What 'They' Said

Auburn coaches and players were pleased with the win over Ole Miss, but they are looking ahead to even bigger things now that they are bowl eligible.

Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik

"Obviously, we feel very blessed to beat a very good football team today. I can't give our football team enough credit starting with our seniors and just the way they responded in a tough stretch. As we all know, that was the question that everybody wanted to know was 'How is your football team going to respond in a tough time?' I think today is a great example of the way they were going to respond. They willed that win. That was a very, very good football team that we beat tonight and our kids deserved it because they never quit fighting. It doesn't surprise anybody in our locker room that that's who they are. I thought tonight proved to a lot of people that we were going to contend and fight."

On Auburn's pass rush pressure

"I thought that was huge. If that wasn't the best that we have been on third down defense, it was certainly one of the best. That starts with pressure up front. We did not blitz them a lot tonight. Jevan (Snead) did a nice job of scrambling out of the pocket. He got out of there a couple of times on us. It started with a four man pass rush. That is where it started. We were just good on third downs. That has been something that we needed to get better at and tonight I thought we were."

On Terrell Zachery

"I think Terrell Zachery made two catches right now that were out of the ordinary. They were great catches. He had to go up over a guy or even two guys if I remember correctly and come down with the football. Those are the plays that we have to be able to make. Those are two big-time plays. I thought that really, really sparked us. That was the spark that we needed. That certainly is what we did earlier in the year. It was good to see us come back today and make a couple of those."

On Zac Etheridge

"First of all, I am really proud that somebody came in and stepped up to the plate. Zac Etheridge is not only a phenomenal young man, he is a phenomenal football player. On this football team, he is a great leader. Somebody came in tonight and stepped up. It doesn't mean that we were perfect, but somebody came in and stepped in and took Zac's place. We are just so proud of Zac and obviously we will know further tomorrow as to what his status is. He is one tough, tough guy. He will rebound."

How big was Auburn's PAT return for two points?

"If you look at that, they turned a potential 7-0 swing into a 6-2 swing which is huge. If you go back and look at us defensively right now on how many blocked kicks we've had or how many times they've come through in those situations, I am just really proud of those guys. That is kind of a down where you can take a down off. Somebody just scored on you and your body language is bad. That is a great example of how those small things in a game of you playing hard, and doing those things all of the time on every play never knowing when that opportunity is going to come. I think that was a huge, huge point for us, a huge swinging point for us at that point of the game as far as momentum goes."

Have you ever seen 33 points scored in one quarter like the third quarter today?

"No, I don't think I have. I really don't. I went from as everybody did, every gamut, every emotional high and low that we could go in 15 minutes which seemed like 15 days. It was pretty incredible. Again, there were bad things that happened in the game, certainly after the kickoff return for a touchdown and our kids just never stopped fighting. It was good to see that."

On Chris Todd

"We said all along that Chris gives us the best chance to win. That's who we are going to play quarterback with. We can't be wishy-washy on the quarterback situation. We can't be wishy-washy on what we want to do, what we don't want to do. We had some success and we didn't have some success. I'm not going back and forth on that. We know what we have to do to win. We have to execute much better on all sides of the ball than we did today if we want to continue to win the rest of the games in our league."

On Ole Miss in the first drive

"What really got that one was the play action pass to the fullback on the outside. We opened with great momentum on the kickoff coverage if you remember correctly. Then they hit us with the fullback wheel, the fullback to the flat, and just took it up the sideline. Other than that, I think it was just getting used to the game. There were a couple of new wrinkles that they threw into their offense. We felt like we got that adjusted - some tight end movement and things that we felt like we needed to get under control. Coach (Ted) Roof did a great job, and our defensive staff did a great job seeing what it was that there plan was and then adjusting from that."

On Walt McFadden's interceptions

"It was huge. Walt, like I told him, there is nobody on a football team that deserves good things to happen to him. He makes them happen. He is playing coverage into a call. That interception was huge, and the field position swing was huge as far as him bringing it out. I was just proud to see him get two clutch ones today."

On Ben Tate

"Really, really important. He went for over 1,000 yards today. I think that is significant in what we are trying to establish here as far as building a foundation on what we want to do. That, obviously, is not just Ben, it is the offensive line and the receivers are blocking. He had another big day of 100 plus yards and that one big run. Ben just continues to show up. I am really proud of the way his leadership has come to the forefront for our football team. He keeps running hard. He does the things we ask him to do to be productive. He's becoming a team leader."

On the win and becoming bowl eligible

'Obviously, it was a great feeling. We have a lot of football left to play. So, we are going to try to take everything one week at a time, and try to win a game. Obviously, that's a big deal for us and is something that will excite our fans as well as our coaches and players. We just have to take it week by week and keep winning."

Darvin Adams, WR

Overall thoughts... "I think we came out real focused and confident today, on offense, defense and special teams. We came out and had fun."

On 28-touchdown catch...

"They called the right play at the right time. Coach Malzahn dialed up the right play. The corner blitzed and I was wide open."

On second-half adjustments... "We settled down and coach asked us all to hit our blocks and catch the ball. Someone had to make a big play and that's what we did."

Mario Fannin, RB

Overall thoughts...

The game went great. The defense made some plays for us. We kept up the intensity and fed off of what the defense gave us. Everybody came together for this win."

On rushing and receiving... "It's a great aspect that helps the team out a lot. It keeps the defense off-balance because they don't know what's coming."

On offensive line performance... "They played good and fought hard in the trenches and that's where it really starts at. They always play great and they don't always get the credit they deserve."

Chris Todd, QB

Overall thoughts...

"We came out and the offensive line played really well. Ole Miss is a good team and they have some great defensive backs, but our defense came out and played really good. We were able to get some things going on offense and we went out and made some big plays."

On 28-yard touchdown pass... "We needed some guys to step up and make some plays. On that play, our offensive line and Darvin (Adams) stepped up to do it. We had some guys outside that could match up against them and that is what we did on that play."

On getting back on winning track... "I think that this game was big. It was really important for us. Everybody stayed confident in what we were doing, but I think that it was big for us to come out and perform the way we did."

Ben Tate, RB

Overall Thoughts... "Our offensive line did a good job today. We just needed a couple of sparks on offense and we got that in the rushing and passing game and that's what got us going."

On 53 yard touchdown run...

"I had some great blocks by Eric Smith and Byron Isom and they pulled me around the edge. I saw that they were logging behind and so I jumped outside and used my speed. I busted out and showed everybody my speed."

On hitting 1,000 rushing yards for the season...

"It's a good thing. It shows just how well our offensive line is doing and how well I've been playing. It all goes hand in hand. To hit 1,000 yards so early is a great accomplishment."

On momentum for the final three games...

"This was definitely a big momentum game. We have to have that momentum going into Furman and certainly into Georgia."

Tommy Trott, TE

Overall thoughts...

"We're really excited to come out with a win. It has been a tough three weeks but we just kept battling. We were as shocked as anyone by our past three performances. We've been practicing really hard and it's good to finally come out and get some big plays. This big plays are contagious just like they were at the beginning of the year. It's big when someone comes out and makes a big play and then somebody follows with another. It goes right down the line. We were able to feed off of the big plays."

On defensive support...

"I can't say enough about our defense. They had plenty of sacks and turnovers at just the right time. My man Walt McFadden had that pick six and that really got everyone excited."

On where the team goes from here...

"We've been battling back, getting this win today hopefully gives us some momentum. It just shows that we're still capable of making those big plays and lighting up the scoreboard. Hopefully we'll keep this up."

Mike Berry, OL

Overall thoughts...

"This was an all-around team win. Everybody played their part. We came out and played well on both sides of the ball, but our defense was the key to winning the game today."

On offensive line's performance...

"Our attitude is back where it needs to be. We're staying with it and staying positive. Even when things aren't going your way, you have to stay with it and keep your head up."

On offense returning to early-season form...

"I think we're back but I don't think we really ever left, we just had to embrace it. The key was eliminating the penalties because those were killing all of our drives. We took care of those and that was the difference today."

Eltoro Freeman LB

On importance of win over Ole Miss...

"This was a must-win situation. We prepared well as a team. Everyone believed in the team and the defensive game plan we wanted to use. Day-in and day-out this week, we believed in ourselves. The defensive line answered the challenge today. The win was real big for us. Coach Chizik put us in a situation to win. All we had to do was execute."

On Ole Miss running back Dexter McCluster...

"He's an awesome back. He kind of reminds me of Noel Devine. If you give him the corner, he's gone."

Antonio Coleman, DE

On team morale...

"We started on Sunday after the LSU game preparing - watching film and trying to build our confidence. The coaches made sure that we kept having fun. We want to send the seniors out on the right note with these final games."

On Dexter McCluster... "He's a real quick back that can hide behind the line. He had a great game today. As the game wore on, we were able to start getting to him. That took a little out of him."

Walter McFadden, DB

On third quarter interception return... "The first one came from the coaches. They train their players to always be around the ball. Good things will happen when you never stop pursuing. It was a lucky break how the ball just bounced up off his hands. Once I got a hold of it, there was just enough blocking in front of me to take it in."

On fourth quarter interception...

"Demond Washington pressured their receiver out of his timing. The quarterback thought he was going to be in there. I saw it coming and stepped up."

On importance of win...

"This win really gives the team confidence going into the end of the season. It shows character after losing three straight. It shows that we have the same character we did when we were 5-0."


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