Auburn 24, Mississippi State 20: Postgame quotes

Kevin C. Cox

All the talk after the Tigers' come-from-behind win.

Auburn

Head coach Gus Malzahn

Opening Statement...

"First of all I'd like to say how proud I am of our team. We talked before the game that it could come down to the end. A lot of these games against Mississippi State has. Come down to the end I said `guys we need to find a way to win' and I'm very proud of the way they did that. Our offense sputtered at times in the second half but they went 88 yards with 1:56 on the clock, found a way to get in the end zone. Very proud of our defense, had some big stops there in the second half. Overall it's just a great win and the crowd was awesome. The crowd helped us just win that game especially in the fourth quarter and it was really fun to be a part of it."

On Nick Marshall...

"He looked fairly natural there. I mean he was making all the reads he was making good balls. I don't know if he threw a bad ball on that drive and he led us down the field and that was huge."

More on Marshall...

"I tell you what it sure worked out. I'm real proud of the way he responded. You know he didn't put the ball in jeopardy at the end, especially when we got in field goal range and we had a chance to at least tie the game he protected the football, he managed the clock well. I thought our receivers did a good job and the double move down there at the end it was something that they worked on a lot and it was a big throw and big catch."

On final drive...

"You just try to think about scenarios in games and the what ifs and if we do this and hit this a few times this may be there. That's one of those thing that we felt like we had a chance to do. Just didn't know it was going to be with 11 seconds left."

On Marcus Davis...

"Marcus is a guy that he's a freshman, but he's not playing like a freshman. He's really stepped up and you'll see him on the field more."

On the team...

"We have to get more consistent. You know we're playing with a quarterback who has been on campus for six or seven weeks and he's going to get better each time out. That's what we talked about, I don't want to sound like coach speak before the season, but our goal is to improve each practice and each game. I felt like we improved, we've got to get more consistent. You know we weren't able to run the football as well as I'd like there's no doubt about that, but give them credit, they're a good team. We beat a good team tonight."

DL Angelo Blackson

About coach constantly rotating the line...

"He just wanted to keep us fresh. If we were out there for more than eight plays he would sub some guys out."

C Reese Dismukes

About the game...

"We fought the whole game. We were up and down and up and down, but I think we handled adversity well and we found a way to win."

About the last drive...

"I mean, it was just another drive. We worked at it a lot through camp and every week and it paid off tonight"

WR Quan Bray

On his touchdown...

"Well the first one I dropped, but Nick came out and told me to get my head right. We went back out there and he didn't give up on me. He looked down field, found me open and I made a play."

About what he saw from Nick Marshall...

"I saw a guy who is getting more comfortable in our offense. He's only been in the offense for three months now so he's going to get better every game."

About Nick running the 2-minute drill...

"We work on that every day. It's big because we are a no-huddle offense, all about tempo and he went out there and executed."

TE C.J. Umozah

On the tight end's playing a big part in the game...

"We were excited to get out there and get that win."

On what was going through his mind on final play...

"Just catch the ball. Don't worry about anything. Don't let the corner hold you, get off cleanly and just catch it and win the game."

On making the catch...

"It was unbelievable. I caught the ball, looked up and saw everyone on their feet and I could not here one thing. Everyone was jumping on me, but I could not here one thing. All I could here was the 80,000 fans roaring."

QB Nick Marshall

On the last few minutes of the game...

"The defense stepped up big for us also. I told the defense don't worry about anything and just get us one more stop and I just put us in the end zone."

Was he ever thinking field goal on that drive...

"No, not at all."

On the atmosphere at Jordan-Hare...

"It was a huge atmosphere. I've never been in an atmosphere like it was in Jordan-Hare tonight. It's a big atmosphere and I'm just glad to be a part of it."

On taking time to absorb this win or start focusing on LSU...

"We are just going to come out tomorrow and focus on LSU and work on executing and not making as many mistakes as we did tonight."

PK Cody Parkey

On his performance....

"I think I did well. I hit all my field goals and extra points and got a few touchbacks. Overall, it was a solid game. At the end of day, special teams changed the game with the field position battle. It was a big edge for us."

On first SEC win...

"It's big time. We didn't get one last year. It's long past due. We feel great about this win. We beat a great Mississippi State team. We're going to start focusing on LSU tomorrow."

On LSU...

"LSU has a pretty awesome stadium to play in. They get real loud. I'm a senior, so I've played there before. We're just going to have to execute. There isn't any room for mistakes."

LB Jake Holland

On Nick Marshall...

"He's a poised guy. He was in a tough situation and led the drive like an experienced pro. He really helped us win the game today. I'm really proud of him."

On first SEC win...

"It feels great. It is great to get back on the winning side. We're really excited about the win tonight."

On LSU....

"It's going to be our first road game, so it is going to be different. After playing our first three games at home, it's definitely going to take a different mindset."

DE Dee Ford

On first SEC win...

"It feels great. There wasn't a better way to win this game. We're 1-0 and we're starting much better than last year. It was a great way to start the SEC season."

On his performance...

"It feels good to back on the field. I was really rested. I was a little slow to start the first half, but I picked it up the second half. It definitely feels great to be back out there.

On LSU...

"This win was a great confidence boost for us going into LSU. I think some people weren't buying into Auburn, but I think after tonight, people are taking notice. We're ready to prove ourselves on the road."

Mississippi State

Head coach Dan Mullen

Opening Statement...

"It was a very disappointing loss for us. I give Auburn credit, their kids made plays to win the game. We did not. We did not make the plays, we did not make the calls as coaches to get our kids in the right situations to call the plays and to make our kids win the game. We had plenty of opportunities. I thought our guys played hard. We did some really good things but we needed to make a play and we did not when we had the ball. A couple times in the fourth quarter we had opportunities to score and we knew we needed one more touchdown all through the fourth quarter. We kept saying that. We had some good drives, some good opportunities, some penalties, some mistakes and some other things that put us behind. We just did not make the plays we needed to win."

On Prescott...

"We will watch it on film and see how he did. He made some good reads, made some good throws. He missed some good reads and missed some good throws."

On why Prescott started over Russell...

"The fact that Tyler is not medically cleared to play."

On finishing...

"We did not finish. I mean it is a pretty simple deal. We had the opportunity to finish on offense and did not do it. We had the opportunity to finish on defense and did not do it. That is coaching. That is on me. That is on all our assistant coaches, on our defensive staff and on our offensive staff to make sure we have kids in a situation prepared to go finish a game and we did not."

On their defense's lack of pressure on the last drive...

"They have a quarterback that is very dynamic at running, so you have to be careful with what you do with him."

On Auburn's defense in the second half...

"I thought they pressured a lot more than they ever have before, but we made some big plays when they pressured. We just did not finish and make the plays that we needed to finish."

On neutralizing Auburn's running game...

"Obviously, the number one thing you want to do is stop the run. I think we did a pretty good job of stopping the run. I think we did a pretty good job of stopping the pass too. We just did not tackle in the open field. They just basically threw quick screens all night long. Open field tackling has been a strength of ours. Tonight, I bet we are going to have a bunch of missed tackles when we finalize and grade the film. That was going to be a key component at stopping them. Number one was stopping the running game. Number two was open field tackling and we got fifty percent of it done."

WR Jameon Lewis

On the highs and lows of the game...

"We were going back and forth. We already knew this was going to take a whole game, we just did not finish."

On Auburn's last touchdown...

"I prayed for a miracle, I guess he didn't come through, but I guess there will be another time when he will."

On the game as a whole...

"I guess they worked harder in practice this week. We just have to come back and focus on Troy right now and put this game behind us."

On MSU quarterback Dak Prescott's play today...

"We are always comfortable with Dak. He is going to always go all out and everybody know it. We have no doubts about him as quarterback."

About the MSU offense in the fourth quarter...

"I honestly do not really know. We are just going to have to work it out."

On being down by double-digits early and then coming back...

"We had to stay with it. We kept pushing and pushing and then we came back. The only problem was, we just did not finish."

On what the team can take from the game...

"You can take a lot from this game. Everybody on the team, at some point, felt like they did not give it their all or they could have done something better. We just have to go harder at practice."

QB Dak Prescott

On when he found out he was starting the game...

"I found out right before the game. I kind of felt it all week, but it was right before the game when I found out."

On how he feels he performed...

"I did alright. You never feel good or satisfied with a loss. I have to go in the film room to see what we did wrong, fix some things and get ready for next week."

On being able to rush and pass for over 100 yards...

"It is just the balance. When you can run, you open up the pass. It is just something that we are trying to do and is being balanced."

LB Benardrick McKinney

On tonight's game...

"We just have to finish. The defense played hard the whole game. We just didn't finish. That is it."

On taking away Auburn's run game...

"Our defensive plan every game is to stop the run. I knew our defensive backs would be able to shut down the pass, so I knew if we stopped the run, we would help the defense."

On stopping Auburn after they scored on their first two drives...

"We talked on the sideline and reminded each other to go out there and have fun. We love to fly around the ball and have fun."

Transcript via Auburn Athletics

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