Ole Miss vs. Alabama Postgame Quotes



Sept. 30, 2012

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

Ole Miss Head Coach Hugh Freeze

Opening Statement:
“I couldn’t be more proud of the effort from our kids. I told them that in the locker room. They laid it on the line against a very talented team, very physical football team. We were short-handed at some spots and I couldn’t be more pleased from the effort that was given from our young men tonight that represented Rebel nation and our great university very well. The disappointing thing was that we didn’t do some of the little things to give us a chance later in the game. Our special teams were atrocious and we turned the football over over us being greedy. We didn’t have a good third down plan on defense. We’ve got to go evaluate all of that, because our kids deserved a little better outcome tonight from the way that they played. It’s hard to drive the football on that defense that they have. They’re so talented and so physical. We had two really nice drives and just could not stay away from a negative play, whether it be a turnover or something that put us behind the chains where they could pin their ears back and come get us. A lot of effort goes to them. Coach (Nick) Saban and his staff do a wonderful job and they’re very talented. Again, I’m just really pleased with the effort and the fight that our kids showed.”

On how the Ole Miss players feel about the game:
“They feel good. They feel a lot better than I do and they should. They’re pleased with the effort that was given. The ones who made mistakes, who turned it over or did certain things, I hope they hurt for their mistakes because we’ve got to start expecting more of ourselves. Enough has been talked about the past, whatever it was, and it’s time for us to start expecting more. In this conference, you can’t feel sorry for yourself; you’ve got to put it behind you and move forward for the next one because we’ve got a very difficult one next week. But I think our kids are in a positive frame of mind to know that if we could stop doing some of the things we do to ourselves, we would have a chance. I don’t know if we’ll win the games or not. I haven’t promised that in year one. I’ve promised you’re going to get great effort. But I know that if we play like that and don’t hurt ourselves, we should have some chances later in the game to win it.”

On the comparison between this game and the one against Texas two weeks ago:
“It was a lot better tonight, no doubt. Our concentration; our eyes were a lot better, our fits were a lot better, our plan was better. Our defensive staff did a great job with our plan, other than third down, and they’ll be the first to tell you that. I’ll be the first to tell you we need to do a better job on offense in the first down plan. We’ve got to stay on schedule against these guys. That’s our only chance. But as far as the tackling, I didn’t see too many missed tackles. I saw we missed a tackle on the outside on a screen out there that we should have gotten. Inside, I’m sure there’s going to be some on film that weren’t noticeable. We fit it a lot better tonight than we did a couple weeks ago.”

On playing three different quarterbacks:
“It depends on the game plan. We had that plan. We wanted to get into that Mackey stuff a little earlier, and we thought we had some good stuff. There at the end, we popped a good run with him. With Bo’s (Wallace) shoulder, the way it was, we wanted to be careful not to do certain things with him and try and get him totally healthy. That was the reason behind playing all of them. Barry (Brunetti) threw some nice balls there at the end.”

On his emotions on the game:
“I’m pleased with the attitude and effort of our kids and how hungry they are to succeed. I’m disappointed because I feel like we should have been in it in the fourth quarter. And for whatever reason, we can go through all of them, we didn’t get there. So the next step in this journey is to get there; get in that fourth quarter. I don’t know if we’ll win it or not, but it sure would feel good to play as hard as they’re playing and get in one. When we cut it to two scores, the emotions on our  sidelines; you just want it so bad for those kids and those fans, and we couldn’t get off the field on third down to give us another shot at it.”

Running Back Randall Mackey

On the game being 7-6 then quickly becoming 20-7:
“The mistakes really hurt us tonight, we kind of hurt ourselves really. We were just saying all week long were going to try and hit them in the mouth and fight with them to the end. That’s what we did.”

On turnovers:
“It stuck in our minds a little bit, but now it’s over with. We know the mistakes that we made. We’re going to try and make sure it doesn’t happen again next week.”

Quarterback Bo Wallace

On impact of turnovers:
“They kill you. They put our defense in a bad spot.”

On impact of Christion Jones’ kickoff return:
“There was no panic or anything like that. I just think it hurt our momentum a bit. Offensively, we have to get the score back even when something bad happens like that.”

Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban

Opening Statement:
“It was a hard fought win for us, and we are certainly happy for our team to be able to get a win. I don’t think people give Ole Miss enough credit. They are really playing well. They play hard. They are very physical, a complete turnaround. Their offense is difficult to defend with the no huddle situation and
the perimeter speed that they have. We knew this would be a tough game.

“There are definitely some things we need to do better. At times, the red zone scoring in the last couple of weeks, we’ve settled for too many field goals too many times. That’s something we probably need to improve on and use this bye week to improve on and just our overall passing game, maybe being more explosive. We really had high hopes that Amari Cooper would one day sort of find himself and do the things like he does in practice all the time in the game. I think that happened today. He played very well. That’s a guy that can be an explosive player for us and help us out down the road.

“Defensively, we were in some tough spots out there. It was really difficult to sub players. At times, I think we got tired on the longer drives when we couldn’t sub players because if they don’t sub, you really can’t sub because when they snap it quick, you aren’t ready. We weren’t ready to play when they hit the first big touchdown on their first drive. Guys were still looking at the bench trying to get a signal. We got better as coaches as the game went on. I think the players got used to the pace of the game as it went on, and I think we played a little better. We really didn’t get accomplished in the second half what we would have liked to get accomplished in terms of getting control of the game because we went three-and-out. We got the stops on defense but then went three-and-out and never really put a drive together and kicked two field goals. We need to do a little bit better job of finishing games as well.

“You have to give Ole Miss a lot of credit. They played hard and with a lot of toughness. We had a lot of respect for their team coming into this, but nobody really listens to me until after the fact, and they say, ‘Yeah, you were right.’”

On the turnovers in the first half:
“I think that was the turning point in the game. We really only put one true drive together. Those turnovers were really the difference in the game. The game was 7-6, and then we got the turnovers, and we got a little lead. Turnovers are always that way. We turned it over once. Robert (Lester) turned it over, when they overturned the out-of-bounds thing. I could never really see what happened on that play or why it was overturned. There was no clear view on our little screen that we saw. Obviously they saw something, but we stopped them and intercepted them again. We finished those drives when we got the interception, so that was a good thing. We are going to have to continue to get turnovers, and we are going to have to finish more drives if we are actually going to be the team we want to be.”

Defensive Back Dee Milliner

On the defensive performance:
“We came out, and we executed the game plan that coach wanted for us. They played well. There were some things we could have capitalized on that we didn’t. We still have got to get better. We’ve got to watch film and try to re-group.”

On the secondary’s performance:
“We played a good game today; we knew they were going to throw the ball up a lot, and we just had to make plays while the ball was in the air.”

Quarterback AJ McCarron

On the passing game:
“We had the injury bug early, but we had some young guys step up and made some plays. We are still not where we need to be, but everyone will keep working. We definitely have got to get better on this off week and keep working from there.”

On Amari Cooper’s performance:
“Coop did an excellent job for us running the right routes and being on time. We had good chemistry the whole night, so we definitely were good in that area. We had some other guys that stepped up and made plays for us, but like I said, we have got to keep getting better as a whole.”

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