Talk a little about the offense as a whole.
"I feel like we played good at times. Other times we didn't execute at the same time. It was mostly we killed ourselves and not so much that they beat us."
What is your sense as to why you seem to run the ball better when certain guys are in the game?
"I don't know. I guess you could say it might just be the plays that we execute. You never know. I don't really think it matters who is in the game. If everybody gets on their blocks, all of our running backs are good and can make great runs."
Did the second half, when the game started getting away from you, remind you of some of the struggles that you went through last year when something would go wrong?
"Yeah, it felt like we got down on ourselves and couldn't overcome the mistakes we made early in the second half. We just have to try and keep fighting."
How can you work through that the next game?
"Mostly, we just have to keep our heads up and not get down on ourselves. We need to keep fighting. In a football game there are going to be some bad plays and some good plays."
It's not much fun right now, is it?
"No, it's not much at all."
You had a good day (3 receptions, 180 yards, 2 TDs). Talk about that.
"It was just me being one on one outside. I just took it upon myself to make a good effort to go after the ball and make things happen. I saw the ball in the air and I ran under it (for the 2nd TD)."
What was Kentucky trying to defensively against you guys?
"They pretty much played man the whole game and put a lot of people in the box." How do you think Kevin Fant threw the ball?
"I feel like he played pretty good. No one person played real bad. It was just little mistakes that hurt us."
You set a record for longest touchdown reception in MSU history (91 yards).
"My thing is I just want to win. I don't care if I don't catch any passes; I would just like to win the game. That is my main priority. I might have had a good game today, but it doesn't mean anything to me because we still lost."
Junior linebacker T.J. Mawhinny
Did the punt return touchdowns knock the wind out of you?
"That was the ballgame. We were up by a point going into the third quarter and they returned those two. It seemed like it was all downhill from there. They were pretty big."
Did you feel you were in good shape at halftime?
"We were really in good shape until the fourth quarter. We were down by 13, so realistically we weren't out of the game. Then we had that safety and a turnover. After that, there just wasn't enough time on the clock."
Kind of like today, a lot of clouds and not much sunshine.
"We are playing hard. It is just the facts that we didn't win the kicking game and we turned the ball over. You can't win like that most of the time."
The defense did a reasonably good job against their offense.
"We did until we were put in a couple of bad situations. But that happens. You aren't always going to have the team start off on the 20 yard line all the time. We just have to continue playing hard. We just have to get things turned around. We can't turn the ball over like that and we can't give up 14 points on special teams."
Talk about what Kentucky was doing on offense. They have more running this year with Pinner.
"They weren't really running a whole lot in the first half. He has a couple of good runs, but we had them pretty much contained, then they really started pounding us late in the game when they had the lead. Overall, we really didn't play that bad. The score is kind of deceiving."
What is the mood in the locker room right now?
"Everybody is upset about the loss but we were in it until the end. We know we made mistakes. We know what we have to do to correct them. It is just a matter of doing it."
You have Alabama coming up this week.
"Yeah, they are good. They are probably the strongest team in the West. They are probably the strongest team in SEC behind Georgia. They played Georgia pretty tough. Alabama is probably the hottest team in the country right now. They have good trenches. They win in their offensive and defensive lines. Their linebackers, secondary, running back, receivers and quarterbacks are pretty good, but they win it in the trenches. We just have to be ready for that."
Was it a shock when the officials stopped the game and warned the crowd about the cowbells?
"That is kind of ridiculous but it is a rule. They make the rules and we have to abide by them. I would tell the fans to keep bringing them. Keep being loud. We have to have (the fans) behind us throughout the game."
Freshman free safety Darren Williams
What was Kentucky trying to do against you guys today?
"Early in the week, we thought they were going to come out with the screen pass, but they didn't show them early in the game. Overall, we kept them away from their gameplan, but they put something together and got the win."
They really didn't have any long drives and big plays on offense.
"That's how it goes sometimes. Special teams wins ballgames. Our special teams didn't do a great job today. That is an area we have to work on."
The defense, like the last two weeks, had chances to make interceptions, a couple that would have been touchdowns.
"We had chances on three plays. We had our chances to win the ballgame, but didn't execute."
Freshman running back Jerious Norwood
Did you feel pretty good after getting a few carries under your belt?
"I felt pretty good after I was in there a couple of plays and started getting adjusted."
What was your reaction when the fans would start cheering everytime you came out on the field? Did you hear them?
"No, I really don't pay attention to the fans. I just focus on what I'm supposed to do and do my job."
After having such a good first half, were you a little frustrated that you didn't get another carry until 3 minutes were left in the third quarter?
"No, I wasn't worried about it. I know we have good backs. We all just have to wait on our time to play."
Are you now 100% recovered from your injury?
"I'm feeling pretty good. Tonight, I think I hurt my shoulder a little bit. I'm going to the training room (Sunday) to check it out. Other than that, I'm fine." [Jerious later said he thinks it's nothing more than a bruise.-Gene]
When did you hurt your shoulder?
"I'm not sure. I just felt it after the game."
Dontae was catching a hard time tonight. As a player, do you have an opinion about that?
"I really don't pay any attention to that. I just go out and practice everyday and do what the coaches ask me to do."
Were you frustrated when that first good run was called back due to a penalty?
"No, I was alright. I knew my time was going to come."
You got a few extra yards after contact today.
"Yeah, the guys up front did a good job. They have been doing a good job all season."
Actually, you knocked one tackler backwards.
"(Laugh) Yeah, I tried to buckle down for him. I guess it just happens like that sometimes."
A lot of freshmen are getting playing time this year. Does that give you hope for the future?
"In the future, we are going to try and build a championship team here."
What do you think about backs sharing time in the backfield.
"We have good backs. Nobody is a bad back. We just have to wait on our term. When you get a chance, you have to take advantage of it."
You are three months in your freshman year. Is it still as exciting as it was your first game?
"Yeah, I kind of feel like I'm still in high school."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.