Dixon: "I Love To Show Up And Show Out!"

HALFBACK ANTHONY DIXON: What do all the rushing records mean? "Oh, it means a lot. I wouldn't sit up here and lie to you, tell you that individual records didn't mean nothing to me. As well as team records, both of them kind of mean the same thing to me. We play for each other, in between that we get individual accolades like that."

"It just feels good to be at the top, because at the end when my career is over they're going to sum it up and I want to be the best when they finish."

"That was a W, we're going to feel good. The night wouldn't have been right if we had lost that game, so I was glad I could punch it up in there."

Q: What does this win mean to you? "Man, we're three more away from being bowl-eligible. That's what we want to be, the goal for the whole season. We're going to fight to the end so we're going to take one week at a time and one play at a time."

"Everybody played hard, they gave us 110% and we gave them 110%, you know what I'm saying?"

Q: Were you concerned when they went ahead? "No, like they say a football game is 60 minutes. So I'm sitting on the sidelines saying I've got to get some more."

Q: When did you know you had the long touchdown? "I didn't know until I crossed the plane, to tell you truth! Because I saw one dude gaining on me and another due to my right, so I didn't know if they were going to get me short again or if I was going to break the plane. When I fell down and saw I was in that's when I knew I had it, I was like ‘thank God they didn't catch me! I got ragged a bunch for that Georgia Tech week when I didn't get the touchdown, this week I was thinking I can't let them catch me!"

Q: Did you see this as a game you had to come up big in? "Of course. We were at home, it's Homecoming. And just being home means a lot to me, I love to go out there on the field and just show up and show out. And that's what we did."

CENTER J.C. BRIGNONE: "When they started coming back we needed to pick ourselves up. That's what we did, we came out the second half and did what we needed to do. We came back and scored."

"They had real good front-guys, they were coming at us with real quick twists, they were bringing a big guy on the nose and then a small guy and just twist them around, bringing linebackers. I talked to one of their guys after the game and told them they needed to keep that up because they were really doing a good job of attacking our weaknesses. Once we got a set on them and started zoning it off, we started making plays."

Q: As linemen are you prouder of allowing no sacks, or that A.D. had a big night? "You know, it's always good to not have any sacks. But it's ten times better when your running back is sitting out there in the end zone waiting for you to come pick him up, and to tell you good job!"

Q: How important was it establishing that the offense could score touchdowns early? "You know, it was a good thing. This week we talked to our coaches and they said we don't want to settle for field goals, we want to put points on the board and score on our drives. Even when you get points when you kick a field goal it still take some of your morale out to know you couldn't get it on that third-and-goal or whatever. So when we scored those first two touchdowns it was real lively on the sideline, that's what we like."

SAFETY DEREK PEGUES: Does the SEC kickoff return record mean something to you? "Oh, yeah, any time you're part of history that's great. But I'm just happy we got the win. My accomplishment is all good but I'm just happy to get the victory."

Q: Were you worried about getting knocked out in the third quarter? "Really I got hit in the head. I got a little mild concussion. But I'm alright, I'll be ready for the next game."

Q: How tough was their passing game? "Oh, man, it was real tough. They've got that hurry-up offense, they got back up to the line and we're trying to shout calls out there and get everybody lined up and they're snapping the ball. We're glad we just have to play that type of offense once a year, I'm glad we're not in the Big XII, we may have a little trouble! But we were able to make some plays late in the game and get off the field and the offense came through and gave us some points."

Q: Did you get more comfortable as the game went on? "Oh, yeah. We haven't played an offense of that style, especially with the fast tempo. Like I said they were getting back up to the line quick and we were shouting out calls and we were getting a little miss-communication out in the secondary. But we came back in the end and were able to make a few plays, get our offense the ball and let them get some points on the board."

Q: How much did it mean for the offense this time to put up some early touchdowns? "Oh, man, it's great any time we can get some points from our offense. And to give us 31, we've got to win every game when they give us 30, you know. They're getting better every week and we're getting better and hopefully we can win these last four games and get to a bowl game."

Q: Was stopping that two-point conversion clutch? "That was a big play. I kind of thought if they scored they would go for one and go for the two-point later. But they went for the two-point and we were able to get off the field and go on and ice the game."

DEFENSIVE END SEAN FERGUSON: What were the challenges in getting pressure on their quarterbacks? "They were tough. I think the person I lined up on was a freshman and he worked me today. Watching film, this quarterback wasn't accurate when he had someone in his face. And I think we got in his face good enough for him to miss some plays."

Q: How did you play in this start? "I think I did average, I know I could have done better. So this week I'm going to work harder in practice and perform better this game. I think Jimmie Holmes had a little injury in his calf so Coach put me in, they wanted to give me a chance. I ain't been in there a long time!"

Q: Coach said their no-huddle made it tough on the defensive line rotation patterns? "Yeah, they ran quick offense, sometimes they didn't huddle up and would just come up and run the offense. It was hard to sub but we got the job done."

QUARTERBACK TYSON LEE: Was this your best game so far? "I don't know. I think as far as a team. As far as my best game I couldn't tell you that. I thought we executed well at the beginning and as the game went on we kind of slacked-off. But toward the end of the game I felt like we stepped it up and made some big plays when we needed to." Q: What had the offense clicking in the second half? "I think it was just confidence. We came out the first quarter just clicking and I think we got too relaxed. When you relax and things don't go your way you don't do as well. The second half we realized Middle Tennessee was going to play for four quarters and that's what we had to do, make some plays. And some guys made some big plays."

Q: Making some big plays and getting some points, is there a sense of ‘release' for you guys? "I don't know about release, I think it's just continuation of what we do in practice. Because in practice we make those plays, to carry it to the field I think is just a big boost in confidence and it's a continuation of confidence going into next weekend."

(watching Anthony Dixon run) "He tried to run north-and-south and that's what coach has been telling him, get behind his blockers and run hard. He was definitely doing it for four quarters tonight."

"Arnil Stallworth made some great catches tonight and the thing about it, is once they make catches it's what they do afterwards. They made so many ‘YAC' yards if you will, made things that potentially could not have been first downs, first downs. And games like that you need to make plays, and guys did that tonight."

Q: What kind of weapon was Arnil tonight? "He has great feet, he's real fast, and he makes plays. you saw that tonight, when you get the ball in his hands. And that's the thing, if you get the ball to guys who are playmakers they can do something with it. And Arnil has been able to do that."

Q: How key was the tough catch Brandon McRae made to keep the first drive going? "It was a tough catch, it was a huge catch. That's the thing we haven't been doing, is making plays. He made a wonderful catch, a lot of guys made catches tonight, and that's what we needed, guys to make plays to keep drives alive."

Q: Was the third-down play to Jamayel Smith on the last scoring drive called? "It was just kind of a read, and a great catch by Jamayel. That's one of the biggest plays of the game right there and he came down with it."

LINEBACKER DOMINIC DOUGLAS: What were the difficulties the MTSU offense presented? "Well, they tried to come with a quick tempo, tried to spread us out and isolate the corners. A couple of corners came up with big plays and the defense just stuck together and tried to pull that out."

Q: They took a lead to start the third quarter, but it was just a field goal. How key was that? "It was real big. They had the intensity the second quarter, we had to come out and regain the intensity and get the fans back into it and just have fun playing the game of football. So it was big to hold them to a field goal and keep on pressing."

Q: What was the problem with finishing off tackles? "I give them credit, they run pretty hard. That #21 is a pretty good running back, I think he could play in the SEC. But we had to keep on pressing forward, all 11 Dogs to the bone as Coach Croom says."

Q: I heard you shout after stopping the two-point try, ‘make a play.' "That was a big play, all the defense just coming together as a team and playmakers step up and make plays. It's a key part of defense, just trying to be a leader and keep the intensity up."

Q: And now it's back to SEC play. "Yeah, Kentucky is coming to town. We're like we were last year, coming into the Kentucky game and trying to go 4-0. so that's the key thing for us right now as a team, try to take one game at a time. And we've got Kentucky at home so it's going to be a big game, we just need the fans to support us and keep on pressing forward."

Gene's Page Top Stories