Gene Chizik speaks, 9/27
Opening comment: It's great to be 4-0 at this point in the season. After looking at last night, obvious we were disappointed in a number of things. We've got to go back to work today and continue to improve in a lot of areas.
On coaching against Lane Kiffin (former Southern Cal assistant) in the 2006 Rose Bowl: ``It was a little bit different because we had a few weeks to prepare for it. When we played them years ago, they were one of the best offenses in the history of college football. It's tough. It's tough to prepare for. They did a nice job with it. It seems like it was centuries ago."
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University
On Auburn's win at Tennessee in 2004: ``That was a huge momentum carrier for us. That was really a big away game, momenutum-boost league game. That was a great game all the way around. Special teams. Offense. Defense. It was one of those nights when we were firing on all cylinders."
Is Tennessee's offense the same as Southern Cal?: ``They do some similar things. It's not 100 percent exactly that, but there is some carry-over."
Disappointed with the Ball State game? ``We had sloppy penalties. We had nine. We were sleepwalking at the beginning there somewhat. We score 28, 30 points and then we went back to sloppy football. I didn't like the flow of the game. Those games are tough because you can only win those games one way and have everyone happy. A lot of things could have been much cleaner, executed much cleaner."
On Gabe McKenzie: ``We're trying to see exactly where Gabe can help our football team the most. We'll take that step by step. I'm really proud of Gabe for being unselfish and doing the things we asked him to do."
On being displeased with the Ball State win: ``I'm never displeased with a win. Let me clarify that. I just wish we could have played with more focus. You can't be happy with a game where you have nine penalties - no matter what they were. 4th and 1 at Auburn? You've got to make a first down. That's just what you have to do. I'm very glad to be 4-0? Am I satisfied with the way we played last night? No, I'm not."
On Byron Isom: ``It's something we've got to plan for. We'll continuously work to plan on aration with some guys. Bart is certainly a guy who has been around a long time, has played a lot of football, and he's in the equation."
(Isom, a starter at guard, has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules)
On playing Jamar Travis last night: ``Things happen and we've got to make some tough decisions. Maybe that decision wasn't clear or to the point it is now a month ago. We've got to get through the year. Whoever we have to play to help us win, we're going to do that. Numbers-wise, we're not where we want to be."
On playing Andre Harris last night: ``Andre did play. That was as a backup. Same situation Jamar is in."
On making the decision to pull redshirts: ``It gets hard. There's nowhere else to go. They all know the lay of the land. This might not have been our intent in Game One, but that's where we're at."
On Auburn's defense lagging last night once the first-team guys were pulled: ``I don't care about all that. I've got to get my guys to the next game. When it's a four-touchdown lead, we're not worried about stats. We're worried about next week."
On the phrase Do What We Do: ``There's no real origin of it. Without getting philosophical, when you repeatedly do something, you become a product of … your habits. This is what we do on offense. This is what we do on defense. We're not trying to re-invent the wheel. We've got to do what we've planned to do. Nothing revolutionary. We need to do what we do and do it better when we're not playing well."
On the idea of having a theme each season: ``I like having a theme. I like having something to hang your hat on and go back and refer to."
On Hot Carter: ``He maybe played a little heavy-legged, but he needed to get in there. He needed to get those reps. Rusty, but played hard. He'll get better every game. It was a good test for him in the first game."
On running the Wildcat sans Burns: ``We have other people who definitely can do the wildcat. Kodi is our guy because he brings some potential that other guys don't have."
On the punt-return problems: ``Somebody's just got to step up to the plate. They've got to do it in a game. It's very, very disheartening that we've spent so much time and we can't find somebody to catch the ball."