OPENING COMMENTS. "It was an exciting day I was so proud of these young people what a job they did. We came here on a business trip, that's what we designated it as. They worked hard and did everything they were supposed to do. It was a quick turnaround. We had a pregame meal at 7 in the morning and got on the bus. The bus broke down, and we had to pile everyone on the other buses. They could have found every excuse to not fight hard, to throw their hands in the air, but they didn't. Every phase of the game played great, from defense to offense. We didn't have a whole lot of yards, but we rushed for about 240 or so. It was outstanding. We made 1st downs when we had to. I couldn't be more proud of them. Special teams, it was a complete effort. The punt team did a great job keeping them backed up. Richard did a good job. I am very proud. We are still nicked up a little bit, we lost some people today. Hopefully we get them back."
On first win "It was a very emotional time. I think it's the first time my wife or daughter have been to an away game. They had a great time and got to witness this. But it's not about me; it's about the young people on this team. I'm just so thrilled that they got the taste of victory. It's been a long time for us, and we know that and we are working hard on it. It's a very special group that keeps fighting, and they wanted me to have the game ball. I told them it's not about me it's about us. "Like I said we know we should have won one other and possibly had a chance to win another. We know that, and everyone has pointed it out to us before, so I always appreciate the help from the outside too. But these guys just kept working. We are a family, and these guys just keep paying attention to what's going on inside. That's the most important thing."
On turnovers "Our defense works hard every day to create turnovers, so we try to create them in practice from fumbles to interceptions to however we can get the ball. It's funny we talked about it in the huddle on the sideline. Not only did we do that, we did it and scored. Foster picks it off and takes it back and Casey Hayward almost had one earlier. We talked about it all week and we'd like to get one and he almost did.
Masoli hurt you some on his feet but not so much with his arm "The defense did a great job. He is an exceptional player, my hats off to him. We felt like if we could keep him in the pocket it would be hard for him to see over those big giants. I'm talking about those big guys in there; that was kind of our plan. He got out some you know in that short yardage; it was a mental mistake on our part. We should have had a guy standing right there and he hurt us big time but he is an exceptional player who can throw the ball on the move and run. I'm very impressed by him."
Picked up the pace a bit in the second half "We thought we would be in pretty good shape. We had a real long fall camp, so we were not intimidated by the heat. Our first two games it was night, and it was cool. If you don't make first downs it backfires. We understand that, we practice that, we are prepared for that, and fortunately today we made some first downs."
On the game "I felt really good about it and I felt like in all phases of the game the team played really well. Personally, I think I did my job very well."
On his interception "I started to pull especially when I saw number 2 going vertical, I saw him starting to roll out and kind of looking at that stop. I didn't really think he would throw it but I broke on it anyway, which I might get in trouble for later. But, I broke on it and got there just in time and had a clear run to the end zone."
Building on the win "Getting the SEC win is definitely going to raise our confidence but we have to accept our past and this is the game right now."
Defense performance today "We did great defensively today. That fourth and one stop was a big stop and we just came out and did what we were trained to do so we were happy."
Team morale "Well, we have a bye week coming up but we are going to be enthusiastic about meeting UCONN in two weeks. We are definitely going to be pumped up and ready to go."
Pressure on the quarterback "We work on passing the rusher at practice every day. Sometimes you get back there and sometimes it is a little harder when you are double teamed. I got through there one time and it was nice to finally get that first sack."
Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt
Opening comments: "It was a very disappointing loss. I feel like we wasted away so many opportunities in this game and we just can't do that. With the dropped passes we allowed a few scores; at least a field goal. When you hustle to get tied up and then fumble the ball, it really hurts. You can't play like that in the SEC; you can't do it. We got to get better in short yardage. I know we are young inside but we have always been able to get one or two yards. We have got to get better at that. I feel like we left a lot of points on the field today."
On Vanderbilt's 80 yard TD: "I don't think one of our linemen squeezed down. We didn't squeeze down a gap there. There should have been somebody there."
On improving: "We just got to keep working, going one step at a time. This is new for them, it is a different speed. They are up against people who have been around and playing for a while. It's just a different game for them. But there again, if you make some of them scores then it makes the running game easier for them. Catch a ball here and there and put points on the board allows you to gain momentum and you can mix things up."
On dropped passes: "Main thing is it was a drop and it really hurts. That equals to six points right there. You have got to have those kind of plays. There's no telling where we would be with our defense playing like they were early on if we had been up seven points. Our defense had a lot of momentum going in the first half. They really came out ready to go. You have got to take advantage of these opportunities."
On Jeremiah Masoli's running game: "We are going to put the ball in his hands because of our younger offensive line. We are hoping to get up 14 points and let Enrique Davis and Bolden come down hill. That is what they do; run the football. We couldn't get to that point; we were always climbing that uphill battle. We were definitely trying to put it in Jeremiah's hands so he could make some plays on his quarterback run. With most people, it probably would have ended in a sack. But, we just got to make plays. You have got to make plays when you are in the SEC."
On Korvic Neat: "Usually that is Jeff Scott's spot, but he didn't practice all week because he was hurt. So, we went with Korvic. He has got to protect the ball better. He has done a good job up to this point, but you just can't turn it over."
Ole Miss Players Postgame Quotes
Senior QB Jeremiah Masoli
About a loss to begin SEC play "Yes this was definitely tough. Just coming out with a loss, you never want to start like that."
Talk about your touchdown run to tie it at 14 "We really needed a score right there, and I think we had a good play call at the time. You just have to make a play sometimes and that's what happened."
On the two interceptions "I should never make those passes. We just have to be smarter with the ball. We lost the turnover battle which turned into a loss."
Being a senior what can you tell our young players, the young offensive line in particular and some of the young receivers "We just have to stay together, keep working, stay focused on our goals and just get ready to work tomorrow and focus on our next game."
Freshman WR Korvic Neat
On the play of the offense "I think we came out pretty slow, but we picked it up in the third quarter. We just have to finish."
On preparing for Fresno State "Yes we need to hit the film room hard, practice hard and stay focused, just take it one game at a time."
Senior George Helow
On the loss "We've seen hard times before. At this point, seniors have to come together, we need to step up on our team, bounce back, and not let go of our goal. We've come too far in the past few years to just start losing ball games like this when we know we're better than the other team."
On younger players on special teams "We've had a lot of guys do a good job on the kickoff team. Andrew Ritter kicked four touchbacks, guys like Lionel Breaux, he plays a lot of plays on offense and covers punts and does a heck of a job. Jesse Grandy's been doing a good job for us on punt return, and we've got to block a punt. We've been trying to for a long time, and we're trying to get Jesse (Grandy) some returns on the ball. We're just going to keep coming out and playing our guts out and see what happens."