Auburn 45, Texas A&M 41: Postgame quotes

Thomas B. Shea

Players and coaches discuss the Tigers' exhilarating win.

Auburn

Head coach Gus Malzahn

On The Win...

"Big win for our program. Texas A&M is one of the top teams in the country on their home field. We challenged our players to improve each week, and they have done that. We've been working on getting our edge back, and we are getting closer. This was a big win for our program tonight. Our plan was to be in the game at halftime and wear them out in the second half. I think for the most part it worked. We are learning something about our team each week. We answered this test. We were curious how we were going to respond on the road, and we did better than when we played at LSU. It was a challenge for our defense giving the ball back to Manziel with one minute left in the game, but we found a way to get it done. We played without a lot of our guys, and everyone stepped up and raised their level. I like our team."

WR Sammie Coates

On what changed in the second half...

"We missed a couple opportunities in the passing game in the first half. Coach told us we were going to win the game in the second half. The second half we showed everyone we are a good team. The offensive line was great. They got every block they were supposed to get. After my dropped pass, I knew I had to turn around and have a big play."

QB Nick Marshall

On the win...

"My knee felt good all week. The trainers worked on it all week. Our team is going back to the top. We are just now getting our edge back. On the last drive we went out there and executed. We knew we were going to be the more conditioned team in the second half, and it showed. This win is about confidence. We're going to take one game at a time and keep moving forward."

RB Tre Mason

On his emotions after the game...

"This is a great win for my team. I was a little emotional after the game. I was happy the whole time; those were tears of happiness. This was a statement game. The statement that we want to put across is that we are coming. We are getting better from here on out. You have to believe to achieve. We did that and came out with the win tonight."

Texas A&M

Head coach Kevin Sumlin

On Auburn's offense...

"They lead the league in rushing coming into this game, you could see that. We made some adjustments at halftime and obviously had some success defensively in the third quarter. Obviously there towards the end we had some breakdowns I have to look at the video to tell you exactly what was going on, but they're able to drive the ball and they made plays at the end when they had to make them and we didn't. We faked the field goal there and get the first down and still only come away with only three points instead of a touchdown right there at the start of the fourth quarter. That ended up being a pretty critical situation for us."

On Auburn's rushing offense...

"They were multiple on their attack in the first part of the game, it was more of a power scheme, in the second half it was more of a read option, quarterback read situation. So they got to the perimeter a couple times and had some big plays, certainly down inside, some of zone principles, they were getting four or five at a clip. It wasn't a situation where they were busting big long runs, it was that we just couldn't get off the field. I sit up here every week when we win or lose I talk about really two areas, third downs and turnover margin, of which we didn't win either one of them tonight, and that's why they won the game.

On the remainder of the season...

"I just said that there's a lot out there in front of us. What's important now is not what just happened. Just like on Monday the way we approach it, we got to be honest with ourselves win or lose and that basically, this time of year, teams go in a couple different directions. We need to get back in here Monday, as I said, be honest with ourselves, make sure that what we can fix we're going to fix, as coaches and as players and move on. We're in the middle of the season. We got a lot of football left, there's no telling what can happen. In this league there's a lot of close games, there are a lot of people who lost today too. We got to keep playing and we can't dwell on this, we got to move on, but we also got to look honestly at where we are and how we're going to approach things from here on out."

On Johnny Manziel coming back in to play...

"He came back in and played. I don't know how to measure pain. He didn't say anything to me, he just said that he was ready to go. We were able to move the ball, I don't think that was the case. We had a breakdown in protection a couple of times in the second half, which that's not his fault."

On Mike Evans and the final drive...

"You hit it right on the head. This team is confident in those situations, we've been in them before, and usually we handle them. We didn't make enough plays at the end today. We got the kickoff return by Trey Williams that gave us good field position, moved the ball down the field, had our opportunities and couldn't make a play. Mike, what can you say? As I said after the first game of the year, he's one of the better players in the country, and I think people are starting to realize that, because he's a big guy that has home run ability but will compete for the ball in any kind of traffic."

DC Mark Snyder

On third down defense...

"We felt like we got them to third-and-long but third-and-medium would be our downfall. That is very frustrating. I give Auburn a lot of credit. They came out and played their hearts and souls out. They were just better than us offensively than we were defensively."

On defending against the run...

"Towards the end of the game they put their big-boy pads on and we couldn't slow them down. Any time you can grind the clock like that and take the game is tough. I felt like that is what they did. They took the game and the clock from us. We couldn't get off the field. We were humming there a little bit there with several three-and-outs. I felt like we were staying fresh. I give those guys credit. They blocked us and blocked us very well. We had a stretch where we felt like we were comfortable with the game. I thought we were playing pretty well. When they had to move the football and when they had to move the chains, they did. Good defense doesn't allow that to happen. When you score 41 points you should win. End of story."

On missing leadership on defense...

"There's something to that but that's what we are here for as coaches. That's our job. If you don't have that leadership on the field, you have to create that. We have to lead the way as coaches."

On potential takeaways from game...

"On our side of the ball, it has continued to get better. There are going to be good things in this film and some things that we absolutely have to get corrected. I don't know much right now and until I watch the film I don't know what exactly those things are. We had a chance to win the game at the end, just like last week. They took the game and the clock from our offense. That will be looked at and scrutinized by myself and our staff at length."

DE Julien Obioha

On coming up short...

"Two emotional games in a row; that's what we expect in the SEC. We got the best of Ole Miss last week and this week Auburn got the better of us. I have to hand it to them, they're a great team and they got the better of us today."

On Nick Marshall...

"We practiced for him because we knew what we were facing with Nick Marshall. We knew he was a guy with sub 4.5 speed so we knew he'd be a great running threat but he could also pass the ball. He's a great athlete and we couldn't contain him. I have to tip my hat to him."

On Auburn's running game...

"Auburn uses their quarterback in a great way because they know how athletic he is. To play them you have to have good eye control and discipline. Auburn was able to run the ball effectively and they called great plays."

WR Malcome Kennedy

On Johnny's return after injury...

"There was no change in his demeanor. He's the same player no matter what he goes through. You saw what happened at Ole Miss after he hurt his knee. It gives him that drive, that chip on his shoulder. He comes back stronger. Johnny is superman out there. I heard him talking to coaches and trainers saying 'I gotta go in, I gotta play.' That's just his spirit, and to see him be a leader like that and play through pain, it motivates us as a team to play harder."

On offense's mindset before the final drive...

"We've faced that situation and come out on top many times. If you leave us time on the clock, we know we can get down there fast and put it in, so we weren't worried about that."

On Mike Evans...

"I don't know what to say. It's fun to watch him make plays. When Johnny throws him the ball it's like: 'will the defender knock him down this time... nope he caught it!' It's something that he continues to do and he's become great at it, perfected it really. People are going to look for him and plan for trying to stop him, double team him, and that opens up things for other receivers. You see guys like Travis Labhart and Derel Walker step up and make plays when they focus on Mike."

Transcript via Auburn Athletics

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