Nov. 24, 2012
OLE MISS VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE
November 24, 2012
Ole Miss Head Coach Hugh Freeze
“I cannot be more proud of this group of young men and coaches. I’m first and foremost happy and
thrilled for them, and then secondly for our fans, administration and the people of the Rebel Nation who
had to go through losing the momentum in this series. I understand that was difficult. I’ve lived it, I’ve
been through it, and I know how important it is to this state and to our University, and our kids were
very aware of that tonight. I think our coaches did a great job of going through the week and making
sure that whether a kid was from Tennessee or Alabama or Florida or Illinois or California that they
better understand that the University of Mississippi has signed them on and is paying for their
scholarship here and that this game is important. Our kids proved that tonight. Regardless of how you
motivate your team, every coach has to decide what is best for him and his program. We went about it a
little different than some. We didn’t play out of hatred for anyone. It was more about playing out of love
for one another and this University, and our kids proved that they thought about one another and that
they care for one another tonight. “
On senior Gilbert Pena’s performance...
“Gilbert has had a phenomenal year. People don’t realize how good he is. He’s going to get a shot in the NFL somewhere as a nose guard. Last night at the hotel we gave our seniors the opportunity to stand up and share a little bit about what today meant to them, and his was one of the more powerful ones. Even though he isn’t from around here, he talked about never feeling the essence of family and love like he has this year. He promised he would lay it on the line today, and he did.”
On impact on seniors...
“It’s so important. I hate to keep saying it, but those seniors have had to go through two or three years
of having to hear what they’ve had to hear everywhere they go, and you know how social media is and
even how our own people talk about how bad it is. Well, I would like to take this opportunity to
challenge us. Let’s stick together through the thick and thin. We’re going to have some fun times
together. Those kids have had some difficult times, and now they can hear the good side of it, so I’m
thrilled. To send them out to a bowl game somewhere will be really nice.”
Ole Miss Players
Linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche
On the win...
“It’s hard to explain, it was a great game. We played our hearts out and we have been upset so many
times this year. Those losses were heartbreaking and I feel honored to get this one. It’s just a great
Safety Cody Prewitt
On bowl eligibility...
“It’s a great feeling to finally get number six and we are looking forward to continuing our season.”
Wide receiver Donte Moncrief
On touchdown in third quarter...
“Bo put it in the right spot, and I knew I had to make a play, and I got the catch.”
On bowl game...
“Last year hurt, so we got the bowl game this year and I’m happy.”
Quarterback Bo Wallace
“I think coming into the game I let my emotions play into the game more than they should have. But in
the second half I settled down and eliminated turnovers, and it worked.”
On Mississippi State...
“We were going against one of the best secondaries in the country, but I think we have some of the best receivers and playmakers.”
On past week...
“I feel like there were some things I could have done better, but I just have to improve and continue to
get better and bring this team to another level.”
Mississippi State Head Coach Dan Mullen
“Give them credit, their kids played hard, made a lot of plays when they needed to make big plays. We
had a lot of critical errors, especially in the red zone, three opportunities in the reverse first half made it
to three points. Those are things that you obviously cannot make those mistakes on the road in the SEC by coming away with points.”
On turnovers and missed points:
“Looking at the first half, it was sloppy, they made some mistakes and we made a lot of mistakes. When you’re on the road in this league and you get opportunities and don’t capitalize on them, you’re not going to be successful.
On attacking Ole Miss’ run game...
“We Lost two linemen in the first quarter, with (Charles) Siddoway out for a couple series and Tobias
(Smith) in warm-ups just didn’t feel like he could go; don’t know if it was weather or what it was. I think
that hurt early on and I just don’t think we played very well on the offensive side at all.”
On if over-confidence was a factor...
"No, our kids prepared to go play, but we didn’t execute very well, we didn’t play very well. We had a
good week of practice, but you never know exactly how it’s going to play out until you to gameday and
start doing it on the field."
On Ole Miss’ energy and their stakes for the game...
“I can’t imagine it playing to any more stakes than for us. This is such a big game for us, and we take this game extremely serious. I would be shocked if they didn’t have that much energy for this game.”
On quarterback Tyler Russell...
“He was holding the ball a little too long and he missed a couple of throws, had a couple of high throws,
especially in the first half. He never got himself in rhythm."
Mississippi State Players
Wide receiver Chad Bumphis
On the first half...
“It’s frustrating. You get in the red zone, you have to score, and we didn’t do that. It affects the
outcome of the game if you don’t score when you get the opportunity.”
On being tied 17-17...
“You’ve got to give them credit, they played a good game. They executed better than we did, and they
just made plays.”
On each team's emotions and energy...
“It came down to execution. Everybody’s going to be excited about a rivalry game.”
On preparing for a bowl game after this loss...
“It’s going to be tough. We’re going to have to put it in the back of our minds and worry about playing a