDWELL)

Quoting Auburn Football Coach LSU Following Victory Over LSU

Comments from Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn are featured after an exciting victory over LSU.

Gus Malzahn had praise for the play of quarterback Sean White (above).

Auburn, Ala.--Postgame comments from Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn are featured following Auburn's 18-13 SEC football victory over LSU.

Opening Statement …

“I am very proud of our team, our players and our coaching staff tonight. It’s been a tough week and it’s a tribute to the players I’ve been talking about and our coaches. It feels good to win a game like this. It was hard fought, with a lot of adversity and ups and downs. It was really a team effort. I am very proud of our players and I think it will give us some momentum moving forward. The crowd was unbelievable. I want to thank the Auburn fans and the Auburn Family. Our students were off the charts and really helped us late in the game.”

 

On what happened on the last play …

“There was only one second on the clock and I knew they were going to wind it. When he did and the clock hit zero, I was pretty confident that time had already expired.”

 

On the concern when they caught the pass at the end …

“I knew that the clock went to zero. It was just a matter of going up to the booth and confirming.”

 

On if the team needed a game like this …

“This is the type of win our guys needed. I’ve been saying that we were close and I knew that we were close. We had two tough losses that we talked about Tuesday and for our guys to respond and beat a top-20 team, that can run the ball and play defense, is really good for us.”

 

On how the team played …

“They are playing their hearts out. Number seven (Leonard Fournette) got the best of us last year and I thought we did a better job this year. That was a big part of the game plan because they are very good at running the football.”

 

On giving play calling duties to Rhett Lashlee …

“I have been really leaning towards that for about two weeks now. I turned it over to him and I thought he did a fantastic job tonight. I need to be the head coach and that’s what I am going to be. I am looking forward to Rhett building this offense.”

 

On Rhett’s play calling …

“I thought he did a really good job. We had a lot of field goals, so we need to work on getting the ball into the end zone. I thought he did a solid job against a good defense.”

 

On Daniel Carlson’s performance …

“Daniel is the best kicker in college football. I think he confirmed that tonight. He had a 51-yard field goal, and he had some pressure kicks in the fourth quarter. Those are the hardest ones, I don’t care how far it is. He also kicked every kick off in the end zone. We were worried about their returners. He is a huge weapon and he came through tonight.”

 

On if Daniel Carlson ever gets nervous …

“No, I don’t think so. He looks like he is ready all the time and I don’t think he has that inside of him.”

 

On Sean White’s performance …

“Sean White I thought played an outstanding game. He’s a tough guy. I thought he made some good throws. He got hit a couple times, he really got hit a couple times. I thought he managed the game well. He had a high percentage. He was 19-of-26 with no interceptions, and I think that’s good against that defense. We were almost 50 percent on third down, and that was a big key. We talked earlier in the week about needing to get third-and-shorts. We got quite a few of those and then we converted some third-and-mediums. That was a big part of the game, and we had some guys step up and make some pretty big catches on third down too.”

 

On not being able to score touchdowns in the red zone …

“We need to score more touchdowns, that’s it. When we have opportunities to catch them we’ve got to catch them, and when you have opportunities to run it in you’ve got to run it in. That will be something moving forward. I’m not looking at it right now. I’m going to enjoy this one, but that’s something we are definitely going to have to improve on.”

 

On if this was the best game Sean has ever played …

“He played really well. I’ll have to watch the film and all that to grade it. It felt like he was in control of the offense.”

 

On if Kerryon Johnson will have the hot hand and be the main ball carrier moving forward …

“Kamryn Pettway got a little banged up. He’s been battling a couple of injuries and got banged up, so we just went with KJ. KJ is a tough guy too. He was a little banged up coming into this thing too, so it says a lot about him.”

 

On what it means to see Kerryon run through defenders …

“I think we got two good running backs. That was a big question coming into the season, our running backs not being proven. I think after four games we feel good about our running back position with those two guys carrying the football. They are a little bit different but I think that’s a good thing as far as offense goes.”

 

On Carl Lawson getting a couple sacks …

It was big, wasn’t it? That one there at the end was probably the play of the game. He came off the edge, dipped the shoulder and made a huge impact play.”

 

On if there was anything he was able to do tonight that he wasn’t the previous three weeks …

“I could be the head coach and really manage the game, be with the defense and special teams. That’s what I’m going to do moving forward.”

 

On if it was hard for him to not work with the offense during the game …

“Not really. I was kind of getting back and listening on the headsets. I could have a view of the whole field and watch the defense and all that. I thought it was a really good thing, and that’s what we’re going to do moving forward. It’s best for our team.”

 

On how letting Lashlee handling the play calling affects him during the week at practice …

“I’m going to be the head coach. I’m going to be meeting with the players and doing the things that I need to do. I’ve got a lot of confidence in our offensive staff, a lot of confidence in our defensive staff, so I feel pretty good about that right now.”

 

On not wearing a visor for the first time …

“My daughters said something about me wearing a visor and needing to put on a hat because I’m going bald, so I’m going to wear a hat from here on out.”

 

On Steve Spurrier picking Auburn to win on College Gameday because he wore a visor …

“Did he? Yeah I’m going to have to apologize to him. I’ve got Kristy and my two girls that are on me. I saw a replay and it looked pretty bad. That’s the reason why I’m going to wear a hat.”

 

On his decisions at the end of the first half …

“We were about ready to pace it in, and they had an injury. Then we went inside zone and one of them housed right there, and then that last one, like that, in the back probably, but hey, we are trying to win the game. When we got down there, I didn’t feel like kicking a field goal. That’s just part of it and we’ve got to find a way next time in a similar situation to get in the endzone. I think it would have really changed the dynamic of the game in the second half and given us some breathing room. Like I said earlier, sometimes it’ the way you win that really makes a long lasting impression on your team, and our guys fought. It’s good to win one when the pressure’s on and you’ve got to find a way. I thought that was a big drive with our offense going down kicking a field goal and going up by more than a field goal. I thought it was a good job by our defense stopping them. It was a good way to win for our team.”

 

On how much Rhett’s play calling in the Texas A&M game last year went into the decision to give him play calling duties …

“It’s a little bit different than it was last year. He is going to do it moving forward and he’s ready. He also has Herb Hand that helps him and that makes a big difference.”

 

On what was said to the referee at the end of the game …

“I was just making sure it was going to be replayed. I told him to check upstairs, because I knew it went to zero. I knew they had to do their due diligence, so I was just waiting. When you saw the replay it was obvious. It was a great way to win.”

 

On how this game will help moving forward …

“We have played three top-20 teams in the first four games and we found out a lot about our team. Like I said Tuesday, those were two tough losses and this one will really help moving forward.”

 

On what will Gus say to Auburn fans moving forward …

“I think we have a lot to look forward to. Our fans really helped us pull this one out tonight and we are in it together with them.”

 

On how the offensive line played …

“I thought our offensive line played well. We were able to run the ball well. At one point, we were able to run the inside zone and get five yards per carry. They have a good defensive line and their linebackers are very good. We didn’t have as many negative plays and I thought that was really big factor. It’s something that Rhett and Herb really focused on. We weren’t behind the chain as much and it helped us having third-down and shorts. It gave us a real chance to convert.”

 

On the linebackers stepping up with Tre Williams out …

“It says a lot about our team. Tre Williams is one of our team leaders and for him not to be able to play is tough. We had a lot of new guys that got to play tonight and that will really help us with depth at that position moving forward.”

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