AUBURN COACH GUS MALZAHN
“First of all, I’m extremely proud of our team to get a hard-fought SEC victory. When you look at the game, it started out with the weather. It was a challenge early. We blocked a punt for a touchdown; that was huge. We got off to a 17-0 lead. Give them credit. They fought back, and matter of fact, took the lead in the fourth quarter.
It was extremely tough — emotional highs — for our team to fight back the way we want, the defense. We had three timeouts and a negative play on first down. We used all three of our timeouts and had a pretty good punt return mid-field, then our offense had a big play right there. It was a 20-yard gain or something like that. Then, of course, [Anders] Carlson came through with the winning field goal.
It was huge. A lot of times, it’s how you win. That’s what I told our team. These SEC wins, especially this year, are not easy. You look around at our league, and our guys found a way to win. We can take that, and it will help us later in the season. We had a lot of guys that weren’t playing. In fact, three of our leaders didn’t play. It’s next man up: Shaun Shivers, Eli Stove, Big Kat, K.J. Britt, and Jaylin Simpson. Then, of course, we lost Jordyn Peters early in the first quarter. Our guys stepped up and found a way to win. Give Arkansas credit.
They played with great effort, and I thought they did a super job coaching too. We’re very happy to have this victory.”
ARKANSAS COACH SAM PITTMAN
On Feleipe Franks’ performance… “He played tough. He ran the ball well and got some much-needed yardage. He threw it well. He played tough. He got hit a few times in the run. He got sacked a few times. He just gets better every week. I was really proud of him. I know he was banged up a little bit. It’d be hard not to be proud of his performance tonight. He did a nice job.”
On the team’s slow start… “We seem to start slow. We may need to change up what we’re doing in warm-ups, to be honest with you – just something that can get us started a little bit faster. I know we can wear down defenses as you continue to go fast, but we weren’t wearing them down in the first quarter. We were wearing our defense. I’m really proud of how our guys finished up the last three quarters, but we got to put a handle on our special teams’ problems.”
On his postgame message to the team… “I was proud of them, and that they fought their butts off. We’ve got a good football team, and that the times of us going someplace and embarrassing our fans and our football team are over.”