Quotes Following Football's 27-13 Loss To Ole Miss



Sept. 11, 2010

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Ole Miss 27, Tulane 13
Tulane Game 2
Louisiana Superdome
New Orleans, La.



Opening Statement
"First of all, let me say, that I'm disappointed that we lost the football game. The team is disappointed as well but we're extremely proud of the effort that we made. I'm proud of my guys. They battled 60 minutes and did a heck of a job. It was a heck of a football game. You take away the touchdown pass just before half, you take away the long pass where the guy made a double move, and made a big play and got a field goal out of it - that's ten points. And then you take away our fumble inside the five and it's an interesting football game. I was just disappointed that those few plays happened, but that's football. You take a handful of plays every game and it's the difference in winning and losing.

"I thought we did a lot of nice things. Ryan made some nice plays, completed eleven passes in a row, I though D.J. Banks made some big time catches. I thought our defense played extremely hard. I thought Mackey made some nice plays. The thing I was proud of is that we stood toe-to-toe with them, we didn't give in to them and they're a big, strong football team. They are the South East Conference and they're going to win a lot of football games. But we're going to win some games down the road too."

On Eric Jones' Injury
"He re-sprained his ankle from last week so (L.J.) Abrams had to go in and finish out the game. And again, you know the protection. I know you're going to blame the line for the protection but the last couple of sacks were on Ryan Griffin. He again did not turn to the protection, He made a middle call, had to turn to the left and we didn't have enough guys to block that guy. He's got to continue to learn to protect himself, that's why we make the quarterback make those calls. He's got to learn to protect himself by changing the protection."

On the Defensive Call On A Long Pass
"It was actually quarters: four across and our safety bit up on the run fake and left the corner one-on-one and he beat him inside leverage and just made a big play."

On the Washington Twins
"We were trying to rotate guys. (Ryan) Travis was playing corner, (Alex) Lauricella was playing corner. We trying to rotate guys and keep them relatively fresh. He thought he had more inside help, but with the run fake, obviously our safety didn't read his key well enough, didn't react well enough, and bit on the run fake and he just didn't have any help deep."

On The Green Wave's Offensive Production In The Third Quarter
"We came out at half and I talked to (offensive coordinator) Dan (Dodd) at half, and we knew we needed to push the ball down the field and throw the ball vertical more, and we did. When Ryan (Griffin) had time I thought he threw the ball extremely well. We made some big catches, we made some big plays. It's unfortunate that we pitched the option and it was dropped."

On the Team's Attitude After the Loss
"It stabs you a little bit in the heart. It hurt a little bit, but the kids didn't get down. The talk on the sideline was phenomenal. The talk in the locker room prior to us coaches getting in there was phenomenal. These kids, their attitude is completely different then every other year since I've been here. And that hurt, that was a big blow, but they didn't give into it."

On The Team's Improvement This Week
"I thought we made big strides. We ran the ball better this week. I thought we threw the ball vertically better this week. We didn't give up as many long passes this week, but we've got to continue to work on protection. Let's give Masoli credit, too. The guy is a mobile quarterback. He throws the ball well. He's a tough little guy. He's a tough competitor. You can see why he was up for the Heisman and why Oregon won as many games as they did."

On The Tulane Passing Game
"I think part of that is technique. I talk to (offensive coordinator) Dan (Dodd) about this all the time, and I talk to the quarterback about this all the time. When you get man coverage you can't shuffle up in the pocket. You have got to throw the ball. If he plants and he throws the curl, we've maybe completed. Instead he shuffles forward and it's knocked down. He shuffles forward and he gets sacked. He's got to realize that pressure is coming, he's got man blitz, he's got man coverage. Those guys are going to break on the ball fast. We got to pull the trigger and get rid of the ball quicker. You can't be shuffling and moving your feet when guys are dogging you."

On Stepping Things Up In The Third Quarter
"What happened is offensively we took the ball, we had some long drives and we kept the ball away from them. We kind of got their second wind, so to speak. I think it's attitude. Our attitude is better than it's ever been. We are going to win some football games. We've gotten better, but now we've got to win those football games."

On Ole Miss Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli
"No. 12, (Nathan) Stanley went in, but he didn't affect us as much as Masoli did. Masoli was big. He made those big pass plays, throwing on the run, and hitting guys on the money. The last one was a double move play, it was actually double coverage, and he made a double move and beat both guys."

On Griffin's Inexperience
"When you're dealing with young people that haven't been there enough, that's what happens. He's got to learn from his mistakes and every game he makes some mistakes that he hadn't made the previous game. He's got to continue to learn from the mistakes that he made and get better."

On Punting's Effect on Field Position
"First of all, their punter was second in the conference last year. He averaged 44 yards. I saw him boom one just before we all got off the field at the beginning of the game. They were down by the goal line on our side of the field: he kicked it to the 40-yard line. He's got a great leg, he's a great punter, so we knew he was going to punt the ball. Our guy has a tendency not to kick too many spirals and he's got to learn to kick spirals so he can turn it over and hit it better."

On Kick-Off
"I was disappointed tonight and (special teams coordinator) Doug (Lichtenberger) and I talked during the week. We knew number 10 and 3 also are really good returners. We said `Let's kick it to them the first time, we'll see what happens', and we saw what happens. And I said from then on let's sky kick it, and we did, and they returned it past the 40. You might as well kick it out of bounds, and then we squibbed it the last time and they got it around the 30. We should have squibbed more. We got knocked out of our lanes, and that was the biggest part. The kicks weren't great but we shouldn't have had those big of returns. If we had stayed in our lanes, and not gotten knocked out, we could have made some plays."

On Playing An SEC Team
"It's a completely different feeling. Last night, I went over the depth chart. I said okay, their left tackle: he's 6-6, 315 pounds. Pete (Hendrickson), how big are you? He's 6-8, 315 pounds. Their right guard is 6-6, 315 pounds. (Eric) Jones, how big are you? 6-6, 315 pounds. I went right down the list. I had to stutter a little bit when I got to (Andrew) Nierman, but the point is, size wise, we're the same. It's the same thing on the defensive line. So I said `Hey, you're as big as these guys, you're a lot stronger than you've ever been, you're a lot more athletic than you've ever been. Just because these guys are from the SEC doesn't make them Superman. And so I'm trying to make them develop an attitude that says `Hey. We'll play with anybody.' And I thought we played really well tonight.'"

On Not Going for It On Fourth Down And Opting For A Field Goal
"We moved the ball so well, and we had to get points out of that. And it crossed my mind, and I hit myself in the head real fast. Every game is different, every year is different, but I felt that it's 14 nothing, we need to get down and we needed to get some points on the board. And 14-3 is better than if we didn't score. And then you really get down. So that was important."

On Not Scoring In The Red Zone
"I was displeased. When you don't get touchdowns, it's disappointing. That's something we need to go back and look at. But the fumble, was a big blow to us, but we've got to better in the red zone."

On the Running Back Rotation
"I felt it's kind of a tailback by committee. I think all three of them ran pretty well, they all blocked well, they all catch the ball well, they all deserve to play. Like I said last week, Payten (Jason) had a groin pull, so we held him that game, but we let them all three go this week and I think they ran the ball well."


On Second Half Adjustments
"The halftime adjustments weren't very many. We had 23 snaps in the first half and we came in with no (offensive) rhythm. There was nothing really at halftime to talk about because we hadn't had very much offense. We had one significant drive, but other than that we had pretty much been stymied. The thing that really makes me so excited right now is the way our guys played in the second half. I was pleased with the way they played. They played hard and they kept playing. It was a different feel and I think that it is kind of a dawning of a new era for us."

On The Fumble Inside The Ole Miss Five-Yard Line
"It was a huge play. If we go in (to score) it makes it a one score game. It was significant, because we turned around and got the ball right back and had a chance to put together another drive. We had put the option play in for (Ole Miss). It couldn't have been a prettier picture for us. We had it exactly the way we wanted it and, I think, when we watch the film we will see that we probably would have scored on the play."

On The Offensive Line's Improvement From Last Week
"I can tell you without hesitation that the four kids that were pass rushing tonight were better than the four guys who were pass rushing last week. Mark Hutson did a great job this week and it was obviously a point of emphasis for us (in practice). We worked on our tight ends, chipping off the defensive end, to try and give our right tackles some help. I think we had a more solid scheme and we max protected a little bit more than we did last week. All of the big plays we had in the second half were on the max protect concept. Those guys did a great job and did a really good job of competing tonight."


On The Team's Improvement This Week
"We readjusted to things we had to fix from last week. We mass protected like Coach (Dan) Dodd said. That was one of the key things that happened last week was there were too many guys for us to protect last week, and that's why we weren't able to get those balls off. So this week we put in some mass protects which enabled us to throw the ball deep. I just wish we could've hooked up on more of them."

On What Was Learned from Last Week
"Last week when Ole Miss, inside two minutes, ran one of their clutch packages, they ran a 50 and so when I came out this week, I was looking for it, and they took their weak side back and then they flexed him out. I didn't do a good job of protecting myself. I definitely learned some things. They switched it up on me. I didn't think they would come on fourth and twenty. So that was really my fault. I've just got to be ready for anything, especially when you're playing a team like Ole Miss."

On Turnovers In The Red Zone
"Last week that fumble was my fault. I stepped the line one way and I should've known we weren't covered right there. I take the blame completely for those three plays."

On The Difference Between The First Half And The Third Quarter
"A lot more plays. We only ran about twenty-three plays in the first half. We were getting stopped. We were able to get some first downs and get some momentum. We weren't going to quit- that was the big thing. I think we showed that today. We weren't going to give up. We were going to press them as long as we could, and really give them a fight. We came out in the third quarter and gave them all we had."

On Whether Or Not Nerves Affected The Team's Drives
"We ran pressure, kind of like a hurry up. I think that was really important. My first drive that we scored on in the first half, we had pressure. We ran that in the third quarter and I think that was a factor because we kind of got them tired. We were able to run no-huddle. I was able to see their defense before. They moved their setup, which really helped me with having some time on the clock to see and make protections.

On Whether Or Not He Operates Better Out Of The No-Huddle
"Like I said, it's easier because I have more time. We come out of the huddle and we break with about 15 seconds and we have motion or something like that, I can watch people. We get up there and I can see if it's two safety. It's easier to pick that up and read what the linebackers and the front is doing."

SENIOR CENTER Andrew Nierman

On The Difference In Protection This Week
"After last week's game we were challenged to protect our own and Ryan (Griffin) relied on us to protect him. We took it upon ourselves to be more physical on passing downs. When we know it's a pass and he needs time, we needed to make sure that he had time to throw the ball and make his reads. Especially when going against a d-line like Ole Miss', we have to bring our `A' game on every play and I thought we did that for the most part. Unfortunately we lost."


On The Difference Between The Ole Miss Offense From The First Half To The Third Quarter
"When we came out in the first half, we knew what to expect but we didn't know their game plan. When they came out in the second half we knew what they could do. We knew physically. Watching on film, you never knew what a team can do with until you match up against them. When we came out in the second half, we knew who were their faster players. We knew when Masoli was in the game and when other quarterbacks were in the game what the tendencies were. We locked in on that and just went out there and played ball."


On The Improvements Of The Defense Over The Past Year
"That's something that we talked about as a defense and as a team. Playing four quarters and not giving up no matter who we are playing against. Last week, Ole Miss was up by 21 points against Jacksonville State. We never got down on ourselves. We didn't give in. That's why some of the scores were the way they were last year. We concentrate on playing for each other out there"


On The Offense's Second-Half Production
"They were showing a lot of different looks and throughout the first half we were getting used to how they were running their defense. In the second half we were able to put some of those things to work."

On The Improvement Of The Passing Game
"We try to improve week to week and we are getting more comfortable with Ryan and he is starting to get more comfortable with us. I think that the extra work we put in this week on the practice field and some extra film really helped us out."


On The Difference From The First Half To The Second Half
"I feel like we just didn't have a rhythm going in the first half. Sometimes in football it just doesn't work out for you we just needed to go in and adjust some things and it got better in the second half.



Opening Statement
"Wins are precious. If you check the scores in today's world, wins are precious. Especially on the road. It's a beautiful place to come down to and play. I appreciate our fans coming. I was really excited about our effort, especially in the first half. We talked really hard about finishing. I thought we finished very hard in the fourth quarter. I thought our defense got some pressure on the quarterback and made some big time stops through-out the game. It really helped us, especially when they were in the red zone. We made some big stops. We got some pressure on the quarterback in key times. That was really good. I just think this is one to build on right here. This is one to build on. You can teach a lot better lessons when you win; there is no question in my mind. I thought we came out very strong. There is a lull in the third quarter that I want to get corrected. Whatever is happening. Whatever is going on in the third quarter, I don't like. I want to get that corrected. Overall, there is nothing like winning. I think we can really build on this one."

On the performance Of Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli
"No. 1, excellent leadership. Excellent leadership. I thought he was in to the game. When Nathan (Stanley) didn't practice this week, on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I felt like he really tried to step up mentally in the game and it showed tonight. I thought he did a good job with the huddle, getting us out of a couple of wrong plays, getting us in the right situation. I was really proud of that. We needed all of those receivers for all of those yards. We needed them. Markeith (Summers) had a really good game for us. I know we can improve. We can be better. We can be better than what we are showing. There is a lull, even though we didn't get the ball much in the third quarter. When you do have one or two chances, you have to take advantage of it. You've got to keep the drives going. You can't stop yourself. The holding calls really hurt us. It really knocked us out of rhythm."

On Replacing Masolie For A Series In The Third Quarter And If It Was Due To Injury
"No, I just wanted to put Nathan (Stanley) in there, in the heat of things. I thought there were a couple of things. I thought we could get a drive that he could execute. The first time we threw the sling, that was going to be an 18 yard gain but we dropped the ball. So I thought we could come back. They were crowding the line of scrimmage on that play. I just wanted to get him in there. You've got to have two. You have to have two. I just wanted to make sure that he knows that we still believe in him. He has got to be ready to go."

On The Performance Of Wide Receiver Markeith Summers
"Run by them. Use your speed. Use your height. Make the big catch. That was a huge catch on the sprint out in the fourth quarter. Change ends of the field that was really a game winner. Enrique (Davis) really ran the ball extremely hard there at the end. Very physical. I thought Josh Tatum, all of those guys, Michael Brown, two brand new guys in the mix, late notice. We had to give them a crash course. I thought he did a good job until he got hurt."

On The Third Quarter Lull Offensively
"I'm not as concerned now that we won. I really think now we are going to be able to jumpstart ourselves. We can learn and we are going to gain confidence. It's much easier to do that. Ill promise you, after 28 years of coaching, it is much easier to teach lessons when you win. We are going to get that corrected. We've got to get the ball more in the third quarter too."

On The Injury Of Offensive Lineman Josh Tatum
"Ankle. The x-ray, I think was negative. They are doing another one here. It rolled up pretty good."

On The Job Tatum Did Tonight
"I thought for his first time, after not getting many reps this week, I was really proud of him. He really worked hard and competed. He did a good job."

On The Performance Of Defensive End Kentrell Lockett
"That's another guy. Kentrell and Fon (Ingram) bring, you can tell, to our defense, experience and pressure. Experience and pressure. Kentrell, it was just so good to have him back on the field."

On The Performance Of The Secondary
"They kept everything in front. We had people out of position a couple of times. They hit some sideline throws on us. I would say, overall, I was really proud. I thought, Johnny Brown with the collision with the receivers there at the end of each play where the receiver couldn't catch the ball. Fighting and competing each play was very good. I was proud, overall, of how they played."


On Getting A Win On The Road
"It was something that we needed to do real badly. Last week, it was kind of a disappointment. We needed to come and make a statement and we wanted this game to be that statement game for us. We needed to come out on top."

On If This Was A `Statement' Game
"It wasn't a big enough statement. We didn't do everything we wanted to on offense. Defensive actually did a pretty good job. They held them off towards the end. We didn't do what we wanted to on offense."

On The Third Quarter Lull Offensively
"It's kind of frustrating but is something that you just have to press on and get through it. It happens to everybody. It's just something we have to work on. It's nothing you can really point to. It's just, sometimes, how the game goes."

On The Performance Of The Offensive Line
"Josh Tatum did a good job. It was his first start tonight. It sucks that he got hurt toward the end of the game. Mike Brown came in and did a pretty good job. He got his nose in there. If the guys just keep working, we will be fine."

On The Performance Of Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli
"Jeremiah and all of the receivers have been working on it since he has gotten there. He knows his receivers now. He has gotten accustomed to them. He knows where they are going to be and where they should be. He did a really good job tonight."