War Eagle Extra

Auburn Postgame Quotes: Gus Malzahn

AUBURN, Ala. — The following is a roundup of quotes from Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn's postgame press conference with reporters. Auburn beat Arkansas State, Malzahn's former team, 38-9 on Saturday night.

Opening Statement

“First of all it feels good to be 2-0. We beat a good football team. We talked about needing to run the ball to be successful against these guys, and I felt like we were able to do that. Penalties shot us in the foot a couple times, we definitely need to correct that. But, overall real happy to be 2-0 and to have beaten a good football team.”

On the offense:

“Just coming off the field right there, putting some points on the board, I think we had a missed opportunity or two. My big deal is just consistency. We need to be more consistent with our execution. I do feel like we improved from last week. And that is what we have been talking about: improving each game.”

On the tempo:

“The tempo, at times, was a lot better. There was a drive going to our left that we got it going, and we ran the power and counter a couple of times. Got some momentum, scored a touchdown. I thought it was better tonight.”

On playing a team with a similar style:

“The fact that we knew a lot about those guys and they knew a lot about us, that is always a challenge, that guessing game and all that. But they were a good team and we beat a good team tonight.”

On Cameron Artis-Payne:

“I thought it was good blocking up front. He held on to the football, he is a north-south back. I feel like he will get more comfortable each game, behind our schemes.

On Nick Marshall:

“That big pass play was huge. I mean that kind of gave us a sigh of relief right there, so we could open up and play. Obviously the turnover down there was very critical. He did some good things. He improved from the first game.”

On defensive stops:

“That is two weeks in a row our defense has stood up down there, and had the fourth down stop again. And that is definitely a good thing.”

On playing a lot of guys:

“That is what we are trying to do, trying to get some depth there and keep our guys fresh. And I feel like our guys were fairly fresh in the second half.”

On Nick Marshall getting comfortable:

“Well he is getting more comfortable each practice. He was a little more comfortable this game than last week and I feel like that will improve. The guy didn’t go through spring. He is still learning as he goes. He is very hard on himself, and he has a chance to improve each game.”

On if he thought he would hold Arkansas State without a touchdown:

“No, I really didn’t, they have phenomenal skill guys that will have the chance to play at the next level. And, like I said they have the second longest winning streak in college football, so they are used to winning. I am very impressed.”

On benefit to Marshall with three running backs:

“It definitely helped. Anytime you have a quarterback that is a run threat, you know he had a couple of reads right there, and he kept the football. And if you do that a couple of times and have some success it opens everything else up. You know I thought that was a big factor tonight.”

On deep pass touchdown to Coates:

“It was a well-executed play, the line did a good job on their blocks and we got the safety down. He ran a really good route at the top and it was a really good throw. That’s what it is supposed to look like.”

On secondary’s performance:

“We didn’t give up the big play. I think that is half the battle of playing defense and the secondary did a good job.”

On Chris Davis not coming back into the game:

“Well we were up you know. We were up and were playing some young guys. I’ll tell you this too, it was real positive we played a lot of people. We got a chance to play some of those young guys and put them out in front of a crowd and see how they did.”

On big plays tonight:

“We definitely play a lot better when we have explosive plays and anytime you can have more than a few, that’s a good thing.”

On seeing his former players:

“It was pretty emotional. It was a pretty interesting deal when you coach against a team that you’re close to players. They have some great kids over there, great competitors. It was interesting, but it was good to see those guys. I wished them nothing but the best going forward.”

On team improvement:

“Well we’re getting better each week, I think we will improve in that area. Offensive execution, tackling and everything that goes with it.”

On Justin Garrett and Dee Ford not playing:

“They practiced, but didn’t play and we will see how they are next week.”

On playing Jonathan Wallace tonight

“Well Jonathan, he’s a very good quarterback within his own right. We just felt like we wanted to give him a package right there and keep him involved. He did an excellent job when he was in there. He even, towards the end, executed well. Jonathan is a very solid quarterback.”

On playing Wallace to spark Nick Marshall:

“Well, not really, we had a package for him and wanted to keep him involved and, like I said, it wasn’t anything more than that.”

On Cameron Artis-Payne

“Well to be honest with you, we have our starters. But you see where you get the ball in certain situations and it was over in that situation, he just happened to be in there. We have three running backs that are all starters in their mind.”

On LaDarius Owens:

“You know he’s got a nose for the ball and I think his time was coming. I think right now he’s getting more confidence and he’s got more opportunities than he had in the past and he’s making the best of it.”

On linebackers playing against a run-heavy team:

“There’s no doubt. We played a team that throws it just about every down and then we went to one of the better running teams. It was good for our defense to be able to adjust like we did.”

On the offensive line

“We have high expectations for that group and I thought they did some good things. Like I said in all areas we need to execute better. That’s one of the areas we’ll continue to focus on and we’re a work in progress. We are happy to be 2-0 and I think this team has potential. Like I’ve been saying before each practice and game we’ve got a real chance to do that.”

On a breakout receiver:

“You know I don’t know. When you spread the ball around, we had some third down catches which was big. I thought our receivers did a solid job when they were thrown to.”