Were you intimidated at all by the atmosphere? "I think it was overall more excitement. When the coach asked me how I felt I said I'm nervous but I'm excited. It was a great atmosphere, a great opportunity. Obviously I've never been here, it's a great stadium."
Kind of odd to get your first start here? "Definitely! When I heard I was excited at the same time nervous. But we came here, we fought, we played four quarters, we just came up short."
Did Derek's opening return take some of the early pressure off? "I think it took pressure off everybody and put a little pressure on LSU. Derek made a great play, put it on their end and kind of put their backs up against the wall. That's what we needed; we needed momentum, we needed big plays, and Derek definitely did that for us."
Were you told you would play the entire game? "No, he just said he was going to give me the start and that was it. I took it as get out there and play the best I can and if things don't go well Wes might come in. But just play the best you can and let the rest take care of itself."
Was there ever a point you thought you might come out? "No, I didn't. We just had to get things going. And the biggest thing about this game, we talked about the David-and-Goliath story in 1 Samuel in the Bible. LSU is a great team, we saw that tonight and we saw that on film. We just had to believe we could come out here and make plays, and we made the plays. We just didn't make enough of them."
"I was comfortable. The guys around me gave me comfort, that was the biggest thing. Just everybody doing their 1/11th. When everybody does that it makes the whole."
You made some plays with your feet. "LSU is fast, and whenever you can just tuck the ball. That way they don't key so much on our pass. If we can tuck it and run it for four or five yards at least they have to respect that and not worry about the pass as much."
Talk about the way you moved the chains on third downs. "Guys made plays. And guys made some yards after the catch. That's one of the biggest things, as a quarterback you give it to the play-makers and let them make plays."
Do you feel you're the starter now? "As far as the starter I don't know. I know we just have to make plays the rest of the season. We have seven games left, we need to win-out and just do the best we can the rest of the season."
LINEBACKER DOMINIC DOUGLAS: "We just tried to run our base defense, tried not to do anything out of the ordinary. We just came up short, to be honest with you. We fought hard, but the reality of it is we came up short."
Coach said it was the best week of practice, did you sense that? "Oh yeah, it was. The preparation, guys buying into the intensity of practice. Everybody was smiling, everybody was having fun. We came out there and I believe we transferred that into the game. Everybody was flying around to the ball. We didn't make some of the plays we needed to win the game but the intensity level was real high."
Do you take confidence from this? "We've got to. We've got a couple more games to play so we have to keep doing it and doing and hopefully we'll come up with a win."
Talk about the strength of their offensive line. "It's nothing different than we've seen. True enough they've got big guys, but the strength of the game, the speed of the game is still the same no matter who the opponent is. The front guys they had weren't the difference in the game."
What made their short passing game so effective in the second and third quarters? "Well, the DBs gave up the inside game and they were running a lot of quick slants. #18 (tight end Richard Dickson) was running a couple of curl routes and that's what we gave up in the passing game. We came up short and didn't fight through it."
Did you take any inspiration from the upsets this week? "Yeah, we looked at all those games and tried to push it into the guys that if Oregon State and Ole Miss can do it, we can. We've got all the talent that the SEC schools have. That's what we tried to do this week, look at other people's games and push forward to our game."
DEFENSIVE END TIM BAILEY: "Everybody knows they have a talented offensive line, of course they're a lot bigger. But we did some good things I guess. Some things we didn't do so well on third downs and I think that's what hurt us in the game."
They have a lot of weapons to focus on. "Of course they can run and throw the ball. When you're out there you've got to know what you're doing and minimize all the things they can possibly do that's going through your head. I think that's one thing that rattled us a little bit because they have so many weapons. You have to give credit to them because they are a challenging team. And they out-challenged us tonight."
Is this a game you can build on for the rest of the year? "Yes, of course it is. Because we did do some positive things. But on the downside we did lose, especially going into a bye-week. And we thought we had a legitimate chance to come in here and win. That's the most disappointing part."
OFFENSIVE GUARD ANTHONY STRAUDER: Talk about playing that defensive line. "They're a great challenge. I thought we held up pretty well. Obviously they have tremendous talent, great players over there. But I think for the most part the offensive line fought hard the whole game and we tried to finish hard."
"I think we ran the ball inside and outside tonight. LSU has a tremendously fast defense, and some ways running the ball straight at them we were able to pick up yardage doing that."
Do you see the offense developing some consistency? "Yes, sir. We have talented players. The thing is on offense all 11 guys have got to do their 1/11th. And if one person breaks down the play is busted. Whereas on defense one player can make a great play and you can have people make mistakes. On offense everybody has to do their job."
Coach showed faith in the goal-line situation by pounding right at the middle three-straight times. "I think down there on the goal line is when you have to suck your gut up and just get the ball in any way you can. Obviously like I said they have tremendous talent there, they stopped us a couple of times but we were able to get it in."
HALFBACK ANTHONY DIXON: "I guess we competed. We made it exciting. We executed better, know what I'm saying? We got the run game going, the pass game going. Those things we can look forward to and work on."
What do you think Tyson looked like? "He looked good. He looked like a quarterback. He made plays, he completed passes, he did what he was supposed to do. He did his job."
Were you surprised you didn't go for a score before halftime? "I don't know about being surprised. They called them, I just ran the plays. I try not to get into that."
"We can build confidence. Confidence, I've already got, I knew coming into the game we could do it. I guess it will build confidence for some guys. It's going to be the same next week. I'm looking forward to victory, that's the most important fact."