"I saw a lot of our players play very, very hard. You kind of get upset with some of the penalties but as hard and as aggressive as they were playing, sometimes you overlook those except for the little, silly ones. I thought the kids kept coming back.
"I thought the offensive line, at the beginning of the game, played very well. It looked like we were able to control the line of scrimmage on both sides.
"We went to some personnel grouping and they did a good job of calling the right play against them.
"We gave up the long touchdown pass. That was a double post and the backside safety was supposed to be there to make that play."
Was this a relief at this point?
"Probably, to the players, knowing that they can pay and make plays. I said this last week, if they had played as hard last week and at times today, they would have a better chance of having a good record at this time. Now, we take what we have and play one game at a time and move on."
Why did you start Norwood over Turner?
"That was a decision by (MSU running back coach) Glenn (Davis). We let him handle that based on how the players practiced. You can flip a coin with them."
Talk about the running game.
"At first, I thought we did a good job of mixing things up."
Talk about the passing game.
"(Justin Jenkins) has demonstrated that he is an outstanding receiver. I was glad to see McKinley (Scott) come back and make a big play after the two passes that he didn't catch. I thought that Kevin (Fant) did a good job of taking care of everything early. I thought that he did a good job of handling the calls and checks and protecting himself. We gave up a couple of sacks that we shouldn't have."
Talk about your players stepping up and making plays. Examples were Bradley's and Kelly's plays.
"Tommy (Kelly) played very well today. He made two or three big plays. The (play) that Odell made was a big one, very big at that time."
Talk about losing (starting offensive guard) Otis Riddley to the leg injury.
"It hurt us at the beginning of the game when we lost Otis (who is out for the season). Donovan (Davis) came in and played very well. He has practiced very well, very hard. He is a very intelligent young man. We are one guy short now. We are probably going to have to have (Chris) McNeil play both (center and guard)."
What is (starting offensive left tackle) Richard Burch's injury status?
"He is going to be ok."
Could you have put injured (starting wide receiver) Ray Ray Bivines and (starting defensive end) Willie Evans back in today?
"Neither one of them could have gone back in and played today. We hope they are back next week."
Did you see the pass to Justin Jenkins in the end zone that the official ruled out of bounds?
"I saw it on the replay. I thought he was in and the replay showed that it was in, but what counts is what that official says."
How do you think your offensive line played, overall?
"There were some spots where we didn't mesh. We ran some plays where the guard got in the way or we didn't keep it outside when we should have. These players have worked very hard. There is no question that (offensive line coach) Steve (Campbell) has done a very good job with the offensive line. They know what they are doing, but they just have to get better with everything meshing."
Talk about the kicking of Brent Smith.
"He is a very talented young man. I was amazed that Brent could kick it out against the wind. He kicked three (kickoffs) out and one I didn't think he could get out due to the gush that came up and he kicked it 8 yards deep."
Did you think about going for two in the third quarter when you went up 19-14 before the extra point?
"Yes we did but it was in the third quarter and we still had a lot of possession times left. You can say yes go for it, but you need to make it. If you don't, then all of a sudden you pop the balloon and it goes down. You want to make sure you get points and with our football team right now, (going for one) was probably the best thing to do."
Were your guys tired in the fourth quarter?
"There were quite a few players tired on both sides of the ball. It was warm today."
Were you surprised Vanderbilt didn't double cover Jenkins more?
"I can't talk about their gameplan. When you call routes, he is just one of them. He did a great job on three routes where he really got himself open. I think early in the game they tried to play some man under, then they got out of it and started playing zone."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.