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Coach Sherrill talked about Mississippi State's 42-34 loss to Oregon in front of the second largest home crowd in Mississippi State history, 52,856.
MSU Head Coach Jackie Sherrill
"I was pleased that we had quite a few players that kept fighting. Spotting somebody 28 points, then trying to come back, you have to give the players credit for not folding. We really gave them three gifts early." (MSU gave up 4 touchdowns in the 1st quarter to go down 28-0.)
"I thought that (quarterback) Kevin (Fant) played as hard as he could play. We didn't give him much help at times." (Kevin completed 23 of 40 for 285 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception and he was sacked 3 times. He scored 1 touchdown and rushed for 9 yards on 5 carries.)
"We had some players play well. The two young running backs played well. But when we got down, it took away from our running game." (MSU ran the ball 22 times for 124 yards, an average of 5.6 per carry. Sophomore Nick Turner had 74 yards on 7 carries for a 10.6 per carry average, while MSU's other sophomore tailback, Jerious Norwood, ran the ball for 41 yards on 9 carries.)
"I told the players that this team has a lot to them." (MSU outscored Oregon 34-14 the final three quarters of the game after going down 28-0 in the first quarter.)
"Oregon will win a lot of football games. They are very well coached. They have been running their offense a long time and do a good job with it." (Oregon had 556 total offensive yards, including 358 yards rushing.)
What would you attribute the first quarter to?
"We didn't play pass defense. We didn't play very during three of the touchdowns. On one of them it was third and 23 and we turned a receiver loose to come up when the quarterback scrambled. You don't turn a receiver loose. That was a big mistake. Then, we played behind a receiver instead of underneath him on the other big yardage play. The first touchdown we were in cover three. It shouldn't have happened. We should have had a safety and a corner there."
Obviously, you have things to work on the next couple of weeks.
"The good thing is we have a week off and we have a chance to work a lot of younger players. We can also get some of these guys well. Meaning, that we should get back at least one guard." (Johnny Wadley is expected back.)
How big was their score after you guys got with seven, 28-21?
"It was very big. They controlled the line of scrimmage that time. We didn't make some plays with the outside guys and we didn't contain a couple of times. All of those are things that we will look at and learn from. It's not like we were overmatched."
Was this one of the stranger games that you have played in?
"I really didn't think we would give up that many easy plays. I really felt like the game would be really tight. We gave up the first one and got the momentum when we came back. Then we fumble the ball and they come right back and score again."
Talk about Kevin Fant's play during the game?
"He played very well. He played hard and made some plays. You saw some plays where he flipped the ball and made some plays. Kevin is a player. This game meant a lot to him. It probably hurt him more than it did the other players. Kevin is going to help us win some games."
Talk about Ray Ray Bivines play and Antonio Hargro.
"Bivines played well, then he got hurt and went down. The reason Hargro didn't play as much is because he had a couple of busts. You can't afford to have busts."
How well did redshirt freshman offensive guard Otis Riddley play?
"I thought that Riddley played really well."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.