You got back to last year's recipe of causing turnovers. "That was just everybody doing their job. We had got away from that a little bit, people were trying to make too many things happen, you know, getting away from doing their job. But everybody did their job on every play and was in the right spot, and we were able to get a couple of turnovers from that."
In the first half they had repeated chances and score, but the defense didn't seem to let it rattle them. "Oh no. They had eight snaps inside the two-yard line, you know! So I think our defense did a pretty good job to stop them getting in. We knew we had their number and we were able to hold them to I think like 114 total yards of offense. I think the defense did a real good job coming out and performing the gameplan the coaches put out there for us. It was just a real big victory."
DT CORTEZ McCRANEY: That was a key sack you made in the fourth quarter, falling down but knocking down the quarterback too. "Anything I could do to help my team win, I was just trying to continue my rush and keep finishing. It's hard to get a rush with a three-man front but you have to keep going and he went down. So I'm happy!"
Auburn used a four-man rush all game and lost but you were able to get the win using three- and four-man rushes just about exclusively. "It's just keep going hard. We had to win and we needed three-and-outs. And that's what we did."
How did you feel when Brandon McRae pulled in the third-down throw that meant the defense didn't have to go back out? "Man, it felt great! I knew it was going to get in a ‘victory formation' and I was let's go, let's win! That was a big play."
The defense didn't seem to let the long touchdown drive, and the penalty in the end zone, bother you. "No, our coaches tell us keep playing, make them snap the ball, something big is going to happen. They're going to make a couple of plays, they're going to gain yards, just keep playing and finish. We came out on top."
After beating the #13 team in the country, how fast can you put this behind and move on? "As of right now I'm not even worried about it, I'm focused on Tennessee. I'm going to call all the d-linemen, text them and tell them let's get on to playing Tennessee, playing in a hostile environment. I played there when I was at Memphis so I know they've got like 102,000 and they're going to be ready. They're not doing very well right now but I'm sure they'll be ready to play next week."
SAFETY DE'MON GLANTON: As far as us making plays, we emphasized it more in practice last week. We had pounded and pounded it in: turnover, turnover, turnover. And we finally got them."
How big was your interception to turning momentum? "Any time a defense does something turnover-wise on their side of the fifty, then we punch it on in with Christian Ducre, it's pretty big for us."
You looked more confident today, almost like last season. Were you playing at a different level? "Oh, today we played at a differently level. A totally different level. We were playing faster, we were getting a push up front, our tackling was better. It was great coming off the bye-week."
"When (Mackenzi) Adams came in we said he's more a passer than Nickson, so we knew they were going to throw the ball more. They started out running a little bit but we expected him to pass the ball more."
CENTER J.C. BRIGNONE: When did you sense things were turning on offense in a different direction? "I think last week when we put it in against LSU, we moved the ball well, and I think LSU is the best defense we're going to face. For us to move the ball on them gave us the idea we were going to be able to move the ball on a lot of different people. Having the off-week, we got back to what we originally started."
"Anthony Dixon is a powerhouse, it's awesome having a running back like that behind you. Because you know at least you're going to fall forward with the back, and being able to open holes and have him run three, four yards past you makes you feel even better."
"It was a big thing, the coaches telling us they were going to to saddle us up and Dixon ride us down the field."
With a sore knee did you expect to go the whole way today? "I really didn't know. We had talked about it, and I figured if I'm a starter and I'm going to help my team to a victory I'm going to do everything I can. No matter if I'm on my deathbed I'm still going to fight!"
"It's not hurting any more! There were some times when I was hurting but I really don't like coming out, even if I'm hurting. I'm not the type of guy to tell my coach I want a break!"
QUARTERBACK TYSON LEE: on Brandon McRae's third-down conversion catch to seal the game. "It was a great play by B-Mac, we knew we needed to get a first down to keep the clock running. He just made a great catch, it was a big play in the game. They always talk about the quarterbacks making the plays, but the wide receivers make the quarterback look good. It was a bad pass but he still made the play and got the first down."
On the touchdown throw to Brandon Henderson, did you intend to throw it that high? "I tried to just lay it up there for him to make a play. Once again, big-time players make plays, he made a great play."
"Was he your first choice on that play? "He was the third, actually."
You made plays with your feet today, too. "Well you know, I didn't really see the receivers sometimes. And we knew we wanted to get first downs and move the ball. That was the biggest thing because against Vanderbilt, keep our offense on the field as much as possible and keep the clock running and make plays."
"That's one of the things we've talked about the last two weeks: do your part. Believe in one another. It's kind of a love one another, perseverance as a team. The defense played great today, special teams came up and made some plays, and offensively we had to make some plays to win the game."
With three points at halftime, did you feel like the second half would be different? "We did. We were moving the ball, we were just hurting ourselves. A lot of times we'd get down and couldn't continue to move it. In the second we needed to continue the exact same thing but make more plays and establish and get some more points on the board."
On the third-quarter touchdown drive, the 3rd-and-11, was that a called scramble or just reading it? "I didn't plan to run. I dropped back and wanted to pass it, it wasn't there so I tucked it and ran it and tried to get the first down."
Are there going to be some called run plays? "Ha, we'll see! I don't know if they will or not."
Your size maybe came in handy because on that drive you were almost sacked, but got under the tackler's arm to run to the six-yard line. "You know, I guess 5-11 ended up being alright today! Talk about being short, I guess that ended up being a good thing today!"
How good was Anthony Dixon today? "Wonderful. He ran downhill, north-and-south today. There were a couple of 3rd-and-2s today that he and Ducre both made big plays. You don't see them on the stats all the time but those were big plays, it got us first downs and kept drives going and kept their defense on the field."
OFFENSIVE TACKLE DEREK SHERROD: What does Vanderbilt's defense do that makes them a challenge? "It's just their fighting style. They had a good linebacker and good ends, good secondary, so they were coming in on that. We knew they were scrappy and had proven they fight hard. It says it all when they were coming in undefeated."
It's a cliché, but was that a good challenge to the team to prove they could line up and whip somebody? "Right, we knew this was a game we needed to win. Coming off a bye week we had our legs under us, we were at home and that helped a lot, the fans came out to support us. We just knew as an offense if we could do what we knew we were capable of doing then we'd accomplish something great. We scored a bit today and that, along with our defense playing a great game, helped us come out with a victory."
TIGHT END BRANDON HENDERSON: It was a good time and way to get your first career catch. "Yeah, it was great! I didn't know what to say, I was at a loss for words!"
Take us through the play. "It was cover-two, the safety was sitting on top of me man-to-man. What happened was we had a corner route but in the red zone everything is going to be shorter. When I saw the corner press the receiver, I cut my route off a little early. Tyson just happened to be scrambling my way so it happened to work out perfectly."
"It was supposed to go to somebody else, but Coach always says always be ready for the ball."
"Coach always stresses do your 1/11th, but playmakers step up. the first half of the season didn't go the way we wanted, so I had the mentality that if I ever get a chance to make a play—and I missed one earlier—to make a play, I was going to come back and make the next play."
HALFBACK ANTHONY DIXON: "I definitely feel the old Bulldogs are back from last year, with our ‘pound' game. They put it on us today and I love it when it goes like that. I do my job when Coach calls my number, and I liked when he called a bunch of things today. Throughout the game I didn't do nothing but get stronger and stronger, I ran harder and harder. You can always get more yards, I had some mistakes, but we won!"
LINEBACKER KARLIN BROWN: "I started the Auburn game, at mike. Today I was at will, I've been playing both and know both positions. I looked at it as just another position, play one play at a time, know your job and just do it. No stress."
"Coming in Vanderbilt was highly-ranked and nobody gave us a chance. But we came out with the W."
Were you mad about the missed tackle that kept Vanderbilt's touchdown drive going in the last quarter? "Yeahhhh! It's a team sport and everything but that was my play right there, I should have made it. I took it upon myself, I felt I let the team down that one play. But I made up for it!"
On the interception you were unsually deep for a linebacker. "It was the end of the game, we knew they were going to throw the ball downfield. We tried to make the play and drop back on the underneath routes."
"I saw the quarterback, I saw the wide receiver, the route he was running, and I saw the quarterback drifting to his right, my left. Once he threw it I just broke on the ball."