Post-game quotes from Auburn, Georgia coaches and players - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Post-game quotes from Auburn, Georgia coaches and players

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Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn talks about the Tigers' 43-38 win over Georgia, Saturday, November 16, 2013. (abc3340.com) Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn talks about the Tigers' 43-38 win over Georgia, Saturday, November 16, 2013. (abc3340.com)
Auburn wide receiver Ricardo Louis discusses his game-winning touchdown catch to beat Georgia, Saturday, November 16, 2013. (abc3340.com) Auburn wide receiver Ricardo Louis discusses his game-winning touchdown catch to beat Georgia, Saturday, November 16, 2013. (abc3340.com)

Quotes from Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, Georgia head coach Mark Richt and players from both teams following the Tigers' thrilling 43-38 victory over Georgia Saturday.

Auburn Tigers

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn:

Opening statements...
"Obviously, unbelievable game the way it unfolded. In the first half, I felt very good about our tempo and the way things were going. I think we had a field goal blocked at the first, and we had to kick a couple field goals, and really that was probably the only negative part of the second half. Third quarter, I thought we did a solid job. Fourth quarter, they started getting the momentum. They're a top, tight team there's no doubt. We knew it would be a tough one. With our guys, we talked about 'hey find a way to win.'" This team has the "It" factor. That's just the bottom line. They complement each other very well. Offensively, defensively and special teams, they step up when they have to. They are a joy to coach, and it was one of those memorable moments that I will remember for a long time. I told them a minute ago (in the locker room) that I think we're in the midst of something special."
 
On the timeout before the fourth down play to Ricardo Louis...
"Fourth down play, we had a big one over the top in case they went zero. We had a dig right at the sticks, a check down to draw the guys, but we were thinking the dig to Sammie (Coates) and I just heard in the huddle that Ricardo said 'just give me a chance to make a play' and of course I was looking at the dig and then he (Nick Marshall) threw it up and got tipped around and landed in our hands. It was an unbelievable play."
 
On team's attitude to fourth and 18...
"This team is very unique. There's a lot of tension and pressures since the moment had swung, but they had bright eyes in the huddle. It was really unbelievable. I'm going to say this about our crowd, our crowd was unbelievable. And even in the end, when they took the lead, they were still with us and inspired our players and coaches. We're all in this thing together."
 
On how Coach Malzahn felt going in to the game-winning-drive...
"Believe it or not, I felt good because all we needed was a field goal and we've got a great field goal kicker so we were pretty calm and felt pretty confident. I had a pretty decent idea of how they (Georgia) would play their two-minute defense. They've got a great defense, there's no doubt. They've got some veteran guys, and they've got some long guys that can run."
 
On offensive struggles in the fourth quarter...
"They were daring us to throw it, and we had a couple play-actions that we barely missed right there. They got the momentum, and football can be a game of momentum too. They are a good team, and you're talking about a top 10 team before they got everybody hurt. They have one of the better quarterbacks to play in the SEC. The running back is one of the best in the country. They are a good team."
 
On the team's never give up attitude...
"This team, they are special. This is a special group. They've been through a lot, and they rallied, came together and believed in each other. They bought in to the fact to get better in each game. I told them before the game, we've been building up for this moment. The moment was to play with these guys. They did that tonight."
 
On Dee Ford's performance...
"Dee Ford is an impact player. He's one of the best pass rushers in our league, and a veteran guy."
 
On Nick Marshall's composure during the final drive...
"He has the 'it' factor. He's a special player. If something great will happen like that and he has the same expression on his face, if something doesn't happen, the expression doesn't change in his face. He is even-keel.
 
On final play...
"It was special, no doubt."
 
On Nick Marshall's composure...
"Same way he is in the huddle every play, he doesn't change. The moment doesn't change him."
 
On the performance of Ricardo Louis...
"We recruited Ricardo Louis will felt like he could be an unbelievable impact player. Coach (Dameyune) Craig has done a great job with him. Each week he has gotten more confidence. He didn't play wide receiver in high school and he's got a chance to be really special and I think this puts him in the right direction."
 
On celebrating the victory and looking to the Iron Bowl...
"I'm going to enjoy this one tonight. That one aged me, I've lost some years off my life. I'll go to church in the morning and after church I will flip the switch."
 
On performance during the first half...
It couldn't have went any better other than the fact that we had to kick some field goals and I didn't call a good play in one situation versus their defense and having that field goal blocked was really only the negative thing. We did a good job keeping the ball out of their (Georgia's) hands.
 
On looking ahead to Alabama...
"We've got to get better in the next two weeks and we will be building for that momentum too."
 
On senior linebacker Jake Holland...
"He's a tough kid that has a lot of experience right there, getting us lined up right. He does a lot of things good."
 
On Nick Marshall facing former team...
"No not really. We didn't never talked about it. Coach (Rhett) Lashlee and him probably did earlier in the week, but he's a unique individual. He knows those guys, he played with them. He's focused and a great competitor."
 
On Marshall's play during the season and his mentality...
"It really is. You start talking about the best player in the country and I think he should be in the conversation."
 
On Auburn's success with game-winning drives in 2013...
"In practice, Coach Lashlee has done a great job with our guys. He focuses on the last play in games. It really goes back to our players and finding a a way."
 
On Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray...
"He's a great player. He can throw it, he can run it. He's one of the best players to play in our league."
 
On mindset before season and how much this team could accomplish...
"I never let my mind go there. I know I sound like a broken record, but we've just been trying to get better every game. We felt like if we did that towards the end of the year, we would be able to compete, but this team has exceeded my expectations."
 
On team during final timeout of the game...
"We don't let our guys draw up something, but we do our plays. At the same time, we moved Ricardo in there at that certain play, but we felt like we needed a little speed right there and then he won the ball right there and I think gave everybody a little confidence. Like I said, I was kind of looking at the dig and then looked up."
 
On calling final timeout during Georgia's last drive...
"We just wanted to see what alignment the (Georgia) in and who they were trying to get the ball. Just to tell our guys how to get lined up and remind our guys to stay on the goal line right there, because they had to throw the ball in the endzone in that situation right there."
 
On believing in karma or destiny...
"I believe if you work hard and you have a team that is completely 100 percent together and all the coaches, everybody is on-board then you have a chance to do something special."
 
On reaction after touchdown in the fourth quarter...
"The first thing I saw after the touchdown was people running on the field and I didn't want us to get a penalty. I really didn't get to enjoy until after. We were trying to run a two-point play and there was a little stress involved in that and I really didn't get a chance to enjoy it until the clock hit zero."
 
On how a play like the 73-yard touchdown affects your team...
"All the above."
 
On focus turning to BCS...
"No, we've got our hands full with this next one."
 
On Waffle House tradition with wife, Kristi...
"This is definitely a Waffle House night."

Auburn RB Corey Grant:

On his reaction to the last play....
"There was a lot of excitement and jumping up and down."
 
On what happened offensively the 2nd half...
"Georgia just picked up on what we were doing, so they adjusted and it showed."

Auburn WR Sammie Coates:

About Ricardo Louis' progression over the year...
"Ricardo's a great player and we have a lot of great players on the team. He always makes a play when we need him and he did great tonight."
 
His thought on the last play...
"I turned around when I came out of my cut, I saw that no one was around me and then I saw the ball in the air. I didn't know what to think. I just hoped someone came down with the ball and Ricardo (Louis) did."

Auburn WR Ricardo Louis:

On what was going through his mind during the last play...
"The only thing that was going through my mind was try to make a play. At first I was going to try and jump for it, but they took the angle, so I just kept my eyes on the ball over my shoulder and watched the ball all the way in."
 
On how he juggled the ball....
"It was unbelievable, I thought I was going to drop it for real. Coach (Dameyune) Craig always tells us to always look the ball all the way in."
 
On if he anticipated the tip ball....
"Coach Craig is the reason I caught that ball. He says stay focused on the ball all the time and I did."
 
On what he told Coach (Gus) Malzahn before that play...
"I told him I wanted the ball. I told him the whole game that I wanted the ball in my hand. Whether it was running or catching the ball I wanted the ball in my hands. I told Nick (Marshall) before that play and told him to throw me the ball and I made a play."
 
On the process of becoming a wide receiver and how one play can help with confidence....
"It really can propel you. The fact I've been working hard playing wide receiver after playing quarterback in high school, it's a big move. It's all about working hard. I look at a lot of receiver films to see what I can do to become a better receiver."

Auburn DB Ryan Smith:

On his interception...
"They had been running the same thing a couple times and missed. I knew Murray was going to come back to it. He overthrew the pass and I was right there. It was the biggest catch I have had in my career."
 
On final drive...
"We were on our heels a little bit. Murray was picking apart and reading our zones.
We were trying to keep fighting and trying to make a play."
 
On reaction to win...
"You can only imagine. We know that we had worked hard all year. We know we have a lot of work ahead of us. We're taking it game by game and practice by practice to get better."

On the winning drive...
"Before we broke the huddle, Ricardo Louis looked me in the eye and said throw me the ball. We broke the huddle, and I went through all my reads. He had a step on a defender and I had to deliver the ball. He just came out with an awesome catch for us."
 
On keeping focus during game...
"It is just something we work on every day in practice. We put ourselves in certain situations in practice. We work on the two-minute drill in every practice. Georgia coming back wasn't going to affect us. We just kept focus and came out with the win."
 
On playing against former team...
"It felt weird at first, but it then again it was just another team and another opponent. I didn't really pay too much mind to it. We just keep doing what we always do."

Auburn RB Tre Mason:

On the winning drive...
"I still don't know what happened. God just blessed us. Ricardo Louis told coach to throw me the ball. We did, and he did something with it. Thank God for him right now. We're looking forward to the next game."
 
On keeping focus during Georgia's comeback...
"I never lost hope. Coach (Gus) Malzahn always tells us to not quit until the clock says zero, and we are going to find a way to win it."

Georgia Bulldogs

Head coach Mark Richt:

On the last play...
"That's a freak play. It's like a nightmare. You try to wake up, and we are celebrating victory. It's tough. This is going to be a tough one to get over."
 
On Auburn's defense...
"They were dropping their guys. They didn't want to get beat deep, which gave me the opportunity to drop the ball off and get the ball into the running backs hands on the check downs."

QB Aaron Murray:

On the last play...
"That's a freak play. It's like a nightmare. You try to wake up, and we are celebrating victory. It's tough. This is going to be a tough one to get over."
 
On Auburn's defense...
"They were dropping their guys. They didn't want to get beat deep, which gave me the opportunity to drop the ball off and get the ball into the running backs hands on the check downs."

WR Rantavious Wooten:

On the way the game ended...
"I am extremely proud of this team for not giving up. We were down in the first half and we fought and we managed to take the lead. It's definitely not the way I wanted it to go, but it is one of those things where it is football and it happens."
 
On sending the seniors off strong...
"The season isn't over with. We will approach it just like any other game. It's going to be my last game in Sanford Stadium, so we have to talk to the young guys and tell them to keep the faith and keep fighting."

RB Todd Gurley:

On what his mentality was heading into the game...
"They did a great job as far as keeping the ball. Their offense was executing, so they had possession for most of the game. We just have to regroup. We knew we would be able to come back, because on the drive that we did score, we scored pretty fast."
 
On getting the lead late in the game...
"It felt good to know that we had that fight in us. Everybody was on the same track."
 
On getting ready for Kentucky...
"We are going to watch film on Monday. It is what it is. It isn't like we have never lost before this season, so we just have to get it out of the way and move forward."

OL John Theus:

On the protection improving in the second half...
"We were able to make some adjustments. We changed up some of our counts. We were able to execute better. That is the main thing." 
 
On the adjustments the offense made at halftime...
"Our coaches did a great job on the field. We came up with a plan at halftime and executed on plays we knew were going to work. We were able to execute their plan in the second half and it worked."
 
On if Auburn did anything to surprise them...
"No, they played how we thought they would."

Source:  Auburn Athletics

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