Ole Miss vs. Pitt Postgame Quotes



Jan. 5, 2013

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2013 BBVA Compass Bowl
January 5, 2013
Postgame Press Conference Quotes

Ole Miss
Head Coach Hugh Freeze
Opening comments...
“First, my compliments to the BBVA people and everyone that’s part of making this whole week what it really was. It was well planned, very organized and had purpose, and I just thought that did a good job making sure we were accommodated. Couldn’t ask for any more out of those guys. It was the first bowl of our journey here at Ole Miss.”

On the importance of today’s win…
“It’s more important now than it was a few days ago. I try to not make too much out of a single game either way, but it’s no question that this advances our journey a bit and the process we’re on to develop in the SEC West year in and year out. I think what we’re setting here in year one far surpasses. Our guys really chose to buy in and decided we can determine who we want to be. We don’t have to have someone else determine that. I didn’t know if we could (go to a bowl) or not, but I knew we could attack each week as an individual challenge and game. I was very clear with our goal in year one, that was to play with passion of football for our great university. I have no question, it was not always the prettiest thing, but I don’t doubt one single game that we didn’t give passion for our university.”

On RB Jaylen Walton receiving more playing time today…
“Jeff (Scott) pulled a hamstring and was not able to go. We’ve played Jaylen any chance we had him in the year, and the great confidence that he had, he and I’Tavius Mathers. We’ve got two quality young running backs there, it gave us a little spark at that time.”

On answering when Pitt scored…
“I think that’s something to take pride in, that’s always being able to answer, and our kids did. When we play with great emotion, and we’re pretty good when we don’t hurt ourselves. The two possessions we did produce in the first half had penalties and turnovers, and I felt like we did some of the damage to ourselves. We didn’t play great, offensively, until we got in our full tempo. Really, we just played okay, offensively.”

On the turning point for his team this season…
“I started to believe that the guys had bought in and got it after the Alabama game. Certainly, there were some valleys, Vandy and A&M in particular, where your kids gave you so much effort. As a coach, that’s when you go home and you walk around the block and think about what I could have done. Everything is so magnified when you lose a game like that. The first thing I do is evaluate myself, and those are difficult times. I had to give these guys credit and our staff credit, they’re more resilient than myself. They pick me back up. As long as we were improving and competing, I knew in year one, that’s when I remind myself of the goal that I set. It wasn’t to win X amount of games. It was to make sure our team was competing passionately for this university, and they did that. Those are the times that it felt like it had a chance, and they consistently did that.”

On how the losses helped his team…
“Certainly, with the losses and the wins. Sometimes the lessons in the losses seem more painful, which they were. There’re great lessons to be learned in all of that. Certainly, I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason. I don’t always like it, I have to accept it and move on. I think that’s what makes you successful as a person, in life, not only just football. You can sit there and whine or pout about things, or you can get yourself going and get ready to go with the proper attitude and have a chance to have success the next time. I know that we get judged on wins and losses, but at the end of the day, it’s about a journey together in life. There’s a lot of love in that locker room, and that will be here ten years down the road. We’ve proven that we can be competitive, and we’re shorthanded a bit. We’re excited about the process and the next step.”

14 Bo Wallace, So., QB
On his overall performance…
“I felt really good at the start of the game and then had the two interceptions, but I just had to bounce back from it. When coach (Hugh) Freeze went tempo it settled me down a little bit because that’s what I am comfortable in. So, once we went tempo, I felt back in a rhythm a little bit.”

On the support from Ole Miss fans at today’s game…
“It was awesome. It was a home game for us – that’s what it was. For them to show up like that on a 6-6 team is something special. I know that they are really proud of us, and we can’t say more for them for coming and supporting us like they do.”

52 Mike Marry, Jr., LB
On the Ole Miss defense today compared to early in the year…
“It’s about finishing the game and playing for the guy next to you instead of playing for yourself. When you play for the person next to you then you play that much harder.”

On the satisfaction of today’s win…
“It feels good because it lets everyone know that our program is moving in the right direction. We are not where we want to be right now, but we are trying to get there and we are ready to put in more work so we can get better next year.”

On how he felt this time last season compared to this year…
“I love being in Florida, but I love being around my teammates even more. When you don’t have a good season, you are home for two months and it is just that much more time away from football, around people that you really care about.”

4 Denzel Nkemdiche, Fr., LB
On how to build on the core he has helped build this season…
“So far, this recruiting class has turned out to look extremely good, which will be good for our future. In time, with the players we are considering, they will come in and fill in some spots and back some people up.”

On sending out the senior class with a win…
“When you talk about that it gives you chills because to open this season we all grew so close and all that was on our mind was to win football games. When we finally started clicking and becoming like brothers it went to another level. This is something that they will be able to remember for a long time when they have kids and grandkids.”

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