Nutt: 'Been a tough season'

The following is Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt's press conference following the Rebels' second straight loss to Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl.

Nutt: Been a tough season. Been a tough season. It was like somebody's always getting hurt this year. It's been tough. I hate it for the seniors. It's a disappointing year that we're still not playing. I just hate it. The only thing I know to do is go back to work. We knew this would be a challenging year, but we didn't expect this. It got off on the wrong start way back in September and that made it tough. It was an uphill struggle all the way through from that first game. They had a good defense tonight. We let them get too many there in the second quarter. Offensively we didn't do anything to help the defense when they were doing good early. That's kind of been our story this year. That's what's been tough. We don't capitalize on turnovers and things when things are going good. Boy it's hard. It's a tough league. I know that, and we'll be much better.

Q: Talk about their ability to pass the ball and specifically screens and the success they had there.

Nutt: Screens were a big play for them tonight, two huge, huge plays. On one we were really geared up on man to man coverage and tried to zero in on option. Then they hit us, good timing, good call.

Q: Walk us through the last drive with the penalty.

Nutt: I didn't see the penalty. It was bad timing on that call for us. I really felt the look in our guys' eyes, we were already looking at a two-point play, and that we were going to score. We had a lot of momentum from the last drive. Jeremiah was talking to the receivers, and the linemen were talking very positive. Just felt like we were going to score. Felt really good about it. That really put us behind the eight ball right there.

Q: How tough was the decision on fourth and four when you decided to go for it late in the first half?

Ja-Mes Logan

Nutt: It wasn't that tough. You're trying to win the game. With this record, you put everything out there. So it really wasn't that tough.

Q: What issues do you need to address for next year?

Nutt: There are a few things, and I'm going to get into that Sunday. I just want to talk to my team first before they read it. I want them to hear it first.

Q: Talk about MSU's defense.

Nutt: We knew they were going to be very good and a very good defense. They rocked and move and what's disruptive is when you lose (Jared) Duke and how they can play games with your new guy in there, twist and stunt and rock. It's really disruptive with pass protection and different counter we run. And we weren't doing very well on first down. That's where they get us behind the eight ball. It's tough to play second and 12 ball.

Q: What did you tell the seniors?

Nutt: I told them I appreciated them. They won a lot of ball games here and did a lot of good things. I told them we'd miss them. It takes a lot of commitment and dedication. We'll address all those things Monday.

Q: It looked like y'all did a good job of containing Vick Ballard. Did you feel you had enough speed on defense to keep up with Perkins and keep up with them on the outside?

Nutt: No, you saw that. Fon, Damien, Johnny, they've been limping the whole year. In this league you've got to be at full speed, you've got to be at your best. You saw that. You saw the difference in speed. That's the way it's been all year. I appreciate their fight all year. They could have easily let go of the rope. Things looked bad and gloomy. They never let go of the rope. The record doesn't show that, but they kept fighting to the end.

OM Spirit Top Stories