"These players have been scratching very hard. They came up and made the plays, especially at the end of the game they came up and made some plays.
"We had a chance early in the game to kind of move it and put it away but played against a team that could throw and catch. They did a good job of running their HBO, which is the second receiver just running an option route where he just broke out. They got a lot of mileage out of that. Then they caught us on the t one time where they lined up in three backs and we didn't contain our backside, which is when they got their long run. They take the fullback away and ran the sweep. Our defensive end got too far down instead of staying and our linebacker didn't get outside and turn it back in. So our linebacker and defensive end were out of position and they hit it. They came back later and tried it, but our kids played it well.
"The biggest difference in the game was the kickoff return. Fred (Reid) did a great job. Also, our punter (Robert Wallis) punted 8 times and averaged almost 46 yards a kick. That was big. Our coverage team did an excellent job of covering and creating some field position."
You put pressure on their quarterback today.
"We came and put some pressure. Of course, when you do that and they play four wide and sometimes five wide, you are going to create a mismatch sometimes.
"We are still playing without some of our best players. We had two defensive linemen (Kamau Jackson and Willie Evans) who couldn't play, although Willie Evans came out and played a little bit in the second half. He could have helped us and Kamau could have helped us. (Sophomore starting free safety) Darren Williams, we have got to get him back on the field somehow."
Quinton Culberson made some big plays today.
"Quinton played very well. He gave up a couple of plays but he also made some big plays, especially at the end of the game when he had to come up some. He is a very physical player who made some tackles for us that were very good for us."
Talk about going for the touchdown on fourth down.
"We felt like at that time we needed to go ahead and score (a touchdown). I thought that Kevin Fant was in the first time but he wasn't. We were fortunate to get the call because I didn't know if we were going to get any calls today but evidently we got that one."
How much better do you have to play when you face Auburn next week?
"Auburn is a very physical football team. It will be a completely different type game than we had today. They are very physical on both sides of the football. They are outstanding, defensively. At the beginning of the year, everybody thought that they had the best or second best defensive team in the country. Their linebackers can run, but I have been very impressed with their defensive linemen. Of the film I have seen, they have really dominated the line of scrimmage."
Do you feel like you gave them a few additional seconds late in the fourth quarter when they didn't have any timeouts and you passed?
"We were trying to make the first down. On that play, instead of Kevin throwing the ball out and just running it, but sometimes you can go back and say you should have played it this way or we should have run the ball. We didn't have anybody open and if we had run it, the chances of getting a first down was not that good."
Talk about Kevin's play today.
"Kevin did a great job. He threw the ball exactly where he needed to in the first half. He had some drops. In the second half, we were just inches away. We had three or four deep balls, if they were one foot or six inches shorter, then we probably had a chance to catch them."
Talk about your running game.
"In the first half, we ran the ball fairly well. In the second half, we missed some blocks. We kept missing the back side. We were ok with the front side, but the back side slanting, we just didn't pick up the backside tackle and backside slant very well."
Talk about Omarr Conner's play.
"Omarr made some big catches. He is an outstanding athlete."
Talk about Aaron Lumpkin's play today.
"I thought that he played very, very hard. And he played hurt. He hurt his arm at the beginning of the game and he played the entire game hurt. You have to give him a lot of credit for being able to do that."
Talk about the offensive line's play today.
"They did some good things. I thought that we gave up some pressures at the end of the game that we shouldn't. A couple of those were mis-matches with a small running back on one of their outside guys."
Talk about how big Slovakia Griffith's sack was.
"It was very big. There were quite a few plays that were very good. You have to give (MSU defensive coordinator) Ron (Cooper) credit because he went after them and he was very successful at the right times."
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 email@example.com.