Hugh Freeze Weekly Press Conference
Sept. 7, 2016
Ole Miss Football Head Coach Hugh Freeze met with the media on Wednesday to discuss Monday night's game against No. 4 Florida State while looking ahead to Saturday's home opener versus Wofford (3 p.m. CT, SEC Network).
On how he coaches the team past the FSU game...
Oh gosh, that's just life and football. Whether you play well and lose or you play bad and lose, how you handle that and how you bounce back is just part of it. You're not going to win them all, especially if you are playing a schedule like we are playing. The positive is you go into basically a home game with one of the top teams in the nation, it is easy to see that we could have won the game. We obviously did not, give credit to them for taking the momentum back and winning it. There is a reasonable belief that we competed and we could have won. There were a lot of young kids on the field. I think you build on the positives, but also address the reasons we couldn't get it done. If we are going to be any good, you bounce back from those and traditionally we have done that very well here. I think it is because of the continuity on our staff and the chemistry we have. I expect our kids to respond. It is a long season and one game doesn't make it or break it.
I think we have the typical soreness and a few things. We will hold Fadol (Brown) out today; he is sore. Tony Conner had to get his knee drained, but nothing else should keep anyone out. We expect them both tomorrow also. Very disappointing to lose Ken (Webster) though, and (Eric) Swinney. One carry and that happens and of course Ken (Webster) is a big loss, he was our best cover guy.
The official diagnosis for Ken Webster and Eric Swinney...
(Eric) Swinney has a torn ACL and (Ken) Webster tore everything, every ligament in his knee.
On what they need to correct from the previous game...
Discipline on defense and playing poor technique. You know, we lost Ken (Webster), he is our boundry guy that you expect to play 95 percent of the snaps, and then you put somebody over there that maybe is not as comfortable, and his technique was really bad a times, and that cost us some. If you are carrying a guy, your eyes shouldn't be in he backfield and just do your job on defense. It was the crucial third-and-longs that really killed us and that drive at half. I think I am as hard on critiquing us as coaches than anybody. When you look and you say 'man that is a perfect call,' then we are either not communicating it well enough, or teaching the techniques well enough or their discipline is not enough to do their job. We've got to work through that. I think that's why most people would rather play a game in week one that you can make those mistakes and still win. You can't do that against one of the top teams in the nation.
On moving someone to the corner position...
The first name that would come over would be Derrick Jones. I think we are deep at receiver and we haven't made that decision yet though, but that would be the first name that pops into my mind.
On the limited amount of running backs...
We have Jarrion Street that can move back over there too or Kailo Moore, but we are so thin at corner that so probably Jarrion would be the next guy, if we had to do that. D.K. Buford is working hard to get a shot and hopefully Akeem (Judd) and Eugene (Brazley) and Blue (D'Vaughn Pennamon), Blue's redshirt is probably not going to happen. He is going to get ready to go and we will see some action this Saturday.
On the return game changing being so thin at corner...
Yeah, we have definitely thought about that. He (Carlos Davis) will probably remain at kickoff. Van (Jefferson) can do punts, you've seen everybody using the spread punt and not returning them anyway. You just can't with the new spread punt. If the hang time is any good at all, it is hard to return so we have to consider that for sure.
Issues for the offense during the second half...
We gave up on the run a little bit. In the first half, we gave the appearance of being balanced. In the second half, we probably should have called a few more. The two turnovers really hurt. They go touchdown, open the second half with a field goal, turnover, touchdown field goal or touchdown, I can't remember exactly, but all of a sudden the whole momentum had just totally gotten away from us. You can't turn it over four times against a top team in the nation. I don't want to judge us in one game on the rushing attack, when we got away from it so much. We lost some possessions due to turnovers.
On his main priority moving forward...
Just correcting the mistakes, you know and handling the September schedule, the mental part of it and the physical rest. This is a tough turnaround. We got back at 4 a.m. and have got to play the triple option this Saturday, which wasn't real smart on our scheduling. It is totally different, usually you would like to have two weeks to get ready for it and we basically have two days. We just have to correct the mistakes and hopefully stay healthy for sure.
On the preparation for Wofford before Florida State...
Well we spent three or four days in camp with a 30-minute period introducing what our defense is going to face. Whether or not they can recall that today, who knows, but we did think we had do that.
On Greg (Little) at left tackle...
Greg (Little) did good. Rod (Taylor) did pretty good. He got beat on one sack underneath, but again those guys have a lot of seniors over there that are expected to be in the playoffs. They are going to win their share, but early in the game, again, when we had the appearance of being balanced, I didn't see any issues. But you have guys like they have and they start moving their guys inside because of what we discussed. It thought the o-line actually played really well.
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