Auburn 35, Arkansas 17: Postgame quotes

Todd Van Emst/Auburn University photo

Chatter from players and coaches on the Tigers' win over the Razorbacks.


Head coach Gus Malzahn

Opening Statement...

"A big win for us, No. 8. On the road, in this league. Arkansas came out. They were ready to play. They kept the ball away from us a lot in the first half. We were able to run the football. It felt like a big play in the game was that fourth down stop by our defense."

On Arkansas' time of possession...

"They definitely controlled the ball. They kept it away from our offense. That was tough. We were a little impatient there, but we were able to run the football. Our mindset coming into this thing was we felt like we had to run the football. I think we only threw it nine times, and for the most part we were very successful running it."

On Arkansas' swinging gate play...

"It was pretty good. I mean, I almost called time out and I was kind of kicking myself that I didn't call time out before. It was a well-executed play. They can run the football. I mean, they've got some good running backs, some good linemen."

LB Cassanova Mckinzy

On winning at Arkansas...

"I feel like it meant a lot. Our defensive coordinator, he was saying he hasn't been so lucky against Arkansas the last couple of years, so to our defense it meant a lot to give that to him."

LB Jake Holland

On the play of Arkansas...

"They played well tonight. They had a really good run plan, and they were able to run the ball on us."

On Arkansas' RB-Alex Collins and RB-Jonathan Williams...

"They're really good tail backs, they're really good running backs. They showed that tonight."


Head coach Brett Bielema

Opening statement...

"Auburn is obviously a good football team. They won the game. I think we did a few things out there for ourselves, to take away a chance for victory. I know our guys have invested a lot the last couple weeks. I can't argue with the way they prepared, their effort, their attitude. Obviously the fourth quarter there was a resurgence. I have every belief and faith that they're going to get it done. They're just not good enough at this point to get past that hump. Critically, I think turnovers are, again, a big part of it. To come away with two chances in the red zone and zero points, you're never going to beat a quality opponent or a ranked opponent like that. Trying to be opportunistic, I know where we're at as a program right now. We've got to try to create some first downs, some bonus possessions. We're 50-50 on that stuff. The three games remaining, I see so many positive things. I know it's frustrating, it's very frustrating for me as a head coach, as an assistant, as a player, as a senior, as a parent, as an alumni, as a fan, as an administrator. I get it, I understand it. It's not like I haven't been here before, I know where we need to be. We're not there yet. It was a big recruiting weekend for us so hopefully some of those kids see the opportunity to come in here and help us get to where we need to be. The encouraging thing, for me and our coaches, I think, is that a lot of our younger players, like Korliss Marshall and Alex Collins, our true freshman guards, Hunter Henry, sophomores like Jonathan Williams, Brandon Allen, Keon Hatcher; guys that are definitely moving in the right direction to get to where we want to be. I think that is going to be very rewarding. Alex (Collins) I think is alright, they took him for an x-ray. B.A. basically got cleated at the end of the first quarter there. He's an extremely tough and resilient kid. When I went in there and saw that I quickly turned away, it was the deepest gash you've ever seen. He got stapled up and was trying to get back out there as soon as possible. He's one of the toughest kids."

On the direction of the program...

"I think that the part, as a head coach, is that you have to be so far ahead of where you are right now. Recruiting, players, the program, there are so many positive things going on right now that don't pop out to people that aren't in the program every day. We're learning how to run the football better, learning how to do certain things in the passing game. It's not what everybody wants to hear, its baby steps and I'd much rather be sprinting but we're walking."

On the play of younger student-athletes...

"Two things: Brooks Ellis, in retrospect, I wish we would have made that move quite a bit sooner. I think he's a natural at that position and it's going to be fun to watch him move forward and develop. He's just athletic and going to make a lot of plays. He's truly a guy that I think will get a lot better in a short time. We planned to use a couple other young guys, D'Arthur Cowan got a rattled a little bit, but we planned on using him a little bit more. Some of our seniors responded, which was great. Martrell Spaight, we had him in there at mike linebacker. Martrell is doing a lot of really good things but, again, to get to where we need to be as a program, these guys need to know how everything works together. It's a lot about what you do on the field and what you do off the field. It's being on time, being accountable in the classroom. Martrell is doing everything he can. I appreciate his effort. He's going to get it all together."

On Korliss Marshall...

"As we all know, Korliss Marshall can run. He's explosive, he brings energy and he's a guy that I get a kick out of because he's always saying he wants to go back to safety bad. It's something special, I think, that he has that after we had to move him over to running back. He's an explosive player, his potential is off the chart. That's the kind of kid he is and the kind of energy he's got. He's very, very raw. He takes a lot of pride in what he's doing. When he came in, the semester started off good for him, but he's taking more pride in what he's doing in the classroom the past three or four weeks than anything else. That's terrific."

C Travis Swanson

On the game...

"It was rough. It was senior night and our senior's last game (in Fayetteville) and it was pretty emotional for all of us. I think we started to accomplish what we came into this game wanting to do and that was run the ball and have success with that. I just think we would have a good series and at the critical times when we needed to capitalize, we didn't."

On the emotion of senior night...

"I've been here five years and you get really attached to this place."

On missed opportunities...

"You have to take advantage of moments that are given to you. Like I said, we just kept driving and driving and making good plays and having good time of possession and when it really counted, a few times we made the most of it and a lot of the time we didn't."

FB Kiero Small

On the loss...

"It was my last time playing in the stadium and it was emotional, but my team fought. They showed the fighters mentality and kept swinging til the end."

On correcting mistakes and moving forward...

"Every loss is tough, but this one is the last one in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium and we had it, it was right there for us. We have to punch the ball in in the red zone, we can't turn the ball over. They are simple things that can be corrected, but the good thing is they can be corrected. We have a few more games and we need to see if we can correct the mistakes and get some wins."

DE Chris Smith

On Senior night...

"Just playing another game with these guys, that's what you do it for. Just going out there and playing with them, that is all that matters."

On the team not giving up...

"That's one good thing I saw and Coach (Bret) Bielema was talking about, guys playing hard. Not having mental errors and just going out there and doing our assignments, things of that nature all the time and staying consistent. I feel our guys did come out and play hard."

LB Brooks Ellis

On making his first collegiate start...

"It was a good feeling. I just kept working and took advantage of the bye week and this last practice week."

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