Chizik opening statement - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Chizik opening statement

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Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik
"I want to start out with a non-football related situation. It is a very heavy heart for myself and a lot of our players and a lot of our coaches right now. The young man, who was a student assistant (coach) with us, in football passed away shortly before the game unexpectedly, and it is very tragic. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. (His name is) Joe Bagwell, and that was tough. I want to say thank you to all of our fans tonight because they were All In, and they came and they showed up, and they did their job, and they were outstanding. That is what makes Auburn great. The football part of it, it's very disappointing. We played against our second top 10 team and had chances to win the game, but we didn't finish, and it is disappointing, but our goal every week is to improve. I saw a lot of improvement out of our football team tonight in a lot of different ways. Give LSU a lot of credit. They are an extremely talented and extremely physical football team, and they are very good. So, it was a hard-fought battle, and we didn't come out on the right end of that. That is very disappointing to me, and everybody in the locker room. So, we worked hard in preparation for the game, and I couldn't be more proud of the players for the preparation that they put into the game. We went into the game fully expecting to win, and it didn't happen. So, we are going to go back to work and try to continue to stay on track for improvement, and we have this week off which we are going to be able to rest up a little bit. Again, try to get a lot of corrections made based on what we saw again tonight, go back to work this week. I'm very proud of the kids in the locker room, and they played very, very hard tonight. They put it out there, and they were All In, too. So, that is where we are."

On how big a step do you think Auburn took tonight

"I think if you just look at the whole entire body of work and how hard they played, it was a field position game which we knew going in it was going to be, and we knew it had to be. I think it sums it up. I am very proud of the effort they gave, and the improvement they made. I love the kids in the locker room. That's the bottom line. They blocked out all of the distractions, and they really try to work. We've had good days of practice, and I felt good going into the game, but we didn't finish, and there will be a day when we will. We are going to continue to grind and work until we can."

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