"We Were Never In The Ball Game"
Sylvester Croom
Editor-Dawgs' Bite
Posted Nov 28, 2008


“Congratulations to Coach (Houston) Nutt and his football team. They came in here with the idea they were going to kick our rear ends and did that from start to finish. Why it occurred, I’m sorry to say, is an absolute mystery to me. We were challenged from the time the game started and we didn’t respond with the kind of intensity that I would expect our football team to respond with.”

“To say the least, I didn’t see that one coming. So hopefully I can learn something from this one as well.”

Q: The early injury when Tyson Lee had to come out? “Well, all of our quarterbacks got injured today. Ole Miss’ defensive front had a lot to do with it.”

Q: Have you seen a game so dominated in terms of offensive numbers? “We were never in the ball game.”

Q: What is Brandon McRae’s injury? “His leg is broken. I don’t know all the details but he was in a lot of pain.”

Q: What adjustments were tried against their defensive pressure? “Well, we were trying to correct everything. But when a guy just lines up and whips you there’s not a whole lot of adjustment to that.”

Q: What might you have done differently? “Well, as far as offensively we had a lot of maximum-protections and we still got beat. We knew we were going to be challenged by their pass rush and the defensive front. And certain guys we tried to help in particular because we knew the matchups were tough. But when you try to help one guy you leave another on an island over there by himself. Some things got exposed.”

Q: Was their defensive line just too fast? “I think it’s pretty obvious their defensive line won.”

Q: How tough is it to go into the off-season and get these guys motivated? “It shouldn’t be very tough at all. After getting your rear end whipped like that it shouldn’t be hard to get motivated. You have got to taste that one from now on, all off-season until we play another game.”

Q: What is your message for the team? “I’ll wait until Monday. I don’t want to talk about that right now.”

Q: When will you begin to evaluate things with your staff, to see if you need to make changes? “I’ll look at that stuff when I get back.”

Q: Do you know when you will meet with Greg Byrne? “I said I’ll look at all that stuff when I get back.”

Q: What was the status of Derek Pegues? “I hadn’t talked to the trainer yet as far as injuries. McRae is the only one I know is serious at this point. I was told when Derek first got hurt that it wasn’t any damage structurally, just a sprain. I think he’s going to be OK.”

Q: What do you think of Ole Miss’ team? “I’ll say the way they played today, physically they’re probably right up there with Alabama right now. I really do. I think they’re that good. Their defensive front was very impressive game. They’ve got some individuals that can win the one-on-ones repeatedly.”

“They beat everything we threw at them. We tried to move the quarterback to get away from them, we doubled a lot, we maxed-up and kept five offensive linemen in, a tight end and a back. And they didn’t bring any extra pressure, either, they rarely brought more than five, and we still had an extra guy back there.”

“You’re always looking at people. You’re looking at just the matchups. You’ve got to match up better with people. Just from an intensity standpoint, that’s what I meant by not seeing it coming. Because that hadn’t been us all year long, regardless of who we played we played with outstanding intensity from start-to-finish. And why it would happen, against your cross-state rival, the way we practiced and prepared. That’s what I meant by not seeing that coming. Not from us. I thought we were way past that, not having the intensity that we showed out there today.”

Q: Did your guys sense at some point they were out of it? “What I mean by that is I felt like they were playing faster. They were beating us off the football. I think their intensity was a lot higher than ours right from the start. That was my concern. I felt our gameplans were good, I felt we were in good shape, but the thing that concerned me most and what I expressed to the players, even at halftime, was just our intensity.”

“I saw Dominic Douglas play again with great intensity, K.J. Wright did. Those two guys stood out to me. But in other areas I just didn’t feel like we flew around like we normally do.”

Q: What about the secondary, what seemed the issue there? “Well, I think our guys were a little bit concerned about their speed and were hesitant, missed way too many tackles. We didn’t break on the ball.”

“We just didn’t play well, guys. We did not play near as well as I felt like we played in the past against similar competition.”



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