Postgame Quotes vs. Arkansas

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

Oct. 28, 2017
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium


Opening Statement:
"This is tough on our kids. They continue to keep bouncing back and fighting back and we didn't get it done."

On coming out fast from the start:
"They did. This is a team that cares about each other and they battled. But we had three turnovers and you can't turn the ball over and expect to win SEC football games."

On Jordan Ta'amu:
"I am proud of Jordan. He came in there as his first start in the SEC and he did a lot of good things. I think a lot of people are going to point to mistakes, but those are to be expected. There is enough blame to go around, they don't need to just put it on him."

On Jordan Wilkins:
"He played hurt and I didn't know if he would play today. That just speaks to this team, everybody says they don't have anything to play for, but they are out there playing hurt and for each other. They want so badly to get a win for their guys."

On how to look forward to Kentucky:
"You have to pick yourself up off the mat and go back to work. There is no easy answer on this one, you just have to go back to work."


On how seeing action last weekend helped from a confidence standpoint:
"Going in there knowing Shea was hurt, I knew the team needed me and needed a leader out there. I just buckled up and felt confident as soon as I stepped on the field. I knew my O-line and my receivers had my back. Going into the LSU game was a big confident booster for me and tried to carry that onto Arkansas."

On his journey to get to Ole Miss:
"I started in a small Division 2 high school, out of there I got Division 2 offers and junior college offers. I chose to go with a junior college route because I knew I had a Division 1 level player in me. I took that junior college route to New Mexico Military Institute and from there I focused on me and got my yards and got recruited. Ole Miss was one of my top offers. I loved it here as soon as I came on my visit. I loved the offense and my teammates."

On how he felt at the beginning of the game:
"I felt confident and we played fast. That's what coach wanted us to do, to come out of the first quarter and go as fast as possible and score as many points as possible and carry that on. We just needed to finish."

On the difference in the second half:
"Arkansas gave more pressure, but we should have kept driving down the field. I believe I could have made smarter decisions. I am still learning, this is my first SEC game, so I need to take this one, watch film and learn from my mistakes and take what I have learned to Kentucky next weekend."

On moving forward to Kentucky:
"We need to come in tomorrow and watch film and learn from our mistakes, especially me. Everyone is in the locker room saying `Let's move on.'"


Opening Statement:
"I am so proud of our guys. It was a tough start early, obviously. We did a lot of things that we really stressed on Sunday to our staff that we wanted to get back to the five core things of what we believe in. The biggest one was starting fast and finishing strong. Obviously we didn't start as fast as we wanted to, but we finished strong. It just takes one play. I have been coaching defense and been on that side of the ball for so long, that Santos (Ramirez) strip-fumble changed the whole momentum, not just for the defense, but for our whole team. His preparation is off the charts. Connor Limpert knew they were going to call a timeout and he told the whole staff where he wanted to kick it and he did that, so we presented the game ball to him and Dan Enos (Offensive Coordinator), because as some of you all know he will leave here to put his father to rest. Those two got the game balls and they were pretty excited. I give a lot of credit to Ole Miss, I know they are going through a struggle year as well. I think a lot of the people they have and these games are something special, there are a lot of memories over here and a lot of good things. That is four in a row on these guys and an SEC West opponent; it just shows our guys can play some good football when they want to. I am excited about where we are going and hopefully continue forward."

On what this game means for the program:
"It is huge to get an SEC win and back on track. I told the guys all week, if we can learn how to play in the second half we will be right on track. Of our five losses, if you play better in the second half, everyone of them were right there."

On their plan against Jordan Ta'amu:
"Going into the game, we saw on film that he was a good runner. Obviously they ran a quarterback draw, so it was an in-game adjustment. I saw Paul Rhoads (Defensive Coordinator) did some really good things at half; the kids believed in it and did some good things after half. In all the film I watched I know he's a good athlete and they will be able to do some good things with him."

On the feelings from the sideline at 31-7:
"We just kept playing that next play. I think we had that kickoff return and I tell you what, De'Vion Warren, I get excited. He is such a contagious player. Everyone wants to block for him. That was what our next focus was, we had that unit turned before and that's what happened after that strip."


On the Ole Miss fumble:
"Coach Rhodes just made a great play call, I just happened to be right there. I saw the quarterback try to pull it and tried to step back. Then I saw the football sitting right in front of me. I thought that there is no one in front of me, so I can go score. De'Jon Harris was in position and it made the quarterback want to pull the ball too, so that's an all-around great defensive call."


On the offense moving forward despite the injuries:
"It's huge, with last week, losing Frank (Ragnow). I think a lot of the guys wanted to go out and play good for him. A lot of the guys also felt the center piece was missing without Frank. The guys really started to buy in, not that they didn't know what they were doing before but it gave an extra sense of urgency to get to your blocks and move down the line."


On the last kick:
"I missed one earlier in the game, it tailed a little to the right, but my ball tends to do that. That's why the offense ran the ball to get the ball to the left hash, which is more comfortable for me. It was a little routine, you get used to it. "

On the friendly trash talking:
"Two of my best friends actually play for Ole Miss, Greg Little and Jaylon Jones. So kicking off to Jaylon, there will always be a little trash talking."






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