One-on-One With O'Quinn and Blackledge

Senior offensive lineman Royce Blackledge and junior cornerback Jasper O'Quinn talk about the Alabama game crowd, the Alabama game and the focusing on the upcoming game with Arkansas.

Center Royce Blackledge

You are a fifth-year senior and have been through some tough years. How did it feel as the last second ticked off the clock at the end of the Alabama victory?
"It was a great feeling. Everybody was going nuts. It's hard to describe the feeling. You know how it felt for you and all the other Mississippi State fans."

Do you feel like this program has finally turned the corner?
"Definitely. We have definitely turned the corner and are moving forward. And we have two ballgames left that we feel like we can win if we go out and play hard and not make stupid mistakes."

How do you focus on Arkansas after such a huge victory over Alabama?
"Alabama was a huge, huge win, but we have to put that behind us. And we've had to deal with that all year with the big games that we have won. We beat Auburn, Kentucky and now Alabama this past weekend. So, there is less pressure on us because we have our sixth win and we are bowl-eligible. But if we could get the next two, it would even be greater."

What are you hoping to see from the crowd for the Ole Miss-State game, maybe something like the Alabama game?
"I hope so. That crowd was unbelievable. In the five years that I have been here, I have never seen it like that. Everybody stayed into the ballgame for the full sixty minutes. It was definitely a great experience for me. I would like to see it packed out again. That definitely gives us a lot of energy going into a ballgame."


Cornerback Jasper O'Quinn

Were you able to see the Anthony Johnson interception? If so, what were your thoughts immediately after he intercepted it?
"I saw it. When I saw him go up and catch it, I knew it was over. I knew he was going to score because nobody was going to catch him because he's too fast for that."

What was the locker room like at halftime immediately after that touchdown?
"To be honest, I have never felt anything like that in a game, period. It was like the greatest game I've ever been a part of. Going into the locker room you could feel the confidence. There was no negativity; everything was positive. But we also knew that a one-point lead wasn't enough. We knew the game wasn't over and that we had to come out and continue to finish the game, like Coach (Croom) always talks about - finishing the game."

How do you forget about the Alabama game and focus on the Arkansas game, especially considering how emotional the Alabama game was?
"It's easy to forget about it because it is in the past. You can't harp on the past. And we have bigger and better things to look forward to. Arkansas is a great team. They have a great running attack and great receivers. We know that we have to come out and play our game, play hard, and tackle, tackle. Just do what Coach (Croom) tells us to do."


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


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