Quoting Head Coach Gene Chizik

Gene Chizik

Quotes from Gene Chizik's press conference following Auburn's 31-28 overtime victory against Louisiana-Monroe.

Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik

"That was a very good team. We watched tape on them, and we told our team that they were going to play down to the end. I'm proud of our football team. I'm very proud of our football team. It all came down to the end of the game. We came up with three very important stops. We are going to look back at this game and point to our corrections that were pretty glaring that we need to make, but there are some positives in the game, too. I feel like we ran the ball a little better today. We ran the ball for well over 200 yards which was a goal of ours. We have to be able to get off the field on third downs, and that is why they ran close to 90 plays. But, you know what? I am proud of the guys in the locker room. They fought together. They hung together. It wasn't always pretty, but we beat a good football team today so it is something to build on, and we will continue to do that tomorrow. Go back to work, and we have a great challenge next week, but we are going to enjoy this one today. Again, I am proud of those young men in the locker room because the bottom line is we got our first victory, and we got it at home. So, that was a good thing. Again, we have a lot of work to do, and we will learn a lot from this tape as we move forward."

On turning the ball over at the 5-yard line when it looked like Auburn was about to take over the game...
"There were several things today in the game that I thought were turning points in the game. You go in and you punch that ball in at the 1-yard line and now it is a three touchdown game, and I think it is a whole different ballgame. That definitely swung momentum in their direction. The interception that we threw at that one point late third or early fourth, not sure when that was, but the interception, that was a turning point as well. We had a chance to get off the field on third down, and we had a guy jump offsides so there are some turning points in the game right now that really are very disappointing. But, again, at the end of the day, we have to look at some of the positives that we did. Some guys came through, but those were a couple of the swinging points in the game."

On the decision to kick the field goal in the overtime on second down...
"We wanted to run it. We were going to run it a couple of times to see if we could get anywhere. Our landmark is anywhere from the 23-yard line in, and we feel very confident with Cody (Parkey) being able to kick it from there. And so, the first one we gained enough yards to feel comfortable to just center the ball and end it. He's been perfect in practice. He's been perfect in the games. We feel very comfortable putting him in with the game on the line with our special teams and winning it."

Do you feel like you dodged an upset against ULM?
"You can view it any way you want to view it, but that is going to be up to you. I view it as a great win against a very good football team because every win in college football is a good win. That's how we see it."

On Kiehl Frazier's performance...
"I think he protected the ball better. Obviously, the one interception, we would like to have back but you look at the long throw to Sammie (Coates), and the touchdown early in the game, it's a great throw and catch. It got called back. Again, that is another sloppy penalty that we had, but he threw that ball really, really well. I think he played better. I think he managed the game for the most part doing what we needed him to do to manage the game, throwing the ball, getting rid of the ball when he had to, scrambling when he had to, making some big throws, one right before halftime when he had to. So again, there are going to be a lot of things that he could play better at, but he did some things tonight that can move him in the right direction."

On needing to have more confidence in Kiehl Frazier in the fourth quarter...
"I think we have to be able to get to that, and we know that. That's not always based on the quarterback. You have to see how your line is protecting. If you are going to throw the ball in the fourth quarter, you are going to be aggressive. It is about your receivers. It's about your protection with the O-line and your running backs as well as the quarterback. So, it is not that we have to get into the fourth quarter and Kiehl has to do X, Y and Z. It's we have to get better as an offense, and we have to be able to be comfortable enough in those situations to be able to open it up if that is what we need to do."

On Auburn blocking two field goal attempts...
"I think that really goes back to what I am talking about with guys playing down to the end. Again, it wasn't always pretty. They drove it down and got into field goal range the first time, and we get the huge block in overtime. DeAngelo (Blackson) is the one. I couldn't tell if he was the one who got his hand on it. Again, that is just effort. Those are effort plays, and that is why those are the things we are going to be able to point back to and be able to say that that is the effort that we need to have to win a close game. So, those are the things that I am proud of."

On the team manning up...
"Again, when I talk about that, I am talking about the whole week. I'm talking about preparing from last Sunday on. I'm talking about getting ready to get into a dogfight of a game and be able to fight down to the end to win it, and they did that. So, you can call it manning up. You can call it whatever you want. I'm very proud that last Sunday we came out to work and we put our heads down, and we moved forward trying to improve and again it resulted in a very close game tonight, but a win."

On Onterio McCalebb's performance...
"I think he ran for (128) yards tonight. It is really good to see him. He is kind of doing what everybody said he couldn't do. He is able to run it up in there a little bit more than people thought he would be able to because he wants to do it. As you well know, when he gets out in the open field, he has a lot of speed so he has a chance to be a game-breaker, but I am proud of him for being able to run between the tackles. Again, that is not what everybody would be his forte, and he still has great opportunities to get on the perimeter as well, but I am proud of him. He played hard tonight, and he is productive in every game. Every game we play, he is always doing something productive. Last week with the kickoff return for a touchdown, and this week with what he did. So, I am proud of him."

On getting your first win and building confidence heading into the LSU game next week?
"I think it is extremely important. It is not news to anybody. We have a great football team coming in to play next week. We have to improve, but it was big to get the win. Wins are great, and so we needed one, and we got one."

On the importance of getting the victory for Kiehl Frazier's development...
"I think it is big for everybody, but particularly for Kiehl. Kiehl made some nice throws tonight. Kiehl is going to look back at that tape tomorrow. We are going to dissect it in great detail, and try to figure out he can improve for next week, but the bottom line is that Kiehl didn't win or lose this game. Just like he didn't win or lose last week's game. We all either win or we all lose. So, tomorrow we will all see how much we have improvement-wise to make, and we will see what we did well. We all will, but for Kiehl, himself, he managed the game. He managed the game. He did some nice things tonight."

On hugging Kiehl Frazier after the touchdown pass at the end of the first half
"I am proud of him. He is a young guy. So, that is just the fact of the matter. Anytime he gets some success, I am extremely happy for him, and that was something that with seven seconds left in the half, and we are a little bit out of field goal range, we said let's take the shot. He escaped everything. He stumbled a little bit, threw it up and Sammie (Coates) made a great play. That is just great seeing young guys having fun doing that. I was really happy for him."

On the momentum swings in the game...
"Yes, it is big, and again, those swings in the game, we have been on the other side of those. But, it is just good to see us be able to do that when we went down early, and we were able to come back. Those are the things that again as we move forward and build, those are the things that we are going to be able to look back on and say, ‘Hey, look' and we just kept playing and kept playing. So those things matter because like I said, we have been on the other end of that, too."

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