Malzahn’s post-game comments after 58-7 win over UL-Monroe

Opening Statement… “This was a good win for Homecoming. It caps off a five-game home stretch. I thought our fans have been outstanding and it meant a lot to our players and coaches. I thought we played well in all three phases of the game. Our goal this week was to improve from last week in offense, defense and special teams and I think we did that. Our defense played outstanding. I thought our offense played extremely well and it was very balanced. Our special teams played well, too. We had a big punt return, which we have been trying to improve on. Overall, we played well.”

On Kerryon Johnson… “Kerryon is starting to come into his own. He is very illusive, breaks tackles and he is running extremely hard. We think he is in a good spot.”

On throwing the ball down the field today… “We talked about that two weeks ago, that we needed to give our guys more chances downfield, and that’s been an emphasis for us. We had one that was a pass interference and another that was close. We have to take chances down the field. I think we had two freshmen catch touchdowns on deep balls, so that is always good.”

On the red zone performance today… “We have been focusing on it and that is going to be an emphasis moving forward. We have to keep carrying that over and score touchdowns down there. Primarily it’s about running the ball down there. If you are going to be a good red zone team, you have to be able to run the football in, and today we were able to do that. We just have to keep working and keep building on that.”

On the importance of the third quarter today… “At halftime we challenged our guys to come out and take care of business. We did that early and put the game away. We were able to play some of our young guys and get them some experience and that is vital. They got some experience and I thought the young guys did a good job out there.”

On the offensive line changes… “Xavier Dampeer was on one leg during the LSU game and he really fought through that and wasn’t able to go. We moved Austin Golson to center and Darius James played left tackle. I thought they did a good job. They presented a lot of different things with their pressures. They were blitzing from different angles and I thought our guys did a good job of passing the zones off and get our running backs to the second level.”

On Malik Miller’s injury… “I am not sure exactly on his status right now. He took a pretty good lick.”

On Gary Walker’s safety… “Gary Walker is one of the favorites on the team. He is a true team guy and a very good football player. You can see how the guys reacted. They love him and it was very good to see a guy like that make a play.”

On Sean White’s performance… “Sean did a good job. I thought he did a very good job and was efficient in the passing game. I thought he kept the ball when he should have kept the ball in the zone read. I thought overall he had a really good game, and back to back games he’s started to settle in.”

On the importance of freshman receivers getting playing time… “I think it’s very important. Those guys are very talented. It’s just a matter of time when the light goes on and they can start playing and not have to think. The more times they get out there, the better. It was good to see all three of those guys make plays, and I know that will help us later on in the season.”

 

 

On Tony Stevens… “Tony is a guy that has been with us for four years, and we talked about for us to be good on offense, Tony really needs to take that next step. I think that he is in the process of doing that. He’s starting to get confidence. I can tell that Sean is starting to get confidence in him. He’s playing better without the ball, too. Today, that’s really what caught my eye.”

On John Franklin III not throwing the ball more today… “He got a chance to run the offense. You saw him on that zone read when he busted it for 70 or whatever. He threw the ball vertically. This game just didn’t present itself. At that point in the game, after he threw the deep one to Nate Craig-Myers we didn’t want to put the ball in the air anymore.”

On how the defense responded today… “I think our defense really responded well. They did a great job today. They’ve been playing good all year. I know coaches challenged the guys to play their best game today, and there was a lot of good stuff out there defensively, especially after the turnover. When they got the turnover after the sudden change we had, that was a huge play in the game.”

On playing young guys in the secondary… “It’s real big. We are processing depth, and in this league you have to have depth. It was good to get those guys in the defensive backfield out there and see what they could do.”

On Montravius Adams… “He’s playing his best football right now.”

On finding ways to get Franklin involved… “He’s our number two quarterback, so he’s got to be prepared at any minute. When needed, we’ll definitely have him. He’s getting better and the more that he can get out there and play like he did today, that really helps him. He brings a different dimension than Sean does, and I think it’s good to have both of them.”

On Franklin’s touchdown pass… “It was a really nice throw.”

Categories: Auburn