Auburn Football at Ole Miss: Gus Malzahn Post-Game Press Conference Video, Notes and Quotes


The narrative coming into Saturday’s primetime SEC matchup was that the Auburn football and the fourth ranked Ole Miss Rebels were meeting in an “elimination game.” Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn didn’t quite see it that way, but he knows how big the 35-31 win in Oxford is for Auburn, not only in the SEC West but in the playoff picture as well.

“It felt like a big game,” Malzahn said when asked if Saturday’s matchup felt like a playoff game. “We were playing one of the better teams in the country.”

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The Rebels, like the Tigers, were included in the top four spots of the initial College Football Playoff rankings. Unlike Auburn, however, Ole Miss controlled their destiny in the division race thanks to an early season victory over Alabama. If the Rebels could win the rest of their regular season games, they’d be in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta for the first time, and they’d likely make the final edition of the playoff rankings as well.

“Obviously that’s a really big win for us, … to get a win here, we’re real proud of our players.”

Malzahn’s players responded to adversity time and again. The defense was torched for 492 yards of offense, including 341 passing yards and two touchdowns by Ole Miss senior quarterback Bo Wallace. The signal caller was also the leading rusher for the Rebels, but he was responsible for a costly fourth quarter fumble in the red zone that ended a prime scoring opportunity for the Rebels.

“Our defense gave us some yards, but they came up with two turnovers and had three stops” at the end, he said.

Derrick Moncrief, who started ahead of Joshua Holsey, forced the ball out of Wallace’s hands as the QB struggled for extra yardage on a keeper. Linebacker Kris Frost recovered and the Tigers dodged a bullet.

The second turnover was the biggest play of the game, and one that we’ll (unfortunately) see replayed a thousand times this week. Wallace hit star receiver Laquon Treadwell on a short pass and the sophomore standout shook multiple Auburn defenders and appeared to cross the goal line for a go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter. However, Treadwell was pulled down violently by Frost and suffered what appears to be a major lower leg or ankle injury.

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  • While receiver stayed on the ground in the end zone, the officials reviewed whether or not Treadwell possessed the football in the end zone. They ruled the play a fumble, which was recovered by Cassanova McKinzy in the end zone.

    “I knew it was a fumble, and I thought we got it, so then the coaches upstairs said he didn’t get in,” Malzahn said. ” We were pretty confident that we were going to get the football.”

    The Tigers took possession at the 20-yard line, but were forced to punt shortly thereafter. The Auburn pass rush pressured Wallace, who threw three incompletions before a final last gasp fourth down play drained the final ten seconds and the Tigers survived.

    While the defense once again came up with big plays when they were most needed, the offense paved the way to victory.

    “At times we were able to run the ball consistently against one of the top defenses in the nation.”

    Coming into the top five showdown, the “Land Sharks” had allowed only 10.5 points per game, 118 rushing yards on average, and they had not allowed a touchdown in the first quarter of any game this season. The Tigers took the opening kickoff and drove for a quick touchdown, which was the first of 35 points Auburn would score.

    When the final gun sounded, Auburn had racked up 507 yards of total offense, which is more than 100 yards more than the Rebels have surrendered in a game this season, including 253 rushing yards – 148 of them by Cameron Artis-Payne, which is more than any other player against the Rebels this season.

    “Our guys really believe they are going to win the game if it is close,” Malzahn said.

    And why not? The 2014 Auburn football team is beginning to look an awful lot like the 2013 edition that rode a wave of close victories to the SEC title and an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game. This 35-31 road win over a top-four opponent ranks up there with some of the great finishes of last season.

    “I told our guys to enjoy this one,” Malzahn said. “Tomorrow we’ll get started on the next opponent.”

    Auburn plays Texas A&M next Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

    Here’s the video from

    Next: They're Still In: Auburn Survives Ole Miss

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