FLORIDA POST GAME QUOTES
(Courtesy UF Sports Information Department)
FLORIDA HEAD COACH RON ZOOK
First thing you have to do is give Ole Miss a lot of credit. They came ready to play. I had been trying to tell our team all week that the Ole Miss defense would come in here ready.
Offensively, I have no concerns. Did we play well? No. Is it correctable? Yes. Sometimes with new systems you have to get knocked down to get the light turned on.
We are a good enough offense to make the plays you need to win a close ball game. We do have some work to do. Since I've been here if I've asked them to do something, they do it with perhaps the exception of getting ready to play today. Who is to say we weren't
ready and Ole Miss just had a great game.
I think the defense played well. Unfortunately they get that taste in their mouth as well.
We played better on special teams.
I told the team that we would be back. We've got two big games in the Swamp.
Rex got his left hand hurt but he's okay. Some of the shots he took were his fault.
Offensively we had a good plan. I think the Ole Miss defense came in with their back up against the wall and were tired of it. I've been there.
On the lack of first downs in second half:
That was just bad play from us. We played good then didn't get a first down in the second half. It is my job to get them ready to play.
At the half, I felt we had played well enough to have been up a lot more. We squandered offensive opportunities in the first half.
On going for it instead of a 48 FG attempt at the end:
It wasn't close. We were going for it. Leach is good enough to make it but I didn't want to test him and potentially have Ole Miss starting that much further back.
Any time you lose it is frustrating. Last time we were frustrated and won. This time we learned more but didn't win. I had tried to teach the team about the history of the sixth ball game at Florida.
On Rex Grossman:
Discussing Rex Grossman, he is a good ball player and I saw a lot of good things. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise and he will come out more focused.
Florida Player's Quotes
On the game:
"It really hurts to lose a game like this, to lose to a team that played exceptionally well, but you know that nine times out of ten you beat. They fought hard and were able to get the win, this one out of nine."
On the lack of offense in the second half:
"Our drives just stopped. I still can't figure out why things didn't work out. Our defense played well and just didn't let them do anything. Their 17 points that they scored are my fault and I take the blame."
On the second half:
"In the third quarter, I am not quite sure what went wrong. It's a team sport, but I didn't do my part to help this team win the game. It was a different game in the second half. We moved the ball well in the first half, but in the second, their defense stepped up. You have to give them credit because they played great and got after our asses. They just didn't let us run the ball. They almost killed some of our guys (with their hits)."
On the secondary and his interceptions:
"On the first two, it was nothing more than the type of thing that happens when you are running new routes. The third interception was one where the defender pulled off his guy and just made a great play."
On the injury to his left hand:
"I hurt my left hand, but it didn't really affect me much. I got hit hard and landed wrong, face down on the field."
On Ole Miss' defense:
"It was like the whole day they were double or triple teaming me. That opened up Carlos Perez because they put a linebacker on him and he was able to get open. They had so many people on me I couldn't do anything. They used Miami's game plan and it looked exactly like Miami's defense. They had a guy on top of me the whole game. It's the equivalent of the Miami game where we gave all we had, but came up short."
On the quarterbacks:
"I feel like Rex is taking all the blame, and he shouldn't. This is a team sport and everybody has to work as a team. I still believe he is the best quarterback in the country. People just don't do well some days. We have got to go back to the drawing board."
On his 70 yard punt:
"I have been working on getting my drop off better. There was a nice wind today, and I was able to get the ball up and in a nice, tight spiral and it just carried in that wind. The punting is something I am glad I was able to do for my team, but we have two terrific punters here."
On Ole Miss' defense and the hits on Rex:
"It wears on you (getting hit), but that's part of the game. Rex is a great competitor. You have to give their defense credit. I think they came out a little bit upset because a lot of people have been talking about how the offense is the better of the two squads. They played a great game and this was their day."
On the effects of the game:
"As far as losing goes, we lost a game. It's an SEC game, the first conference loss of the season, but we haven't lost much other than that. Our main goal is to win the Eastern Division and go to Atlanta to play for an SEC Championship."
OLE MISS POST GAME QUOTES
(Courtesy Mississippi Sports Info. Department)
OLE MISS HEAD COACH DAVID CUTCLIFFE
(On the win)
"The first thing I want to do is congratulate our team, as well as the staff for outstanding planning. We played extremely hard and I knew we would do that going into this ballgame. It was a hard-earned win. Sometimes you get different things that have to happen to win a game, and I thought we did the things we had to do. Defensively you certainly saw that. But also in the kicking game and offensively, we were doing what we had to do. Sometimes it's tough to do some of the tough things when it's not going your way. We played smart with the football most of the time offensively. When things aren't going your way offensively, sometimes that's the most important thing you can do to try to find a way to scratch out and win a ball game. I couldn't be more proud of a team and this is truly a team victory."
(On what they did different defensively)
"It was the same package we've been using the entire time. That's who we are and what we do. We executed better, brought more pressure to the quarterback, got off blocks, tackled better and did everything we had to do. That's a great tribute to the staff and to the kids who went back to work. Before the game, everybody had declared them dead, but they know you've got to go out on the football field and work. That's the biggest thing we've got to do coming out of this win is understand we've got to go right back to work on Monday. I expect them to get back on the field, go to work and get better. That's what the anticipation is for the next week and that's how you do this."
(On adjustments made at halftime)
"No, there weren't any major adjustments. I just thought we were just a step away from making a lot of big plays and getting a little more pressure. Maybe we were holding the disguise a little bit too long. We talked about taking that and dumping the disguise and going ahead and getting to them. We looked to continue to do what we were doing. We did an awfully good job both halves to be honest with you. They're a good football team in every phase. They have a lot of good athletes so our kids executed well."
(On his play calling during the goal line
"I just thought it was the thing to do. I felt that when it was down there at first and goal that we would score first of all. I felt like we needed to score a touchdown. We had been so poor in short yardage so I decided to put a challenge on our offensive team, and we didn't respond. The other thing that I did note is that we had them backed up and ended up getting a safety out of it. We could have gotten good field position and come away with a touchdown right after that. I just felt like it was the right thing to do at the time. I kind of had it made up in my mind, coming into the game that I was going to do that."
(On whether he thought about passing during
the goal line stand)
"No, I didn't. I thought about running the football."
(On whether he thought desire won the
"I think that preparation (won the ballgame). You have to have a great desire to prepare. We certainly were ready emotionally to play in the game, which I expect us to be every week. But you have to be emotionally prepared to practice because you have to practice to get better."
(On how big a win it is for the program)
"I think it's important. Maybe it's the way I feel, but I feel we are capable of playing with anyone when we play our best football. It's important for our team to understand that, and this win is a reassurance of that. The importance of it is that we got another SEC win and we got another chance to get better. We have to build off of it. It doesn't mean we have arrived. I don't think you ever arrive in this league."
(On Matt Grier's interceptions)
"That's huge. Obviously on a day when it was tough to get points, Matt's two interceptions came when someone had to step up and get things done."
(On the crowd)
"I thought it was the best atmosphere we have had since I have been here. It was a record crowd. That stadium is a totally different place when it's slap full like that. I thought our pre-game warm-ups had a nice atmosphere with the people in the stands early in the game. I'd like to see that repeated as often as we can."
OLE MISS PLAYER QUOTES
SENIOR DB MATT GRIER
(On his first interception)
"They (Florida) were lining up to run the pattern to the inside. When Grossman threw the ball to the inside, I was there to make the pick."
(On his second interception for the TD)
"I was playing my zone. I was reading his (Grossman's eyes) all the way. He threw the ball straight to me and I took it in for the score."
(On the defense)
"We came out today and played as a team. We really didn't notice it was Florida on the other side of the ball. We just played this game like any other one this year."
(On his foot injury)
"It's OK. It isn't hurt too bad. Someone just stepped on my foot, but I was able to come back and finish the game."
(On shutting down Florida)
"The defense played hard and had a lot to do with limiting Florida today. It feels good to win, but it's like all the other victories. You just have to take it one game at a time."
REDSHIRT FRESHMAN DB TRAVIS JOHNSON
(On his first SEC start)
"I was nervous at first, but after going the first series, I felt good about it. I didn't worry about going against the best receiver in the SEC, so I just went out there and started playing."
(On the victory)
"This gives us a lot of momentum going into the next game. We showed that our defense is better than what everybody thinks. There were no bad mistakes. We just went out there and tried to keep our composure and play all four quarters."
(On facing Rex Grossman)
"Grossman is a great quarterback, but I knew that if we put pressure on him, he wasn't going to last very long. He took a lot of licks and kept coming back. We had to stick with our gameplan and keep playing hard all four quarters, because Florida wasn't going to give up."
SOPHOMORE PUNTER CODY RIDGEWAY
"We knew coming into today that special teams was going to play a big part if we got into a battle like we did. We had to step up, and we came out and had a good game. I was real confident coming in. I didn't practice during the off-week because of my shoulder, but I came out this week and had a fresh leg. I knew what I had to do, and I got the job done."
SENIOR LINEBACKER EDDIE STRONG
(About the Florida offense)
"Every game we play each team comes out with something new. We knew Florida had a very good, high-powered offense. The main thing we were trying to do was put pressure on (Rex) Grossman up front to make things easier for the secondary."
(On playing his first full game)
"It felt real good to get out there again. It was my first game back. I knew suiting up against Florida was going to be a big deal when I was out there on the first snap. I knew then we were going to step up big."
(On the turning point of the game)
"The turning point was that our defense kept making the big plays. As long as we kept making the big plays, everybody was staying hyped on both sides of the ball. The guys on special teams really stepped up also. They had some big playmakers, and we have some too. Today, we came ready to play and it showed."
SENIOR WR JASON ARMSTEAD
(On the offense)
"We started out kind of slow today, but we knew it was just part of the process in getting it going. We had to come out and execute our game plan. As long as we played hard, we knew everything was going to work out. The game just came down to executing plays."
(On the defense)
"The defense really stepped up big. Matt Grier came to play today. His first pick really got us fired up and his second one sealed the deal. It was a big defensive effort, and we (the offense) knew we had to help them out. The defense played big and we had to make sure we held on to the ball."
(On the Florida secondary)
"They ran a lot of the plays we saw on film, and they didn't do much different from that. They mixed up about three coverages, but we were ready for it. We just executed and came up with the big plays."
REDSHIRT FRESHMAN RB VASHON PEARSON
(On the offensive strategy)
"We knew we had to come in today and keep the ball away from Florida by putting together some long drives. The game didn't start out the way we wanted it to on offense, but thank goodness, the defense came up with some big plays. I knew my main job was when I got the ball was to hold on to it."
(On having the ball after Blanchard's
"We knew there was some time on clock, and we knew we had to hold on to the ball and run it out. On that drive, we executed our plan, which was to pick up that one first down and run the clock out."
REDSHIRT FRESHMAN WR MIKE ESPY
(On the receivers)
"We really didn't do anything different. We ran our game plan like we would against any other team. We knew if we came out and executed, we knew we'd come away with the victory."
(On the offense)
The most important thing we did today was hold on to the ball. Our defense played an excellent game. We held on to the ball and made the plays we had to make.
(On the Florida defensive stand in the first
"We weren't down after we didn't score, but we felt like we should have put it in the end zone. Those plays didn't hold us back from executing our game plan. After we didn't score, the defense came up with a big play (Cooper's safety) and gave us back some momentum."
JUNIOR QB ELI MANNING
(On the win)
"This is probably the biggest win I've ever had. It wasn't the prettiest, but it was about the sweetest I've had."
(After the last turnover in the game)
"We've had to run the ball and get a first down, run the ball and stay in bounds. The offense knew that if we got two first downs we could just run out the clock."
"We knew it was going to be a close game and was going to come down to the fourth quarter. We knew we had to stay in it the first three quarters. Even when we were down 12 points, we still knew it was going to be a close game. They had a couple of big turnovers and we had some good luck."
(On the calling the play calling conservative
in goal line stand)
"No, that is if you call that (play calling) conservative. We just gave the ball to Pearson on the two, and we figured, with four downs, we could get him in. We should be able to do because we've been successful with that ever since I've been here. When you have it on the half-yard line with two downs left, you ought to be able to punch it in there, but Florida has a good defense and they made a good stand."
(If someone had told you earlier in the week
you would have less than 200 yards total offense and one touchdown, what would
you have said)
"You'd think it'd be a low scoring game, but then again you never know what's going to happen in football games. Our defense played great today. We got four turnovers, and stopped their explosive offense. You've got to give them (the defense) credit for that."
(On his feelings with two seconds left in the
"I knew the game was over, but it wasn't quite over yet. I knew we had it, and I was ready for the students to get off the field so we could wrap it up. I know they're not supposed to rush the field, but it was fun to see it happen. I wanted to see the goal posts come down but it was getting too crazy for me."
(On whether this game is the best win since
he's been here)
"I think it is. We've had some good ones since I've been here, such as the one last year at LSU. Everyone here was doubting us, saying we couldn't do it. Because of that, it's that much sweeter that we pulled it out."
(On calling his brother, Peyton)
"He'll probably be the first one to call me. He'll be the first to congratulate me on this."
(On the performance of the offense)
"We kind of opened up by going three-wide and four-wide, but they were doing a good job of getting pressure on our team. It made it really tough for our offense to get things going. When we had some first downs, we'd get some penalties and they'd stop us. That's just something we'll have to work on."
(On whether Florida surprised them)
"They had a lot of guys bouncing around, floating around and trying to read my eyes. They just had a good game plan and executed well."
(On the hit put on him at the end of the game)
"It was a good shot, but I feel alright."
(On how the team handles the big win in
preparing for Arkansas State)
"In football, you're going to have some big wins and some tough losses, but you've got to keep your head on straight. We'll have practice on Monday, watch the film of this and get better from it. We'll just have to come out ready to play and continue to improve."
(On celebrating the win)
"I'm going to take my time. I'll probably wait to come down from it until Sunday, but we'll have to (come down from the win) in order to get ready next week for Arkansas State."
(On whether the team grew up today)
"Offensively and defensively we grew up. Obviously it wasn't a great game for the offense, by the numbers, but we played hard, smart and didn't turn the ball over. When it came down to getting some first downs at the end we were able to do that. Defensively we maintained the whole game by getting some big sacks, some big hits and stopping them when we had to. They played together and played hard."
(On their position in the SEC West)
"We're in the position we want to be in at 2-0 in the SEC. We've got a lot of tough teams left to play, so we'll have to come out each week and play hard."
"They got us in good position and we had a couple of good runs. We went for two and made a good play. The turnovers just changed the whole tempo of the game. You have to give credit to our defense because, when you get four of them, it changes the whole game."