"Wouldn't Be A Rivalry If We Won Every Game"

OXFORD – Receiver Chad Bumphis: "You had a big first half and some chances, how frustrating was it not to cash in? "Bad frustrating. When you get in the red zone you've got to score. We didn't do that, so that's going to be the outcome when you don't score and get the opportunities."

Was being tied 17-17 still a disappointing feeling, almost like you were down?
"Yeah, like I said when you get in the red zone… But you have to give them credit, they played a good game. They executed better than we did and they just made plays when they were there."

Did you feel they had more emotion or energy?
"I wouldn't say that. Like I said, it just came down to execution. And everybody is going to be excited about a rivalry game. And everybody knew how big of a game it was. And we just didn't hold up on our end with it and execute."

8-4 is a good season but is it still a bitter taste to wash out with a bowl game?
"It's going to be tough. We're going to have to put it in the back of our mind and go out and play a bowl game. But it's always hard to lose a game like this."

What was going on after the game?
"Just a bunch of talking, trash-talking, emotions getting in the way. Stuff that shouldn't be going on."

You've seen Tyler Russell when he is good, tonight we he off?
"Everybody has their night. He made some reads, he missed some reads. But nobody was perfect. We ran too deep on our routes maybe, and he had to hold the ball too long. It's just a mix of things that you never can point out at one person."

You're close to the receiving record, what does that mean to you?
"It's pretty good to me. But I'd much rather have won the game."

Cornerback Johnthan Banks

How difficult was covering Donte Moncrief?
"I mean, he was a decent player. He made some plays and we didn't. I mean, they executed the offense well and we didn't do nothing on offense or defense, on our side of the ball. It was just one of them nights when you just have to live with it. It wouldn't be a rivalry if we won every game."

"It hurts, but we have to keep moving forward. We've got a bowl game to go play, and if we don't get better off this I just expect the same thing to happen in the bowl game. So we have to come back and respond and go get another win."

Coach Wilson said the defense had a tempo problem, what do you think is going wrong?
"I don't know. I really don't. I haven't got nothing to say about it."

You made some stops and forced turnovers the first half, but it was still a tie at halftime?
"We came out and played good, we got some turnovers. Like I said, we just couldn't get it together. It happens like that sometimes, they executed very well and we didn't. And they won."

Receiver/returner Jameon Lewis

Take us through your kickoff return?
"I mean, I just did what Coach tells me to do, and the blocking was set-up. So I just ran, basically, I didn't have too much to do. They were blocking real good for me."

Was it a frustrating night for the offense?
"Yeah, it was very frustrating. Because this is one game we always want to win. We'll lose to everybody but beat Ole Miss it will be a successful season. But we just have to come back next year and get that trophy back."

"It was tough. I know it was tough because I was upset on the sideline, like man we're losing to them? We came in for halftime like we weren't even supposed to be tied up with these guys? I think we shot ourselves in the foot. The ball was bouncing our way in the first half. In the second half, you know…"

"But next year we have to bounce back and get that trophy back."

Defensive coordinator Chris Wilson

They had at least a half-dozen plays of 20 yards, what were the breakdowns in the secondary?
"A couple of them. First of all (Donte) Moncrief made some really good plays out into the boundary, throwing the glance. He was able to get open on some of those glance plays on coverage; and then there was one time we were in one of our zone pressures and our corner doesn't get over the top of it."

"And so give those guys credit. But that's an issue we've got to go back as we get ready to go into this spring-type deal before we go to a bowl, and get those issues fixed. Because right now we've got a tempo issue. And we've got to go get those things fixed during the off-season."

That's the third tempo-spread offense that you've given up over 500 yards, are there particular issues?
"Big plays. We're attempting to be more aggressive in some of our coverages to get us close. And when those occur you either really good when you make those plays; or you're not. And when you're not they become explosive plays. So those are the things when we go back and self-evaluate and be critical of ourselves as coaches that we've got to see what our tempo issues are."

Are players gambling too much?
"No, I don't want to say gambling. I think at times guy are on the money and making plays. And I give those guys credit across the way, they did a great job executing. Bo (Wallace) made some great throws, Moncrief was there and he was available to make some plays. And so there is enough blame to go around for everybody. But it starts here. And again we've got a tempo deal that we've got to address and get rectified."

Moncrief seemed to be beating you off the line as well?
"I didn't see that. I'd have to watch the tape to answer that for you."

Offensive coordinator Les Koenning

Can you pinpoint any theme of what went wrong in the red zone?
"We just didn't execute. It comes down to execution and we needed to execute. We had some opportunities and didn't turn out too good."

The line struggled blocking for Russell?
"We had some people banged-up. And this time of year you have to play with some pain. You have to get through it. We'll go watch the film and we'll diagnose a lot more when we see it, time everything and see what happened and I can give you a lot better answer on that part of it. It wasn't pretty, though."

It looked as if Russell was throwing high again?
"Yeah, there were a couple of high balls he threw. Just a little bit off. And when you're a little bit off in a major game like this it's going to magnify that much bigger. Execution is a must and we just have to keep executing. You know, when you execute things come out the right way."

You tried getting the running game going and couldn't?
"It was a little struggle. We just couldn't quite get it going. We're going to go through the film and watch it. We didn't think they were over-loading us, they were playing hard. And we just need to stay after it."

Dan said a couple of linemen were banged up, was that part of the struggles to run?
"Obviously that does if we're banged-up. But we need to play, this time of year everybody is banged-up."

What was the thought process on the fourth-and-one?
"It was a good play, we had run it in practice and actually hit for a touchdown in practice. We felt real confident with it, it was just a matter of execution."

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