Auburn Football Coach Gus Malzahn Discusses Loss to Texas A&M in Post-Game Press Conference


Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn met with the media following the Tigers’ 41-38 loss to Texas A&M Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium, which was his first at home as the program’s head coach.

“We’ve got a lot of disappointed players in that locker room,” said Malzahn.

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And the disappointment is certainly understandable because the loss was nearly as unexpected as they come. The Aggies came in having lost three of their last four games, including three in a row to SEC West opponents. According to Las Vegas odds makers, the Tigers were a 24-point favorite.

“We had goals and dreams, and we didn’t get it done,” Malzahn said. “It’s unfortunate. You have to be a big boy. You’ve got to man up, and you’ve got to be better for it. We’ve got a lot of champions. We’ve just got to improve. It’s not going to affect us in a negative way the rest of the year.”

Following a loss to the unranked Aggies, it is now extremely unlikely that Auburn will make an appearance in the inaugural College Football Playoff. Coming into the game as the nation’s top-ranked one-loss team, the 7-2 Tigers took a major hit to their playoff resume. And perhaps even more disappointing than the bursting of the playoff bubble is the way Auburn lost.

“Obviously, we didn’t get off to a very good start,” Malzahn said. “That freshman quarterback hit some passes down the field pretty well.”

Nov 8, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall (14) looks on as officials call an overturned ball at the goal line during the fourth quarter against the Texas A&M Aggies at Jordan Hare Stadium. Texas A&M won 41-38. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The defense looked lost early in the game and fell behind 14-0 following the first two drives of the game and 35-17 at halftime. Texas A&M finished the game with 453 yards of total offense, including 277 passing yards and four touchdown from true freshman Kyle Allen in his first career road start. Allen is the same quarterback that had just 105 yards and one touchdown in a 21-16 win over UL Monroe seven days ago.

And the hole the defense dug was simply too much to be overcome by the Tigers offense. Still, the Auburn football team had chances to win, but two fourth quarter fumbles doomed them.

Nick Marshall and Cameron Artis-Payne both contributed to a fumble at the two-yard line late in the fourth quarter with an opportunity to take the first lead of the game. The play was a zone read and Marshall tried to give the ball to Artis-Payne late, but the senior running back seemed to think the quarterback planned to keep it.

After the ball hit the turf and the Aggies were awarded possession, the officials reviewed whether or not Artis-Payne recovered the football. The senior appeared to have possession on the ground, but the officials did not see enough evidence to overturn their call.

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  • Three plays later, the Tigers defense forced a rare Texas A&M punt, and Quan Bray gave Auburn quality field position across midfield. After a first down pushed the Tigers close to field position, Marshall and center Reese Dismukes combined on a second costly fourth quarter turnover.

    “We were checking the play and Reese probably heard someone in the stands or something,” Marshall said. “He just snapped the ball. Unfortunately it happened to us. We just have to live with it.”

    “I told Nick it wasn’t his fault,” Dismukes said. “It was as much mine as it was his.”

    “This is a team game,” the senior captain and All-America candidate added. “Obviously a lot of this falls on me. Obviously we’re going to stick together.”

    And Malzahn agreed. This team will stick together.

    “I just told them we are going to stick together,” he said. “We’re not going to blame one person. We fought hard. We just didn’t get it done at the end,” he said.

    It was a valiant effort, but the comeback came up just short.

    Here’s the video of Gus Malzahn’s post-game press conference, courtesy of

    Next: Fumbled Away: Auburn Loses 41-38 to Texas A&M

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