"Obviously you are never happy with a loss but we played a very good football team in LSU. I'm very proud of our defense. They fought hard and kept us in the game. We were in great shape after three quarters when it was 10-3. It was actually 10-0 at half time and we made some adjustments and drove down. Warren (Norman) made a great run to get us into scoring position but we shot ourselves in the foot, made a couple of mental mistakes, and ended up having to settle for a field goal. Later, they kicked a field goal and we fumbled in the ensuing kick (return) and it put us behind the 8-ball. I was very proud that we competed and were in it up until the fourth quarter.
"I was disappointed offensively, but of course, that starts with me. We made more mental mistakes than we have ever made. You can make excuses whether it's youth or whatever, but my goodness we ran the plays over and over and over. If we have to run three or four plays to execute properly, then that's what we'll do to move forward and not move backward. We had a few things we felt that we could do but we couldn't get it done. But that is that game in a nutshell.
"As far as this week's opponent, we are excited about playing Ole Miss. It's our first time on the road so we are excited there, and it's another SEC game. (Ole Miss) has a tremendous defensive front, and that concerns me because of our offensive line immaturity. Hopefully we'll grow up a lot quicker and make more progress this week. We'll play some other people this week, we've been grooming. On their defensive front, the one who stands out is [Jerrell] Powe. He's 340, 60, 80 pounds, I'm not sure, but he's a very powerful man. He caused us problems last year and he's not the only one. They have a very good defensive front and great team speed. I was impressed with them running around out there, much like LSU.
"Offensively, they have the quarterback who is eligible now in [Jeremiah] Masoli. He's a good player who can run and throw, much like what we faced the first week. They can empty the backfield and still have a tailback back there. He's a very strong runner, yet he can throw as well. They have two tailbacks who are very good players. We saw them last year, and both are very good backs. They have speed and power. They have a good receiving corps. It's going to be quite a challenge for our defense trying to stop them, but I'm sure we will be up to the task and do the best we can and I know they will be ready to roll. The players are excited and we are trying to get in the win column and that's our goal."
On facing the 1-1 Rebels:
"Well, it (the Jacksonville State game) was 31-10 at one point. Now, what happened from there, I don't know. I know Jacksonville State has a very good team. It's kind of like James Madison whooping Virginia Tech, you just never know. With the 25-scholarship rule, anybody can beat anybody and you have to be on your P's and Q's every week. I'm watching the game obviously to try and see what they have done. I believe they straightened out. They did a much better job against Tulane, a team that has a very similar offense to us so we should watch that."
On the Commodores' confidence level:
"I think it's very good. We've been in the games and offensively we may have gotten a little intimidated. Hopefully we can calm that down. I don't know what there is to fear, if they eat us we'll sour in their stomach and they'll throw us back up. We just have to go play and have some fun. I think we may be pressing too much in some situations. They read the paper and they want to perform well and we have to learn to do that under pressure.
"As I said last week, every game boils down to four or five plays and you never know which ones they are going to be. We just didn't respond well. We came back in the second half last week and drove it down to the goal line but didn't make a (big) play. Our defense kept making plays and making them go 3-&-out but we missed and opportunity and we didn't get it done. We have to develop playmakers and get a wideout. People were locking us down with man (coverage) and it's tough. It's tough to get free. We have to develop some playmakers there. Our running backs right now are our biggest playmakers so that's what we have to come up with."
"He's a playmaker we are trying to develop. The guy has some speed and can do something with it. We are going to try and utilize him as our running backs try to get healthier. You know, a guy like Wesley Tate may have to line up in the slot. We have to do some things and get our best players on the field but unfortunately they are not 100 percent yet but it's not an excuse whatsoever. But, we haven't made plays."
On the team's youth and trying to get the best players on the field:
"We are trying to find a way to get the ball to all of them. We are still feeling our way along. We thought we did some things right offensively in the first week but we took a step backwards. I probably put a little too much confidence in our front and in our receiving corps. They might not be quite ready for that and I gave them too much. We have to trim that down and give them something they can be a little more solid with and not make mistakes on routes and be were you are supposed to be. You know, it's hard when they pressure you and we have to find a way to take advantage of that.
On the Commodores' penalty problems:
"It is. On the first 20 plays we had five penalties. You make the call. I wish I could quote it, but in the first 20 plays those guys had a 2nd-and-17, a 2nd-and-19, a 3rd-and-18. It's just unbelievable. How are you going to call a game like that? It's because of plays like that, a off sides, an illegal crack. It's just different situations that put us behind the 8-ball early. I have to make practice more disciplined every day and we are working on that. Two of those penalties were mine.
"It was Larry under direst, them not getting free. (LSU) locked down on them. We have to get better at beating man coverage because we are going to face it and they know it and we know it. We have to compete and make plays. We have to protect better offensively so we have a chance. We went for the bomb on 3rd-and-1 right there and you know, we probably did that seven, eight, ten times in practice and we probably hit it nine out of 10 times and we tried it we don't throw it where we have a chance to make a play on it. If you're going do that kind of stuff you have to hit it."
"There is a lot less swelling each week and he's making plays. We certainly miss his leadership being a team captain and an experience player. I know it's driving him crazy. I feel for him because he wants to go so badly."
On which new players will be contributing on the offensive line:
"It will be [James] Kittredge and [Logan] Stewart. [Caleb] Welchans played guard for us and he had never done that before. We had experience players making mistakes and that's the frustrating part. We can't do as many plays as we thought we could. We have some things that we thought looked good but maybe it's just too much."
On becoming more physical:
"We have to create double team, trap them. There are a lot of things we can do and we're going to have to do better. Of course, we had some of that and we didn't execute and we went the wrong way and let a guy loose and now it's 2nd-and-15 because we made a mental mistake. Yes, physically we can compete with some people but when you make mistakes you can get a little intimidated and you start chasing yards, it's tough."
On the possibility of getting an SEC win against an Ole Miss team that loss to Jacksonville State:
"Well, they [the media] don't know much about football. That's all I can tell you. There were a lot of people who got upset Saturday. You know, it happens but we have to be ready to play each and every week and I've been saying for 35 years, it's hard to imagine that you couldn't be ready to play when you only play 12 times a year but you are dealing with human nature. If something goes bad and all of a sudden you get down, doubt sets in and that's what we have to avoid. I'm not saying that that's what happened. I'm just saying that's human nature. I'll tell you one thing, we're going to come out fighting, that's for sure."
On going on a road trip with such a young squad:
"You have to play at all venues and I think this is a good one to go in to. They're going to be very hostile. They'll be getting after us and it will be great to see how we respond because this is going to happen every week in this league and that's the fun part."
On the Ole Miss-Vanderbilt rivalry:
"I guess it's because it's east vs. west and they are our stationary team that we play each year from there. We're relatively close to each other and we recruit in the same areas. It's been tremendous and over the years it's really developed into a great rivalry and we've had some great battles with them. I'm assuming that's the idea behind it. It's been tremendous for the nine years I can speak about. I've known coach [Billy] Brewer for a long time and worked with his son, and it's always good to see him. He's been telling me it's a rivalry since as long as he can remember so that's pretty neat."
On a new mascot for Ole Miss:
"I'm not going to get into those things, you know I'm not politically correct."
"When I say we're making changes, we're not creating anything. We've had it. Like I said, we'll maximum protect if we have to and send one receiver out. Whatever we have to do we'll do it to make sure he can. If we can't protect we don't know to be throwing. It limits the field even more but we'll find a way. We'll find a way to spread the ball out and get some receivers open. We'll get rid of it sooner with some short routes. We have to pick up blitzes. Everyone knew what to do on the chalk board, they can all stand up and tell you what to do. On the board they all know what do to but when the bullets start flying is when we have to stand up and be accounted for. This week that's what we're talking about, being accounted for. You have to have accountability at every position. Coaches, players, everybody."
On what went wrong with the offensive line blocking Saturday:
"There were a lot of people involved. We did not do well there. It hurts me to say it because those are guys that I chose but we have to stand up for the task. Not just them, but everybody. We didn't close gaps on defense at the end. We can use the excuse that we were tired at the end, but by golly, sometimes you have to play a lot. It doesn't give you any excuse for not being where you're supposed to be. Don't get me wrong, fatigue hurts, but if you're supposed to be in the B gap then be there."