Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chizik talks about preparations for Ole Miss

AUBURN - Auburn coach Gene Chizik met with the media following Wednesday's practice to discuss peparation for Saturday's game with Ole Miss.


“I thought we had a good practice. Again, I think our guys have responded really well this week. And like any of the other weeks we’ve come back off tough losses, they’ve really just focused and very willing to get better. Again, I think we’ve had a good week of practice, obviously we’ve got a little bit more time to prepare, which we’ll need every minute of it. But overall, I think it has been a really good week. It’s going to be a great challenge for us and I think our team is going to be ready to play and again I think it’s going to be a challenge for us.”

Talk about the trend toward offense?

“I think all circumstances are different. But I think the day and age of these different offensive philosophies have changed the game some. You can even see a little bit of it trickle up to the NFL. You can look at the NFL and see a lot of high-scoring games there with different things that people do. Certainly, you see more points scored now and you see in this day and age that offenses are so explosive that you can see in a matter of minutes 14, 21, 28 points scored. Certainly that’s the case if you turn the ball over and don’t protect the ball yourself but there’s just a lot of new ideas out there and a lot of explosive offenses with great players. I think it’s pretty simple when you look at stats these days how many teams average 450, 500 yards a game. There are a lot of them out there.”

Will it cycle back to defense at some point?

“I think this game always goes in cycles. I really do. I think defenses eventually catch up with the new wave of things out there. But it really, anyway you slice it, it’s always going to come down to blocking and tackling and having the right guys in right positions and things of that nature, but particularly in college, when you have quarterbacks who are running quarterbacks, who have the ability athletically to give an offense another dimension, other than just running the football, I think you open up a whole new realm of how to play defense. You know, so many college teams have those type of guys. So many college teams have those type of guys. Again, it becomes very challenging for college defenses.”

Will Emory play this week?

“I’m going to say I feel a little better, comparatively speaking, if we compare to where we were last week. Again, it’s going to be day to day. It really is. It’s going to be a game-time decision. He has tried to do more. He is not where we would like him to be, so only time will tell over the next 72 hours or whatnot. But right now for him to say he can play in the game full tilt, I can’t say that.”

Does it help to get Trovon Reed back?

“Yes, and Trovon should be full speed, based on what I’ve seen so far, unless something else happens. He should be in a better place than he was this time last week, so we expect him to play. We expect him to be further along than he was last Saturday.”

Emory warmed up and then didn't play. What happened?

“You know, you take them and of course we do treatments on Friday night and we continue that all the way through, do it on Saturday mornings, try to get as many treatment opportunities as we can to see where they may end up on game day. Again, you don’t know where they’re going to end up, but if we feel like there’s any chance at all, we’re going to take them and work them down to the 11th hour and see if there’s an opportunity for them to play.”

Has the running ability of the new Ole Miss quarterback opened things up for them?

“No question about it. He’s very similar to Masoli from last year in terms of the offense you can run with him in there. Him bringing another threat to the defense on the ground. Make no mistake about it, he can throw the ball too. You can see there has been an evolution with him in terms of comfort with the offense and how far he has come from the beginning of the year and what he looks like he feels like comfort-level wise from our eyes is that he has really settled in on some things that he feels good about – both throwing and running and the dimension he brings to the run game. So no question about it, he definitely adds another dimension, particularly when things break down, particularly in the pass game, his ability to scramble and make things happen.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Malzahn talks about offensive woes

AUBURN - Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn met with the media following Tuesday's practice.

Here's what he had to say.

Talk about how guys have responded since the loss to LSU?

“Well, they were pretty upbeat tonight. A lot of energy. It was very refreshing to see that. They’ve kind of put that LSU game behind. They’re looking forward. Just ready for another game.”

What stands out from film?

“Obviously, we’ve got to figure out a way to score more points. There were times when they were very aggressive on defense. Obviously, we would have liked to have been able to throw the football a few more times. We got a lot of pressure. But give that bunch credit, and we’re continuing to work to get better.”

What did you see from Clint Moseley?

“I thought he did some good things. Showed a lot of toughness. Bounced back. For a young, inexperienced guy, that’s what you look for as a coach. How is he going to respond to the adverse situations. How is he going to respond to his teammates when things aren’t going good. I was very pleased with the way he handled himself and the way he responded to his teammates.”

Why is it so fifficult in finding someone to replace Emory?

“We’re continuing to try different guys to do different things. The fact that Trovon (Reed) came back, that was a positive. He has the ability to stretch the field vertically. He only practiced one day last week and it was eliminated role, but his role will expand. We just need to get some more guys more consistent as far as that goes.”

Is it frustrating no one has stepped up?

“It’s frustrating to me when we’re not playing well on the offensive side. It’s not just one thing. There are a couple different variables that are keeping us from playing better. Some of it has to do with we’re playing very good defenses, but at the same time, we’ve got to find a way. That’s what I’m continually trying to do, trying new people, trying to figure out new pieces of the puzzle. We’re just waiting on somebody to step up and I’m very confident that will happen. We just need to do that pretty quick.”

Do you anticipate changes on the offensive line?

“The thing about the offensive line is you can see things we’re really improving on. Anytime you mix and match. Chad Slade has played three different positions and we rely on a lot of our guys working together. The fact that he has two starts under his belt and the guys are starting to be in place, we’re just continuing to work.”

Thoughts to play Robinson or Westerman?

“There has been a lot of talk about a lot of the freshmen and those two too, but you evaluate them and you evaluate if they’re ready and if they can help you. As a coach, you have to do that, but there has been talk throughout the year.”

With the blending of quarterbacks, is it hard for them to get a rythmn?

“I think so. It keeps a quarterback out of his rhythm, so I’ve got to do a better job with keeping our guys in rhythm. Kyle Frazier has done some very good things and he’ll continue to get better, but I think it’s fair to say that it has been tough, especially last week for Clint, to get into a rhythm and I need to do a better job of helping him do that.”

How are you dealing personally with the way the offense has struggled?

“Well, you’ve just got to look at everything, you’ve got to evaluate everything. My goal is to make us as good as we can be. I’m continually doing that and our coaches are continually doing that and I feel like we can get better. That’s what I told our guys today. We need to find ways to improve each week, get better at what we do, and I really look for our guys to do that.”

Do you see a bigger role for Onterio McCalebb?

“He has been carrying a big load, but he is a guy we can hang our hat on. He’s a true champion. He took some licks and he got back up. Most people would want to come out of a game like that, but he’s a great leader. He has been a great leader for us the last two years and we need to continually find ways to get him the ball.”

What did it mean to see Clint get beat up and still stay positive?

“It means a lot. Our players had a lot of respect for Clint even before that game and I know after the game, they really respected. He didn’t complain, he didn’t point fingers. He was just, ‘hey, we’ve just got to stick together.’ He showed some very good leadership skills for a guy who is very young and inexperienced.”

Would you like to get back offensively to what you were doing earlier in the season?

“Well, I think a lot of it has to do with the defenses we’ve been playing. We haven’t had a lot of time to throw the football at times and we’ve not been consistent throwing and catching. I think there are a lot of variables that have to do with that. Bottom line is we have to do a better job of taking what the defense gives us. If they’re going to put guys up, we’ve got to be able to throw the football. And at times this year we have been inconsistent doing that when they bring an extra guy down and dare you to throw. So I think that’s our challenge and we’ll continue to work on that and we’ll keep that in mind.”

Important to get back to throwing it down the field?

“I think so. I think we’ve got to be good at both running and passing. So the last couple weeks, our challenge has been throwing the football. When we get passing yards down the field and get that rhythm, we’re a lot more effective offense.”

Are you still trying to find an offensive identity?

“You look for your strengths and you try to build around them and at time we’ve had some but we’ve been inconsistent and I think that’s the bottom line for us. The challenge that I’ve got is I’ve got to get us more consistent. So that’s what we’re looking really hard toward doing. Our guys understand that. The good thing is we’re continuing to work. Now that we’re settling in offensive line wise, I think they will get better and better as it goes. Receivers, we need to get more consistent there and we need to be consistent from the quarterback position also.”

Was Emory Blake able to do anything at practice?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Samford at Auburn set for noon kickoff

Courtesy of Auburn sports information

AUBURN — Auburn’s homecoming football game on Nov. 19 against Samford at Jordan-Hare Stadium will kick off at 12 p.m. and be offered on pay-per-view.

Pay-per-view will be available in the state of Alabama to cable subscribers and small dish owners who subscribe to DirecTV or Dish Network.

Individual tickets to the Samford game are currently available and can be purchased at or call 1-855-AUB-2010.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chizik not concerned about possible LSU suspensions

AUBURN - Auburn coach Gene Chizik met with the media following Wednesday night's practice. Here's what he had to say about the Tigers' preparation for Saturday's game at LSU.

“Practice went well. I think we’ve had two really good back-to-back practices getting prepared for this huge game. It’s going to be obviously a huge challenge but it ought to be a lot of fun. Again, we’re going to have to play our best game to win this game and it’s going to have to be a full team effort. Offense, defense special teams are going to have to have collectively the best game we’ve played to this point to to have a chance to win the game.”

Will the LSU suspensions factor into your preparation?

“No. absolutely not. We’re concerned with Auburn and what we’re trying to do. All that other stuff will take care of itself one way or the other. We’re really not paying a whole lot of attention to that.”

How has Clint Mseley's week

“I think it has gone good. I think he’s excited about the opportunity. I think he has practiced well. It’s going to be a great situation for him going into an environment like this. It ought to be a lot of fun for him, but I know he’s excited about it and I know he has prepared well. He’ll continue to prepare well the rest of the week, so we expect him to play well.”

Being from Louisiana, is Trovon Reed trying extra hard to get back?

“I think he’s trying extra hard every week to get ready to play, but certainly this will be special for him if he is available to play. Anytime you go back to your home state, no matter where you’re from, it’s exciting for those guys. We’re hoping he’ll be able to but again, we’ll know more by game time.”

Are mosf of the injured guys in the same boat?

“Yeah, they’re pretty much all in the same spot. Again, we’re going to try to continue to get them treatments and rehab them all the way up to Saturday. Again, we’ll see what happens Saturday and how they feel.”

Was Emory Blake able to do more?

“He has been able to do a little more. Again, it’s going to be a situation that comes right down to that morning and seeing how he feels at that point.”

Did Emory and Trovon practice some?

“A little bit. They’re working in there some. Again, not full go like they’ve been before obviously, but they’re trying to work in there and get some game preparation in there.”

Are all the young guys already getting used to playing on the road?

“I think so. I think as these guys experience different environments and things of that nature it becomes a little easier for them in terms of not the game they’re playing in actually, but the challenge of playing on the road in this league. But I think that’s really collectively for this whole team right now. Again, I think you get new experiences every week with this bunch. This will just be another great experience for them.”

Do you talk about road venue specifics – 'Hey guys, look out for the tiger in the cage,' etc.

“No, no we really don’t get into the specifics of it. I think they’ve probably got a good idea of what they’re in for. But again, it just goes with the territory in this league and that’s what makes it fun playing on the road in the SEC. Every environment is different, every environment has their little nuance that each school has. That’s what makes it fun. But we talk more about crowd noise and distractions, but the specifics of everything, we don’t really go there.”

Is it important to get used to the field in pre-game?

“Absolutely, and every field is different and the way their turf is and different grasses are cut different. There’s a lot of variables in there, so pre-game is really big for our guys to get a feel for all that. And footing and traction and things of that nature.”

Kickers in particular?

“I think so. I don’t think there’s any question. They’re looking for that hard surface. They want that hard ground and that really sturdy surface. But all the fields are in great shape. No matter where we play, they all do a great job of keeping their fields intact. But it is important that those guys get out there and get a feel for it because every field is a little bit different.”

They force a lot of turnovers. Will that be a key?

“They’ve done a great job of that obviously. As I said earlier in the week, there’s a reason they’re No. 1 in the country. Their time of possession is up there, their turnover margin is up there and they’re playing great defense. If you put those three things together, that pretty much tells the tale. So it’s going to be extremely important for us to protect the ball. It’s going to be extremely important for us try to get turnovers ourself. So that’s all part of our ingredient if we’re going to have a chance to win. Protect the football, try not to let them control the game so much in terms of time of possession. And obviously defensively for us, getting some turnover is critical. Whether we get them from defense or special teams, it doesn’t matter. We need to get some turnovers.”

Are they cxcited about playing No. 1?

“I think they’re excited to play No. 1, just because it’s a big game for Auburn every year. The LSU game is one they should look forward to. This time last year, they were excited about it. They’re excited this go-round. Just going on the road and playing another great team on the road. It’s a great challenge for us and I think they’re excited to play.”

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Malzahn discusses quarterback switch

AUBURN - Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn met with the media after Tuesday night's practice. He discussed, among other things, Auburn's decision to start Clint Moseley at quarterback ahead of Barrett Trotter Saturday against LSU.

Here's what we had to say:

"Had a good, solid day of practice. It was physical at times. Just tried to really focus on the fundamentals and little things and fours on the mistakes we made Saturday so we can progress rom here on out.

Talk about the decision to start Clint this week?

"At halftime, we were really needing him to give us a spark. We'd been struggling with some passing yards down the field and he made a couple plays that really helped us. I really feel like at this point that he's earned a chance to have a spot to start and lead this offense."

Because of the experience difference is he getting a lot more reps this week than Barrett did as the No. 1 last week?

"That's definitely true. He had been getting about 30% of the reps. He got a heavy amount of the reps today, which he needed especially with the new wrinkles or anything as far as our gameplan is concerned."

Will you change your playcalling because of Moseley?

"Anytime you've got another quarterback, as a playcaller you think just a little bit differently. Each quarterback has his own set of strengths. Him and Barrett are similar, but Clint does have a few things unique to him."

How is Barrett handling the situation?

"Barrett is a champion. Barrett's a great competitor. The unfortunate thing for him is that all of this is not his fault. We've got other issues around that need to be cleaned up and shored up. If you asked him, I know he'd like to have some things back. He's provided very good leadership for us. He's a very tough-minded young man. He's a team guy."

How is Clint different?

"Clint, he has that knack to do things once things break down. You saw that a little bit Saturday, made a couple plays when things broke down. He's got a little bit of the gunslinger in him. The bottom line is that we feel like he deserves a chance to lead this offense and see if he can take this offense a little higher."

You liked him at Leroy High School. Wny?

"He was a playmaker. The fact that he won three state championships. He was the MVP. He knows how to win. He has the ability to make plays when things break down. You always look for somebody who is used to winning. The fact that he was from Alabama, Mr. Football, didn't hurt, either."

Talk about Lutzenkirchen's ability to make big plays.

"He has that unique gift that he can get go get the football. He can get open. He's got the ability to make the big play when you need it. He's done that for us the past two and a half years."

Clint is from a small school. Is it hard to evaluate quarterbacks from the smaller schools?

"Anytime it's a quarterback, you've really got to do your homework. Not just on the field and film. You've got to be around them, what kind of person they are. The quarterback is the face of your program. A lot of things go into it - character, leadership, are they used to winning? All those things, not just film, go into that."

Talk about LSU.

"They're very talented. They're very quick. They've got speed, but they also have quickness. Some defenses have one or the other; they have both. Their coordinator is one of the best in the business. He's got the pieces of the puzzle right now. They make you earn it. They really are aggressive."

Clint is sort of an emotional player. Does that cause problems?

"I think he's grown up a lot. If you ask him, he would say that. There's certain things to being emotional that can be positive. At the same time, you can't get too high or too low from week to week. I'm real proud of where he's come from. He's gotten more mature - even in this season."

Have you worked with him on that?

"As a coach, you try to tell your players, specifically quarterbacks, what it takes to be successful and what it takes at the quarterback position."

How critical is the play of the offensive line this weekend?

"We've got to play better at every position. We have some deficiencies, but we've got to overcome them. We've got to find a way to be more efficient on offense. We've got to find a way to score more points. I really believe our guys have a good attitude. I really believe they've bought into our plan."

Will you need to simplify the offense for Clint?

"No, I don't."

What are you going to run?

"Each quarterback is a little different. You need to try to do what that quarterback is really strong in. You need to build around that, so that's what we'll do."

Will Kiehl Frazier's role change?

"We've tried to gradually bring Kiehl along with his package. He'll continue to have a role. He's done some good things for us."

Teams are daring you to throw?

"That's fair to say, yes. Last three weeks, yes."

Will you give in to that? Throw more?

"Uh, yeah. To be successful on offense, you have to take what the defense gives you. You've got to be effective to do that. We've not been very effective the last three weeks doing that. That's our challenge. That's what we're working hard to do.

Talk about the catch Quindarius Carr made against Florida.

"That catch Q made, that was really impressive. It was well needed. We were backed up and it really changed the field."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ole Miss at Auburn set for 6 p.m. kickoff on ESPNU

Courtesy of Auburn Sports Information

AUBURN - 19th-ranked Auburn football game against Ole Miss in Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium on Oct. 29 will be televised by ESPNU.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.It marks Auburn's first appearance on ESPNU this season.

The game will be the 36th meeting between Auburn (5-2, 3-1 SEC) and Ole Miss (2-4, 0-3 SEC) with the Tigers holding a 26-9 series lead. Auburn has won the last two meetings against the Rebels and six of the last seven. The Tigers downed Ole Miss 51-31 last season in Oxford, Miss.

Full season tickets for the 2011 season are sold out. Single-game tickets for Ole Miss and Samford are still available. For information or to purchase visit or call 1-855-282-2010 or visit

Schedule for Oct. 29

SEC Network Television - Saturday, October 29:

Arkansas at Vanderbilt - 11:21 a.m.(SEC Network)

Georgia vs. Florida - 2:30 p.m. (CBS)

Ole Miss at Auburn - 6 p.m. ESPNU)

Mississippi State at Kentucky – 6 p.m.(FSN)

South Carolina at Tennessee - 6:15 p.m.(ESPN/ESPN2*)

SEC honors Clark, Lemonier

Courtesy of Auburn sports information

AUBURN – Auburn sophomores Corey Lemonier and Steven Clark were honored by the Southeastern Conference Monday for their play in Saturday’s 17-6 victory over Florida.

Lemonier was named the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week while Clark was named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.

Lemonier, a native of Hialeah, Fla., led the Auburn defense with six tackles. Of his six tackles, 3.0 were for loss (minus 20 yards) along with 2.0 sacks (minus 16 yards). He also tallied four quarterback hurries.

He tied his career high in tackles and set new career-bests in tackles for loss and sacks. His tackles for loss and sacks are also team-highs for the season.

Lemonier helped the Auburn defense hold Florida to 194 yards of total offense, which was the fewest by a Gator offense since 1990 at Tennessee (194). It was also the fewest yards the Auburn defense has allowed since surrendering 191 yards to Tennessee in 2008.

Clark, a native of Kansas City, Mo., was named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season, also earning it after his play at South Carolina.

He tied his career high with nine punts last weekend against Florida. Two of the punts were muffed by the Gators and recovered by Auburn, resulting in points for the Tigers each time. On the seven other punts (outside of UF fumbles), Florida’s average starting field position was their own 26 yard line.

Clark averaged 39.2 yards per punt, two of which led to Gator drives starting inside the 20-yard line. Florida returned four of the nine punts for a total of -4 return yards on the day.

Clark leads the SEC with 50.0 percent of his punts (22-of-44) inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. His 22 punts inside the 20 also lead the nation.

No. 19.23 Auburn returns to action this week with a 2:30 p.m., Saturday game at No. 1 LSU. The game will be televised on CBS.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Auburn kicks off basketball season with "Hoops Madness"

(Courtesy of Auburn sports information)

AUBURN – Auburn University will host "Tiger Hoops Madness" at 7 p.m. at Auburn Arena.

The event will be the first opportunity for fans to see head coach Tony Barbee and the men’s team along with head coach Nell Fortner and the women’s team as they begin preparations for the 2011-12 season.

Tiger Hoops Madness is free to the public and will also feature a Fan Fest on the lawn outside the main entrance of the arena. The Fan Fest will open at 5 p.m. and will include inflatable games for kids, a face painter, and a balloon artist. In addition, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams will be available for an autograph session beginning at 5:45 p.m.

Former Auburn head coach Sonny Smith and stars John Mengelt and Marquis Daniels along with former Tiger golfer Jason Dufner, the 2011 PGA Championship runner-up and 2011 Phoenix Open runner-up, will be among the judges for the Slam Dunk Contest.

“I am extremely excited about the tip-off of basketball season with Tiger Hoops Madness,” said Barbee. “It is going to be a fun-filled evening for the students, our fans and my team. It’s a great way to welcome back the guys and meet the new players. There is going to be plenty of planned events and surprises for everybody. Get there early for a good seat.”

The arena doors will open at 6 p.m. and on-court festivities will begin at 7 p.m. Festivities will include team introductions, on-court activities from both teams with appearances by the Auburn cheerleaders, Tiger Paws, AU Pep Band and Aubie. Team activities for the men will include a slam dunk contest and an intra-squad scrimmage. Team activities for the women will include a three-point shootout and a dribble battle.

“We are very excited about this event and the opportunity to show our fans what they can expect when they come out to Auburn Arena this season,” said Fortner. “We have seven players coming back that started for us last year and a couple of new players that we are really excited about. It is going to be a great year for Auburn basketball and we can’t wait to get it started.”

All fans in attendance will have the opportunity to win various prizes throughout the night. Prizes include two pairs of tickets to the Auburn vs. Florida football game, an Under Armour gift certificate, an Under Armour sideline polo, a white Under Armour sideline jacket, a free round of golf at any Alabama Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail course and more.

Seating for Tiger Hoops Madness is general admission and fans may enter through the north entrance of the arena or through the Scholarship entrance. The blue bleacher seating on the floor level will be reserved for AU students who will enter through the student entrance with a valid Auburn Ignited card.

Season tickets for 2011-12 are available now with prices starting at just $125 for a men’s ticket and $50 for the women. Potential season ticket holders will be given the opportunity to learn more about their ticket options throughout the October 14th event. A booth will be set-up at the main entrance where fans can inquire about seating information, be taken on a personal tour, experience various seating locations first-hand, and purchase tickets on the spot.

Fans can also order tickets online by visiting , by phone at 1-855-282-2010 or in person at the Auburn Arena Ticket Office located at 250 Beard-Eaves Court (open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chizik talks about end of NCAA probe, practice for Florida

AUBURN - Auburn coach Gene Chizik met with the media following Wednesday night's practice, and while much of the discussion involved the recently concluded NCAA probe, he also discussed practice and gave an injury update for Saturday's game with Florida.

Here's what he had to say. Verbatim.


“I think we’ve had a really good week of practice so far. Obviously, we have tomorrow and some time left and we need every minute we can get but really pleased with how we practice. We’ll continue to prepare for this game and as I’ve said before we’re probably going to have to play our best game of the year to be able to win this game. We’re excited about it, our players up, there’s a lot of energy. It has been a good week so far.”

Your thoughts on the NCAA announcement today?

“I’m glad that the NCAA made a statement that concluded the investigation. As I’ve said many times, I feel very confident about the way we run this program and I’ve said many times that we haven’t done anything wrong, so quite frankly, I’ve moved on a long time ago. My focus has been to win football games and that’s where it will continue to be.”

Were you pleased that statement was made publicly?

“Yeah, I’m glad that it’s out public. Anybody that had any questions, now you can put that to bed.”

Would you like to see a faster process with investigations?

“Obviously, for anybody who is under those same set of circumstances, the quicker the better. I appreciate the NCAA coming out and making the statement that they have concluded the investigation. The time frame obviously for anybody the quicker the better, but they did their due diligence and this is where we ended up. Like I said, I moved on a long time ago.”

Did a recruit ever tell you he was turning down an offer because of the investigation?

“No. that hasn’t happened.”

Do you feel exonerated?

“I don’t really live my life that way. As I’ve said many times I feel really, really good at night when I go to sleep about the way we run this program and we’ll continue to run it the right way. I can’t say it enough, and again, I feel good about the way we run the program and literally I’ve moved on from this just a long tiem ago. My one focus is winning football games right now.”

Have you talked to Cam Newton?

“I talked to him a little bit tonight just haphazardly after practice, but we did not talk about that at all. I just told him I was proud of him and he’s going to watch the game Saturday and he’s excited about it.”

He’s going to be at Auburn? Carolina plays at Atlanta Sunday.

“I don’t know about that.”

How did you tell your players?

“We have not talked about it.”

Would you like to see changes in the way media handle NCAA investigations?

“You know what, the media has a job to do and everyone chooses to do it their own way everyone chooses how they want to do it. I’ve got my job to do and my job is to continue to do the right things for Auburn and to stand for all the right things. I can’t tell people how to do their jobs. I don’t have the energy to tell people how to do their jobs. I have my hands full doing my own. People are going to report and speculate. I think that’s 200 years old. I can’t really entertain the idea how to interpret things and how to report it.”

Injuries? Emory Blake?

“It’s still going to be game time. I think he has made some progress, there’s no question about it. We’re going to continue on the same path we’ve been on. But right now, it’s kind of a wait and see mode. Obviously, we know he knows everything within the offense so that’s not an issue. But how much further he can progress in the next two and a half days, I don’t know. So it will be a game-time deal.”

Has he practiced?


Ladarius Owens?

“Right now, again, he’s not a guy we feel like can play on Saturday. We’re going to continue to evaluate him as well but right now it doesn’t look good for him either.”

Who gets that spot?

“Well, we’ve got Joel Bonomolo who is playing more for us right now. He was banged up early, but he has come back and he is healthy now. So he’s one of the guys to fill that spot.”

NCAA: No major violations found in Auburn probe

Courtesy of Auburn Sports Information

AUBURN — Auburn University has received a letter from the NCAA enforcement staff stating the NCAA has concluded its investigation, and no major rules violations were found.

The NCAA letter can be found at

NCAA Statement

After conducting more than 80 interviews, the NCAA has concluded its investigation into Auburn University. The NCAA enforcement staff is committed to a fair and thorough investigative process. As such, any allegations of major rules violations must meet a burden of proof, which is a higher standard than rampant public speculation online and in the media. The allegations must be based on credible and persuasive information and includes a good-faith belief that the Committee on Infractions could make a finding. As with any case, should the enforcement staff become aware of additional credible information, it will review the information to determine whether further investigation is warranted.

Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs Statement

“We appreciate the NCAA and thank them for their professionalism and thoroughness during this exhaustive investigation. We are pleased to put this matter behind us.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Malzahn discusses offensive woes

AUBURN - Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn talked with the media following Tuesday night's practice and discussed the Tigers' recent problems in the passing game, as well as a variety of other subjects.

Here's what he had to say:

“I felt like we had a solid practice. The guys came out wanting to practice. Solid job of attention. We’ve got our work cut out for us. We put in our plan today. You could tell they were really eager to see what the plan was and to execute practice.”

When you look at Florida do you see a lot of good athletes on defense?

“Yeah, they have good athletes. I think they are extremely talented up front. Their linebackers can really run. Their secondary, they fly around back there too. But they are big and athletic up front and they present a lot of challenges.”

Are they comparable to South Carolina’s front?

“They’re very talented like South Carolina’s front but they’re different. They’re a different kind of talented. They’re big, they’re athletic. They really play the run well.”

Coach Chizik made it clear Barrett Trotter remains No. 1. Your thoughts on the
evaluation process.

“Well, just like any other game, we’re going to go with the guy who gives us the best chance of winning. We feel like Barrett does that. And really, we’ve got to get better around him. We’ve got to get better around him in all areas. There are some throws obviously he’d like to have back but he’s striving to improve. We’re going this week like we would any other week.”

Thoughts of giving Clint (Moseley) a shot?

“Well, like I said, we’re going into this exactly like the weeks before and we expect Barrett to play well.”

How did Kiehl Fraziewr play?

“He did a good job running the football. He did a good job of operating and communication. It was extremely loud. Obviously, those two balls he’d like to have back. He’s a competitor. He was extremely disappointed and he’s the type that doesn’t make the same mistake twice and just the speed of secondaries, it takes a while to get used to that. He’ll improve in that area.”

Do you see him continuing to have that many snaps?

“Well, with the team we’ve got now he’s definitely … he’ll have his role each week. Some weeks will be more than others. But we’re working hard to expand that.”
When you’re struggling in the passing game, how does it affect your play-calling?
“You’ve got to adjust. You’ve got to adjust to what gives you the best chance to be successful and scoring points. You’ve got to try and do the things you’re good at, and at the same time when they dare you to pass you’ve got to be able to execute when they do that. That’s what we’ve got to get better at. I think everybody saw that Saturday and we’re working very hard to do that. We’re going to continue to work hard and I really expect us to get better in that area.”

In the last two games, 17 times you’ve been on the opponents’ end of the field and gotten four touchdowns and one field goal. Why have you struggled?

“Well if you look back, I think there are some penalties and there are some turnovers. Which is really uncharacteristic of our offense. So we’ve got to do a better job of holding onto the ball. We’ve got to do a better job of not having penalties and finding a way to get the ball into the end zone. That’s the bottom line and that’s what we’re working hard to do.”

When you try to control the clock, is that a conscious effort to help the defense?

“Well, I think no matter whether it’s offense, defense or special teams, you know your team and you know what it takes for your team to be successful. Right now, we have to try and win the time of possession. We need to run the football and that’s what we’re going to do and we’re going to try and improve in that area each week also.”

Does it affect play calls on first and second down?

“No, the bottom line is we’ve got to get that initial first down. By whatever means that is, we’ve got to get that initial first own and our strength right now is running the football. We’ve got to continue to get better in that area, keep improving and keep getting first downs.”

Is there a Catch 22 on running and getting in a rhythm throwing?

“I think it’s a combination of both. When we do throw it, we’ve got to be effective at it. Like any year, you try to figure out what your strengths are and you try to build around the strengths. So that’s what we’re doing. We’re trying to get better in the areas where we’re deficient.”

You’ve talked about not playing two quarterbacks. Do you still view Kiehl as just a Wildcat or is this a two-quarterback system?

“Well, I wouldn’t say it’s a two quarterback system, but his role is expanding each week and we’re just trying to give ourselves the best chance of being successful with the pieces of the puzzle we have. But his role will expand, but I’m not ready to say two-quarterback system yet.”

Is Kiehl No. 2

“No. Clint Moseley is No. 2.”

Is there a reason for all the interceptions?

“There are a lot of different areas. It’s not just one thing. It’s not just the quarterback, it’s not just a receiver. It has been different things and each one of those things and breakdowns. The bottom line is we can’t turn the football over, especially in the red zone and we’ve done that and that’s got to be corrected.”

Talk about third down problems.

“Yes, we’ve been poor. There’s no doubt. We’re not very good on third down throwing the football and we’ve got to find a way to get better.”

Is it difficult to remind Clint he’s No. 2 when he’s not first off the bench?

“No, I don’t think so. He gets the No. 2 reps with our main offense and he gets probably 30 percent of the reps. He knows that. Very clear.”

Clint only got one throw.

“We were hoping to have a little bit more, but we were wanting him to have a chance to get in the game and all that kind of stuff.”

Are you confident in Clint?

“I feel confident in all three of our guys.”

Anything you guys can do to get the confidence of the receivers back up?

“Well, we’ve got to do a better job of throwing. We’ve got to do a better job of catching and protecting. It all works together. I know at certain times when things aren’t successful one person gets blamed, but it’s a culmination of a lot of different factors. And how you get confidence is you make plays. You make the plays and you get confidence. We’ve got to make more plays.”

Any changes in the receiver rotation this week?

“Each position we’re looking at, but we’re expecting the same guys to be out there. You may see some young guys out there at different times, but our receiver group as a whole, they will all play.”

How much does it hurt not having Emory Blake?

“Well, Emory is one of our better players. Emory is one of the better receivers in the SEC, so anytime you’ve got a guy like that it is a big blow, but at the same time we’ve got a week of practice to prepare to not having him. We’ve got to do a better job of replacing him. We’ve got some young guys and it’s just a matter of the light to click on and them to get confidence to make plays. It’s not just that thing, it’s throwing, it’s catching.”

Was it a good practice?

“They seemed like they were eager at practice today."

Can you still be a good offense? Or a grinder?

"We're a work in progress. We're trying to build around our strengths.
The bottom line is that we have moved the football. When we've gotten
in the red zone, we're not getting in the end zone. We're capable of
being better. We're capable of scoring more points. We've identified
our deficiencies and we're trying to build on our strengths."

Why is the running game working early but not as well later?

“A lot of times defenses roll an extra guy or two down and dare you to
throw it. You have to be able to do them both effectively. You've got
to have an answer. You've got to be able to execute. We're working on

On the ESPN special you said Kiehl was the most talented you have ever coached?

“He's still learning the offense. He's still … there's a lot to it. There's a whole lot to it. If he went through spring, maybe things would be different. He's not ready to be the full-time quarterback.”

A lot of area high schools are running your offense. What do you think of that?

“There's a lot of great high school coaches around here. I've been fortunate
enough to meet a lot of them. We talk football. but … there's a lot of guys who can run an offense without running ours who are successful. We have great relationships with a lot of them.”

What’s the confidence like with the receivers?

“The way you get confidence is to play well. We're working hard to do that. We're very up front and honest with our guys. We can play better. We're deficient in some areas. We can play better than what we've done. The bottom line is turning the football over. That's unacceptable. The penalties - those two areas are unacceptable. That's my focus.”

Does this offense operates like teams from before?

“There's certain teams I've had that have run the football more than they've thrown the football. In the past, there's been a team or two that's similar to this.”

Specific team?

“No, it's probably Springdale High School.”

Kiehl apologized for his performance.

“He's a winner. He's got winner in him; that's how he is. He has high
expectations. He's not used to losing. He feels like he let his team
down. That'll help him in the future to be the type of quarterback we
want him to be.”

Was Barrett's performance a disaster?

“There were quite a few drops. There was a protection breakdown or two. To blame him for all that when you look at everything, it's a culmination of a lot of different areas. He did some good

How did he grade out?

“He graded out average.”

Auburn's Parkey talks kicking

AUBURN - Auburn's weekly media day is on Tuesday. Kicker Cody Parkey was one of the players on hand to talk with the media. Here's what he had to say about playing Florida this week, and kicking in general.

Is this a big game for you, being from Florida?

"Yeah, I’m excited to play. All my buddies go to Florida. I know a couple guys from back home who play for Florida. It’ll be a fun game."

Did you consider Florida coming out of high school?

"I did. They show me some (interest) every now and then, they’d show they were interested. But they had a kicker who was a sophomore and now he’s a junior. You don’t really need a kicker every year, so that wasn’t really an option for me to go there."

Did you grow up a Florida fan"

"It was weird. I never really had, like, a favorite Florida team. I didn’t hate Florida, Florida State, Miami. I just kind of liked them all. So I never really had a favorite Florida team. I just kind of like them all."

Talk about your success with touchbacks.

"I’ve worked hard at it. I feel like I can do that every game. I continue to kick touchbacks every game. It’s something I’ve worked really hard at and I’m glad it’s showing off on the field and I want to continue to do so."

Do you try to kick your hardest or do you try for a smooth stroke?

"A lot of it is technique, but sometimes you know when you try to kick it as hard as you can you’ll get some kicks, which I’ve had one or two this year, that just kind of die out. And that’s what you don’t want. You just want to have a smooth stroke, but at the same time be powerful, but you don’t want to try to crush the ball, that’s when it goes awry. You just want everything to be smooth. That’s when you get your best kicks."

Are the techniques different for kicking off and for field goals?

"Ah, no. A lot of it is actually the same. The biggest difference is on a field goal you want to try to stay under control – more accuracy. On a kickoff, you know, you’re just really trying to explode through the ball. And you’re landing on your kicking foot, where on a field goal, you’re landing on your plant foot. So it’s a lot of transferring of energy. The biggest thing is just exploding through the ball on kickoffs. It really doesn’t get too confusing."

When did you get good?

"Probably after (last) season. During the season your legs get really tired and I probably didn’t do a good job with keeping them up to date and with the (hip flexor) injury I had last year. I just never felt 100 percent. My biggest goal this year was just getting back healthy – 100 percent – better than I’ve every been. Just working out a lot, extra training, rehab, just everything added in to me being able to kick as far as I can now. Over the summer, I noticed I was kicking back to what I usually was. Now I’m just above that. Just a lot of hard work. I pretty much noticed that in the summer how good I was doing."

What was it like when you were the man in high school?

"Yeah, I pretty much put everyone in the end zone, even if there was a wind in my face. It wasn’t too hard to kick it 60 yards. We put guys on the kickoff team that really didn’t play too much. We just had them run down. But occasionally I’d screw up and they’d think I’d kick it out of the end zone and they’d actually return it and none of the guys were ready for it."

Do any of your teammates want you to kick it shorter so they can get some action?

"Every now and then, they’re like, ‘Hey, I want a tackle. Let me get a tackle.’ But, obviously, I’m trying to kick as many touchbacks as we can because it’ll better our chances – it’ll better our team. But occasionally they’ll tell me, ‘Hey, let us play some.’ But I try not to let them."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Late night with Trooper Taylor

Auburn's assistants usually meet with the media following Wednesday night's practice. Here's what wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor had to say about his injury-depleted unit and Saturday's game at Arkansas.

Got enough receivers to take to Arkansas?

"I hope so. Obviously Emory didn't practice today. But he's usually a fast healer. He's kind of banged up the week before and he made it back, but it'll be up to game time and if he's ready we'll play him. If we can't, we'll go to the next one.

"He's pretty solid with all his assignments and things like that. If he was a freshman or something, it would be different. But Emory's obviously an experienced kid. That helps with rehab too, so that helps with how you have to attack it. He's in the training room three or four times a day."

How are the other receivers doing?

"Feel pretty good about it. There's still some things to get done on the perimeter with putting guys in the right position. Because we do so many checks, sometimes we get mismatches on the perimeter. But for the most part we've been able to substitute and get the right guys in there. I've been proud to see the guys come back, like to see Jay Wisner catch the ball the way that he's done. He came back after the drops that he had earlier. It took himself a long time to redeem himself but he understands now why it's important to catch the balls that get thrown to him. But I felt like they've done a pretty good job on the perimeter. Anytime you run the football like we have, those guys on the perimeter make a big difference. We have to continue to do that and also make plays when you get the opportunity to do so."

Do you think you guys need more big plays?

"We need to take advantage of what the defense gives us. When they get opportunities to make plays I think for the most part when it's been there, they've done that. A lot of that is going to be dictated by what the defense does. There's nothing I would say we need to go back and change so that these guys can do this or do that.

How is DeAngelo Benton coming along?

"He broke the whole team down. Everybody got excited when we called his name to break it down. He's just that kind of guy. He works hard. He doesn't complain. Even though he doesn't get a bunch of reps, he still works the same way. For coach Malzahn's confidence and Trotter's confidence, it probably went a long way. He's two for two. We just need to try to extend some of that. He's a hard working kid and I love him to death. I call him the old man, because he's about as old as I am. But he's out there making plays and every day he comes to work. He's selfless. He doesnt' care whether he gets one play or 50 plays."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blake remains doubtful, Morgan out for year

Auburn coach Gene Chizik met with the media Wednesday night after practice. Here's what he had to say.


“Two really good practices this week I feel like, yesterday and today. Again, I feel like we’re continuing to improve. This will be a really great test for us. This is a really, really good football team as we know. But practice has gone well this week. Again we’ve got to continue to maintain a level of focus again tomorrow and Friday and give ourselves a chance to win. But I feel like we made some progress this week, again in some areas. So one more day of practice and we need it, but practice went well this week.”

Anything new on Emory Blake?

“He didn’t practice tonight. I’m going to use the word doubtful, but again we’re going to try and bring him up to speed by game time, but again, he didn’t practice tonight.”

With him out, DeAngelo (Benton) and those other guys stepping up?

“They really have and it’s great to see guys like DeAngelo and Travante Stallworth, Quan Bray, Jaylon Denson, those guys just have to step up. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter who is playing out there, somebody has to step up and play a great role. D Lo again, as we mentioned earlier in the week, he had a great catch at a huge time in the ball game Saturday night. So he’s going to make a few of those.”

How about Chris Davis?

“He’s done a little more. He has practiced some. We’re going to keep treating him, bringing him up to game time. We’ll see where he’s at by Saturday.”

What did you think about ESPN’s Year of the Quarterback?

“Well, I haven’t seen it. It was great exposure for Auburn football to the fans and recruits. It was just good for our football team even, with the exposure we’re going to get from that.”

Any moments where you thought, ‘Gosh, I don’t want a camera here.’

“There are parts that hard, to let people in and see the inside daily routine of what we do and how we do it. There were times when it was certainly challenging for me. It’s not always my personality. Again, in the name of trying to expose the fans and recruits to Auburn football and what we try to do here every day, I thought it was a positive experience.”

What is Anthony Morgan’s status?

“Anthony’s not making the trip. It looks like he may be out for the year. Again, we’re going to continue to monitor and evaluate him, but right now, that’s what it looks like.”

Did he get hurt in practice?

“He had an injury that occurred that was not necessarily on the practice field. But I’m not going to get into details. It was an accident. Again, we’re going to continue to monitor it, but it does not look good that he will return for the year.”

Drew Cole, has he kind of moved into a student coaching role?

“He helps us a lot in terms of signaling and doing some things that kind of assumes the role of a coach. He’s smart and he can help us with different things but he’s also involved with our special teams as well. But he does a good job for us.”

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Malzahn talks with media after practice

Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn met with the media following Tuesday night's practice to talk about the Tigers' upcoming game at Arkansas.

Here's what he had to say:

How was practice?

"Their focus was extremely focused in. They bounced around and seemed excited to practice. That was encouraging for this point in the season. That was encouraging."

With Emory Blake out, who will you count on at wide receiver?

"Well, Quindarius Carr is one of those guys. Travante Stallworth. Jaylon Denson. DeAngelo Benton. Those type of guys have a chance to show what they can do. D'Angelo Benton he's one of those guys just waiting for his chance and I know he's ready. He's had great practice all fall camp. It was real encouraging for him to make a big play in the game helped us win. So I feel very good about DeAngelo Benton."

Was it big for him to make a play Saturday against South Carolina?

"Oh there's no doubt. Big for everybody involved, more his self than anybody. He can do it. It's just a fact when you do it in a big moment like that it gives you nothing but positives the rest of the time."

Do you think you'll run the ball as much this week?

"We want to do whatever gives us the best chance of winning. They're a very good team and had a lot of speed on the perimeter. We just felt like we really needed to run the football. Time of possession's big. We have not gotten the first downs up to that point, and we got quite a few of them the other day and it helped our offense and helped our team."

Did the offensive line have its best game?

"I'd say that's fair to say because a very good defense they played against with some very good players and one of the best defensive coaches in the business. I was real happy, especially at the point where they were knew we were going to run the football in certain situations and we were able to do it somewhat successfully."

Did the guys on the line know you were going to run it that much?

"I think our guys knew it. I told Mike (Dyer) ahead of time to get ready. I didn't think he would carry it 41 times, but I thought it would be up there."

Will Kiehl Frazier get more playing time?

"Well we're expanding his package each week. He really did a good job in some key situations, especially third and fourth quarter. Each week we'll expand his role. He adds a differenet element to us when he's in the game."

Is he pretty excited about this week?

"I think so. You always worry about them being too excited. But both those guys it's probably real important for them to go home and play well and I know they'll give it their best."

Ever had so many true freshmen playing?


Is that scary?

"It's encouraging for the future. We're a work in progress. A lot of times when you make mistakes, it's just one or two mistakes that would have been a really well executed play. And anytime you got youth and inexperience, you're going to have growing pains. we've experienced some of those at certain times this year. It's just a matter of getting better and correcting those mistakes, but it's very good for the future."

Is this big for you, being from Arkansas?

"Well from my standpoint this will be the third time I've been there and done that. I'm just focused on our team and trying to do my best to give our team the best chance to be successful. I get to go home in the offseason and holidays and all that.

Do you still see big-play potential in the passing game?

"Yeah we have to. We're a run, play-action team. You've seen us, when we're at our best, we're hitting some big plays in the passing game when they bite it for the run. We just got to make people pay when they bring extra guys down. We were close on a couple last Saturday but it would have made me feel a little bit better if we had hit a couple of those and put it in end zone."

Where do you need to improve to get big plays?

"Protection. Quarterback delivering and receivers on the same page. It's a little bit of all of them."

Can Kiehl pass out of the Wildcat?

"He's only thrown it twice or once, and he got sacked one time. But he can throw it and we'll definitely let him do that."

When you went back to Arkansas that first time, was it weird?

"It was a little weird, a little awkward, there's no doubt. It was pretty fresh turnaround from being there. It was a little different. Second time you've got a job to do and the first emotions are all behind you."

Every week it seems you face talented defensive linemen.

"Yeah. You know you're going to find a couple guys that you know for sure are going to play in the NFL and probably be very good NFL players."

Monday, October 3, 2011

Florida-Auburn kickoff set for 6 p.m.

AUBURN – Auburn' game against Florida in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Oct. 15 will be televised by ESPN with kickoff set for 6 p.m.

The game will be the 83rd meeting between Auburn (4-1, 2-0 SEC) and Florida (4-1, 2-1SEC) with the Tigers holding a 42-38-2 series lead.

Auburn has won the last two meetings between the teams, most recently taking a 20-17 victory over the Gators in Gainesville, Fla., on Sept. 29, 2007.

Clark selected SEC Special Teams Player of the Week

AUBURN – Sophomore punter Steven Clark has been named the Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday.

Clark was honored for his play in Auburn’s 16-13 win at No. 10 South Carolina on Saturday.

A native of Kansas City, Mo., Clark punted seven times for an average of 37.9 yards per punt, including five punts inside the 20, all of which were inside the 12-yard line. Two were inside the 5-yard-line with the Gamecocks having to start consecutive drives from the 1 and the 4, a key role in Auburn holding South Carolina to just four snaps in Tiger territory.

After Clark’s punts, South Carolina’s average starting field position was the USC 16 as its possessions started at the 38, 4, 1, 11, 12 and 12 yard lines.

Clark, who leads the SEC and is second in FBS with 14 punts inside the 20, is the first Auburn punter with five punts inside the 20 since Jaret Holmes had five at Arkansas in 1997. He is also Auburn’s first Special Teams Player of the Week since Wes Byrum earned the honor on Oct. 11, 2010.

The Tigers (4-1, 2-0 SEC) return to action Saturday with their second road game in as many weeks, traveling to Arkansas (4-1, 0-1 SEC). Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.