Auburn Football vs South Carolina: Gus Malzahn Post-Game Press Conference Notes and Quotes


Oct 25, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn reacts to a call during the second half against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Jordan Hare Stadium. Auburn won 42-35. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

“At the end of the day, our guys found a way to win,” Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn said during his post-game press conference after the Tigers beat South Carolina 42-35 Saturday. “Our defense didn’t play their best but at the very end they came through.”

The defense certainly wasn’t great – they allowed 535 total yards including 416 passing yards, after all – but they made some big plays towards the end. Specifically, Jonathan Jones had two big picks, both in the end zone, that ended South Carolina scoring opportunities.

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“Big-time play,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said of Jones’ first interception. “That was one of the plays of the game. We knew they were going to keep going. They weren’t punting, they weren’t kicking field goals and we knew it and they knew it and everybody knew it. He made probably the play of the game in the end zone right there.”

But, there were plenty of times the defense couldn’t make a stop. As Malzahn alluded to, fourth down was particularly troubling, and South Carolina went for it six times and converted the first five.

“They went for everything. That was the hard thing,” Malzahn said. “They executed when they had to, and they did it time and time again. That is the reason it was a close game and the reason it went down to the very end.”

It was a slugfest, but Malzahn and the Tigers came out on top, even when South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier was at his best. One interesting note from the opposing head coach’s press conference: Steve Spurrier would have gone for two points had the Gamecocks converted that Hail Mary.

“It was almost a fun game, it really was,” Spurrier said. “I told one of those guys in there, ‘If Jerell Adams catches that Hail Mary and we make a 2-point conversion, that might have been the greatest win I’ve ever had in my life. If it had worked out, but it didn’t.”

Luckily for the Tigers, it wouldn’t come to that.

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  • “It’s frustrating being on the other sideline,” Malzahn continued, “but he’s one of the best to ever walk the sideline. When you go against a guy like that and he’s on his A-game, it’s tough.”

    Malzahn had his A-game as a play-caller. The Tigers ran for a season-high 395 yards, including 102 yards and a TD on only three carries by wide receiver Ricardo Louis.

    “Ricardo’s a guy that did a good job with speed sweeps a year ago,” Malzahn said of Louis’ 75-yard sprint to the end zone. The Tigers returned to their astronomical rushing totals from a season ago. Cameron Artis-Payne led Auburn with 167 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries, and Nick Marshall added 89 rushing yards and three touchdown runs.

    “I thought our quarterback played extremely well in the red zone,” Malzahn said.

    Marshall was also effective as a passer – he completed 12-of-14 attempts for 156 yards and a touchdown and even added a 17-yard reception.

    The win makes Malzahn the first Auburn head coach since Terry Bowden to win his first 13 games at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Bowden tied Georgia in his 14th home game, which means Malzahn will have an opportunity to become the first Auburn head coach to win his first 14 games at home if the Tigers can beat Texas A&M on November 8. Before that can happen though, the Tigers will travel to Oxford, Mississippi for a huge SEC West showdown with the Ole Miss Rebels.

    Here’s the full press conference, as captured by

    Next: WHEW! Auburn Defeats South Carolina 42-35

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