Nutt: 'They're a good team'

The following are Houston Nutt's comments following Ole Miss' loss to Auburn.

Nutt: It was a great crowd tonight. We started out just the way we wanted to start out. 7-0. Our favor. Give them credit. They've got a good football team. We came out tonight wanting to stop No. 2 from running the football. We did that. But he has a lot of weapons to go with him. Give their offensive line – they don't get enough credit. Their offensive line is a senior group. Terry Price was telling me they are like what we've got going right now with all our freshmen. They were out there getting beat up a couple or three years ago, kinda like what our guys are doing. Jared Duke and Patrick Junen and those guys. They're a good team. Give them credit. I was proud of the way our guys fought. But we've got to finish now as we head to November.

Q: Is this the best blocking team you've seen this season?

Nutt: They have a very experienced offensive line. They're so fast. Very fast at the skill position. They can keep you off balance. You wanted to eliminate Cameron Newton after what he's done the last few weeks. But when you gang up on ‘em, now you leave some other bases uncovered. But that's what they have, a good blocking team, experienced offensive line, a very good team.

Q: Talk about Cam Newton's passing.

Nutt: Strong arm. Strong arm. We were geared up to try to put a little more attention to the box. When you do that you get some one on one throws. Give him credit. He's accurate. He's good.

Q: You get it close and then they run a kickoff for a touchdown.

Nutt: That's the thing you just can't have happen. You can't have a kickoff break out like that. It breaks your spirit, your back. And we had chances to tackle the guy. You've got to make plays. We've got to do a better job.

Tough Night For The Rebs

Q: You went for it on fourth and 1 in the second quarter in your own territory.

Nutt: Again, I felt like on offense they were hitting a streak. I just felt like we had to keep the ball. I felt they were in a real rhythm and that they were going to score. I didn't want them to have it, and I thought we would make it. Half a foot, I thought we got a bad spot. Knowing what kind of offense they are, I probably wouldn't do that every game. I haven't probably done that maybe one other time in my career. But when you feel they are going to be able to stay on the field and score, then you better stay on the field. But you have to make the first down, too, which I thought we did.

Q: Jeff Scott.

Nutt: He's an electrifying guy. That's a championship caliber team, and he outran them. That tells you a lot. We've got a lot of babies playing out there tonight. I was proud of them now, and he's one of them.

Q: Were you surprised at how open some of their receivers were?

Nutt: Yes, again I know we had a couple of busted coverages, and we put so much emphasis on the run. They were out of position, and we've got to play the ball better.

Q: Your team had 31 points and 407 yards of offense. If you knew that before the game, would you think that would be enough to win?

Nutt: Absolutely. I would have thought we'd beat the No. 1 team in the country.

Q: Talk about their offense some more, how quickly they churn out stuff and call the next play.

Nutt: When you get positive yardage on first down, it's awesome. When you roll like that with an experienced offensive line, you can do that. One thing Gus Malzahn learned from our time together was how to run the ball with guys like McFadden and Jones, and those are the same plays – powers and counters with very good backs. There's nothing like hanging your hat on a play when you know it's going to get six or seven yards. Get to the line of scrimmage, and it's easy to call a game when it's second and three or second and two. Makes it real, real nice.

Q: What are the early reports on Cornell and Rivers?

Nutt: I don't know that. They're going to get MRIs or X-rays. It doesn't look good for Cornell. He's on crutches now. It's just been one of those years to have that many injuries.

Q: What does it come down to on defense to avoid the big plays?

Nutt: Better tackling. Can't have missed tackles. Every long play including the kickoff is usually a result of three missed tackles. We've got to be better fundamentally.

Q: You got the turnover and Masoil throws the pick. Then they march 98 yards.

Nutt: That was a killer, because it was such a big fumble recovery by Jason Jones. We were going to go right after them. A bad throw, probably his only mistake of the night. I haven't watched the film. But he's made a lot of plays for us. That was a bad throw. We had the hitch, he probably should have run the hitch, but just tried to force it into a deep ball.

OM Spirit Top Stories