Postgame Comments From MSU Players

Mississippi State football players-Will Prosser, Omarr Conner, Kenny Kern, Willie Evans- talked to the media about their 43-14 loss to the Auburn Tigers Saturday.


Wide Receiver Will Prosser

It seemed like every time you got a drive going something always killed it.
"We got a few breaks early on then we made some mistakes."

Against a talented team like Auburn you obviously knew you had to score early. Did you feel any extra pressure early on to make it a game?
"Not right off the bat. Once they put some points on the board, we felt like we needed to. I think we pressed a little bit and could have been more poised than we were."

Did you think the offensive pass interference against you was a good call?
"The referee makes the call. It's his call. I can't really say. I guess I was."

Coach Croom said he is going to look at the film and maybe make some changes based on who was playing hard. Did he say that to you guys after the game?
"Yeah, he definitely told us that after the game. I know he is real proud of those guys who went in at the end and played really hard when they were given an opportunity. Yeah, he said he is going to look at the film and people are going to be moved up and down based on how you played and how you hustled."

Do you guys see that as a challenge?
"I think that is going to be good for us. We needed something like that. Coach Croom is all business when it comes to effort and making plays. If you don't do it, then you aren't going to play."

Was this kind of a reality check for you guys?
"Yeah, I believe so. It shows us where we are as a football team, not necessarily that we got physically beat but that we made a lot of mental mistakes. This shows us what we have to go back and work on."

Would you say this is a big week to show how you bounce back? If you lose to Maine, then everybody is going to say here you go again.
"I think this is a different football team than we have had the past couple of years. It's possible to lose to anybody in college football, but I believe we are going to come back focused Monday. I think Coach Croom will have us in the right state of mind and we will be back next week ready to go."

Late in the game when it was 4th and 1 you went for it. Does that send a statement that you guys aren't going to let down no matter what the score is?
"I believe so. Coach Croom has put it on us since he got here in January that you never quit and never give up. And I think the guys who were in at the end showed that. I think a lot of them are going to move up just because of the way they played today."

You made some good plays. What were you doing right?
"I just happened to be in the right spot at the right time. Omarr happened to see me a couple times and he made good throws and I just happened to make the catches."


Defensive End Willie Evans

What made it so difficult to bring down their backs?
"Great backs make great plays and they kept running their feet."

Did it surprise you that your defense had such a bad tackling game?
"Yeah, because we are a pretty good tackling team. We came out today and weren't the same team we were last week."

You went up against Marcus McNeill. Is he the best that you have faced?
"No, no way. The zone play hurt us. They have great backs that you have to respect. They are going to make plays. He wasn't a great tackle. They just had some great backs."

What do you tell the young guys so that they don't hang their heads after this loss?
"There is a creed I live by since I have been here: You can't expect any mercy. Nobody will give you mercy and you can't give any mercy. You have to play every snap like it is your last."


Linebacker Kenny Kern

Talk about the play of your defense against their offense.
"They had a good offensive line that blocked pretty good. We just didn't make the plays when we needed to."

Were they as good as you expected them to be?
"Yeah, we expected them to be pretty good. But we should have played better against them. They have two pretty good running backs, but sloppy tackling made them look better than they really are."

Talk about their first drive when they scored a touchdown.
"They were doing some things that we didn't prepare, but we adjusted. And we didn't come out with that fire in us that first drive."

Did you realize after that first drive how fast and strong they were?
"Yeah, we knew we had to step our game up a little bit more because they were playing at a little faster pace than we expected."

Did you learn anything from this loss?
"We need to play faster and play more physical up front. We don't take this as a loss but as a lesson learned."

How does Auburn compare to other teams that you have faced since you have been here?
"They have a lot of talent. Their offensive line is pretty physical. That is the one thing that stands out to me. Their backs are pretty much better than other teams' backs."


Quarterback Omarr Conner

Talk about the difference between this week and last week.
"We came out and played hard but we just came up short. It's over now. Now, we just need to get ready for Maine."

It seemed like you had more opportunities when you rolled out.
"I think so. I think the dropback game and the rollout game were good today. We just killed ourselves on drives. It was things like our pre-snap penalties, maybe I messed up on the play call, or I held the play clock too long. It was key things that killed our drives and our momentum."

You looked more comfortable today. Was that because you had one game under your belt?
"I think so. The first game I came out and tried to do too much."

What were they trying to do to you to keep you from creating plays?
"I think they mostly tried to play quarter defense on me. They had two guys in the box. I think as the game progressed, I settled myself down and let my line block."

Where do you think you improved the most since last week?
"I think in the passing game. I think we came out and established the passing game better. Last week, we started off slow. I went something like 9 of 17 last week."

Does your team have the talent to beat a team like Auburn?
"I think we have the same talent as Auburn. It was just one of those games. We missed tackles. We killed offensive drives."

How's your wrist?
"I landed on it as I was throwing on the run early in the first half. I sprung it real bad, but it's ok."


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on TheInsiders.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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