Malzahn's comments after loss to Clemson

by - Assoc. Editor -
Ken Blaze - USA Today Sports

No. 3 Clemson won a hard-fought 14-6 victory over No. 13 Auburn on Saturday night to start the season 2-0. The ACC Tigers were dominant on defense with 11 sacks on the night which was second most in school history.

Here is what Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said to reporters after the road game in a loud Death Valley.

Opening statement:
“Obviously, this was a very disappointing loss. Looking back at the game...offensively, we moved the ball well early, but kicking those two field goals and not being able to score a touchdown in the red zone really hurt us. Of course, in quarters two, three and four, the negative plays killed us. I think we got sacked 11 times. Our defense was outstanding. They kept us in the game. We got numerous chances towards the end, we just didn’t respond. They’re defending national champs and their defense is one of the best ones in college football, but offensively we just didn’t get it done. We’ll get better. We have to be able to run the football, and we have to be able to play-action pass. Our kids are hurting right now in the locker room and this was a disappointing loss for us."

On play of offensive line:
“That was too many sacks, but we have to be able to run the football a little better, too. We can’t be in as many obvious passing situations. There were a lot of third down and eight-plus situations that were tough. We have to be able to run in play-action. We will get better, I promise you that.”

On not playing RB Kam Martin:
“Well, Kam[ryn] Pettway is really our guy. Looking back, you can always talk about things you didn’t do, but we were a little concerned with the size of their linebackers. We thought they were going to do a lot of blitzing, which they did, so there are some reasons you didn’t see Kam [Martin]. Obviously, when you don’t perform offensively like you should have or could have, there are a lot of different things that the offensive staff will look at and we’ll get a good plan moving forward.”

On tonight’s offensive performance:
“Well, we had too many negative plays. We didn’t protect the quarterback when we needed to and we weren’t able to effectively run the football. Clemson had a lot to do with that, but we have to find ways to get that done.”

On getting plays in on first drive:
“Down on Clemson’s end, about the two yard-line, it was very loud right there. We were trying to move our tackle over and he couldn’t hear it, so we went ahead and kicked it. It is what it is on that.”

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