"All the things we were doing when we won five games, we didn't do a very good job with today. That's just the difference between winning and losing, especially when we take on teams with a lot of talent like Mississippi State. We had too many penalties, dropped balls, and too many missed tackles. We couldn't seem to make the big play and that's what seems to happen to you when you don't win. We will try to bounce back. Our guys are pretty resilient and our coaching staff will be too. It is tough to be that close and not get a win."
On Vanderbilt's offensive struggles:
"I think it definitely had to do with Mississippi State. They did a good job with that week off and showed us something a little bit different. They also have good players doing it too. We probably weren't as sharp as we had been but you have to give them a lot of credit for making some big plays and they did a real good job in
coverage. It looked like when we had some momentum, we would get a penalty to stop us."
On the QB Nickson's struggles:
"I don't think it was Chris' fault at that point. He was doing what we asked him to do and he wasn't getting a lot of time to make the throw. That is going to be a decision we will be making here on whether who to start. We make those decisions with the best information that we have and we hope to stick with them. Every position is under review."
On the running game:
"They were pretty stout up front and we really couldn't seem to get anybody to bust through there to make any kind of yardage on a run. Chris got a couple on some quarter back keepers. We just couldn't seem to handle them up front."
On Mackenzi Adams' play:
"He came in with one good drive obviously and that is what we expect from Mackenzi. He is always ready to go. He is upbeat and trying to get everybody pumped up. We get in there and make a good drive and get in there and one would think we would be able to do it again, but we just couldn't do it."
On the Game:
"We played well at times. We did not play well enough to win the game. We did not underestimate Mississippi State. They just played hard."
On 5-1 record:
"It's a lost. We got to watch the film and just get ready for the University of Georgia."
Sylvester Croom, Mississippi State Head Coach
"First of all, I would like to give nothing but kudos to Vanderbilt for what they've done up to now and what I hope they do the rest of the season. To me they are everything that is good about college football: the way their coaches coach and their players play. And I wish them nothing but success the rest of the season. I think Bobby Johnson is an excellent coach, and he's got my vote for coach of
the year for sure.
"I am proud of our players because they won, but I am more proud for the men that they are. When we started this football season I knew we were in trouble because I knew we did not have leadership. I did not know how much character we had, and I was not sure if we were a team because I hadn't seen it. Last year was last year and until I see it I do not know what we've got.
In a lot of ways the way we have started has served us well. We have taken a lot of criticism for some things of our own doing and others they just happened. But, the thing I am most proud of them for is they did not turn on each other or the coaches. They withstood the criticism and continued to work each and every day. We had our best six practices of the entire year, dating back to last spring, over these past two weeks. Their attitude was magnificent, and they were very physical in practice, and they came out and showed that today.
"We are not the same team we were at the beginning of the season, and they are not the same people they were at the beginning of the season. As happy I am about the win, I am more proud that they have been through the fire and came out better men. We'll enjoy this for 24 hours and go back to work and get ready for the next one."
On Tyson Lee's mobility playing a factor:
"It was big because it helped us convert third downs. I think we were 9 of 18 on third downs and his (Tyson) ability to move created that. Really, that is where college football is headed because you either have to have a dominating offensive line in pass protection or your quarterback has to create something for you."
On creating the turnovers:
"That is something we discussed in the off week because we hadn't been getting turnovers. I went back and pulled some clips from the Central Florida game and we were not playing defense. Even at the Auburn game we weren't playing defense like we did most of last season and it was because we were not running towards the football. I showed them the clips and they saw the evidence and this is a visual generation. No matter how much you talk about, it they have to see it. Today they did exactly as they were coached to do."
On Karlin Brown:
"Karlin (Brown) has gotten better in his habits both on and off the field and is playing well. He is at a disadvantage because of his size, but there are some things that it allows him to do. Quite often I think he is not seen out there. Vandy's quarterback probably did not see him today when he threw that interception, so that is a plus for us. He makes plays and tackles well and that interception was a big play. Out defense got two big turnovers for us today."
On not turning the ball over:
"Our offense did a good job and it shows we are not the same football team as the beginning of the year because we were turning the ball over too much at the start of the season. We had to get back to being a `hit `em in the mouth kind of football team' and that's the way we're going to be the rest of the year."
On Brandon Henderson's touchdown catch:
"Well, I am glad he got off the line of scrimmage, I am glad he got open and I am glad he caught the football. He is very capable of being a good football player, and he finally shows up and makes a play. Brandon (Henderson) has not made a lot of plays in practice thus far but this past week and the week before he has practiced well, and it showed in the game. He did his job, and he did not talk a lot about it and has gotten better."
On putting the pressure on Vanderbilt's quarterbacks:
"It was great execution of our game plan. I believe Vanderbilt had a few delay of game penalties and it was because we did a great job
of disguising our packages and confusing their quarterbacks. They were checking and our guys stayed disciplined to the scheme, and
Vanderbilt never knew what we were doing. This is the first game I felt we played smart football all through the game in all three
Mississippi State Players
Derek Pegues, defensive back
On Vanderbilt's offense:
"They have a lot of talent. They have two very mobile quarterbacks with Mackenzi (Adams) and (Chris) Nixon, and I believe we just had a good game plan. We confused them a lot with some of our coverage, disguising them and everything, really
kept them off track. They made a couple of plays but we bounced back and started hitting them in the mouth and I think they bowed down a little in the end. Those two quarterbacks were great, they're mobile but I think our linebackers did a good job of tackling everybody just running to the ball. I think that's what helped us have success."
On playing defense like last year:
"That was really just everybody doing their job. We got away from that a little bit, people were trying to make too many things happen and getting away from their job, but everybody did their job on every play and was in the right spot and we were able to get a couple of turnovers."
Cortez McCraney, defensive end
On his fourth quarter sack:
"It felt great. Anything I can do to help my team win. I can't even tell you (how I got the sack) I was just so happy to get him down. I was trying my best to get to him and keep playing. My coaches always tell me about finishing, finishing the rush. I just kept going and tried to get to him, and I did."
Dominic Douglas, linebacker
On the team's performance:
"During the week, we've been talking about tempo, intensity and playing like we played last year. As you saw we went out there and played our type of defense, congratulating the guy that made the play. That's basically what you saw, the defense playing with a lot of intensity"
On playing smart in all three phases:
"We had less miscues today. I think we probably had 3 penalties, but other than that, wide receivers were catching passes and the defense was stopping the run. I think they had 21 carries for 40 or 50 yards. We played solid offense and defense all day."
J.C. Brignone, offensive lineman
On running the football:
"I love it, the fact of smash mouth football. You can't beat that. The offensive line gets tired of just kicking back. Every once in a while you like to get a few pancakes to make you look better."
On the running game:
"I think last week when we put it in really against LSU. We moved the ball well and I think LSU is probably the best defense we're going to face. They have a really awesome defense. Us moving the ball on them gave us the idea we were going to move the ball on a lot of people. So I think moving into this game, and having an off week we got to put back where we originally started at."
On Anthony Dixon:
"Anthony Dixon is a powerhouse. It's awesome having a running back like that behind you. Even if you feel something behind you at least you know you're going to fall forward with that running back. Being able to open holes and have him run three, four yards past you make you feel better even if going against a hard defense like LSU or Vanderbilt."