From the Locker Room

OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt and select players met the media following Saturday's 14-13 loss to BYU.


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Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt:

"That was a tough one. I hate to lose one like that. We played extremely hard tonight. I thought our gusy laid it on the line. It's a fine line between winning and losing. When you're playing a really good team like that that's rated high with experience, you can't beat yourself and give gifts. We did that. Thought our defense played extremely hard in managing a very good quarterback. I felt really good with about nine minutes to go with us having the ball until that fumble happened. There's just a few plays that make you sick. You wish you had ‘em back."

On the trouble Ole Miss had with the running game:

"They're good. They're very good. They get off blocks well and play tough. We had a couple of holes. But remember we also had two senior backs not playing. That hurt us a great deal. Give them credit. They've got a good defense."

On playing Zack Stoudt late in the first half and sticking with him:

"He gave us the momentum at the time. They were crowding the line of scrimmage, and I figured we're going to need some throws. That's his strength. I thought eventually the running game would come even with him in there as a passer. I thought that gave us the best chance to win."

On the play of Zack Stoudt overall:

"I thought he played well. He did a good job of getting rid of the ball. He didn't force it. I thought he did some good things."

On if he felt the momentum change when Nick Brassell dropped a sure touchdown pass that would have put Ole Miss up 17-0:

"Not at that time. It's easy to look back now. He's young. He won't drop too many like that. He's going to be alright. There are a lot of young guys out there feeling their way. But at that time I thought we'd come back and hit another one. I thought we'd score again."

On his assessment of Barry Brunetti:

"Barry was doing alright. It had been a long time since he played. He did some good things handling the offense. There were a couple of times we had calls in to throw the ball and really kinda threw into coverage. Ewe just knew with them overpopulating the line of scrimmage we had to go with a throws, and hopefully the run would come. But I didn't anticipate Brandon Bolden going down, Enrique Davis going down, Jeff Scott also went down."

On if there is a concern of lasting effects like the opening loss last season:

"I hope not. My biggest fear is I don't want my guys to listen to what's outside this room. I want them to listen to me. It's easy to get negative but I saw some awfully good things against a team that had nine starters back on defense and a very good offense that has a quarterback with a full year under his belt and took them to a bowl game."

Quarterback Zack Stoudt:

On being put into the game in the second quarter:

"I was told I might get in, so I just stayed loose on the sideline for the first quarter and a half. I went in and didn't do anything special, just did what they told me to do. The guys around me made me look pretty good."

On how he felt he played:

"Once you get that first completion, you get like a confidence. You realize you're here for a reason, you know? They recruited you. They think you're good enough," Stoudt said. "You get in a groove, and you realize that you are good enough to hang with these guys. It's just football at a different speed."

On the decisive sack on third-and-27 that led to a BYU touchdown:

"The guy came through, didn't see him, didn't have two hands on the ball. Hit me and I lost it," Stoudt said. "One mistake, you know? Let it get away. Pretty close (to getting the ball out). I had it separated with my hands. I was ready to throw it.

"We were backed up on third and a mile, and it was three guys going deep in max protection. A guy came around on the end and he hit me and I lost the ball."

Cornerback Wesley Pendleton:

On the loss:

"It was real tough, man. It seemed like we fought so hard. We had it the whole game. It just came down to the end, and we just didn't pull it out."

On if he felt as if Ole Miss gave the game away:

"I think we gave it to them. We just beat ourselves. It's just the little things. We've just got to go to practice, work on the little things -- catching the ball, stopping the run -- doing the little things. I think we'll be better."

On if such a difficult loss will linger:

"I think this team is better than the one that lost to Jacksonville State. (BYU) was just waiting for us to make mistakes, and we made ‘em. We beat ourselves. That's how I feel. We're going to come back strong. We're going to come back strong."

On the team's defensive performance:

"I saw a lot of good things. There was some bad, but it was mostly good. Every day we just think about living by the code. You know, being prepared and being ready. And when our time comes, we just got to show our talents. I think we did that."

Offensive lineman Bradley Sowell:

On if BYU fooled the offense up front:

"Nothing really that we didn't work on. They move around a little bit, run a different style of defense, ‘cause they can't just sit there. Not really a whole lot (different). We should have made a few more blocks. We got to get back in there."

On the loss:

"It's terrible, man. We felt like we won that game until the last eight minutes or so. It's just one of those cases where we didn't finish, you know? It's the same go-around. It's just miserable and it's not any fun."

On quarterback Zack Stoudt:

"He did a great job. He moved the offense. Like I said, we have to get touchdowns when we get down there. Drove on them twice, and we were about to drive on them again. Two penalties and we're backed up third and a million. We fell apart there at the end."

On missed opportunities, including Nick Brassell's would-be touchdown drop:

"When the play's there, you have to make it. You get one chance. This is big-time ball. When the play's there, you have to make it. We don't make it, and that's the difference in the ballgame. We can't get two penalties. It's little stuff like that, if that stuff doesn't happen, we win the game."

On the BYU defensive front:

"They got after us a little bit. They moved pretty well. They mixed it up pretty well. We've got to do better."

On if the loss will linger, a la Jacksonville State:

"Not at all. We're going to keep working. "We feel like we have a chance still. It's the first game of the year, we're going to keep trying to get better."

Defensive end Kentrell Lockett:

On the loss:

"Finish it out, but it didn't happen that way. We just got to get back to the drawing board, got to finish some games out, you know? Just take it on from there. But I think we'll be all right. It's going to be all right."

On if the defensive performance can build confidence for the rest of the season:

"It's big for us, you know? Coming from last year, not being able to stop the run. I think we held them to under 100 yards rushing. (Ole Miss allowed 91.) But, I mean, I don't like moral victories. Who likes moral victories? If it wasn't a W, we need to get back to the drawing board, we need to work harder."

On Charles Sawyer's interception returned for a touchdown:

"You're supposed to be pumped up. That's what you live for. Then when the guy can take it that far, 80 or 90 yards, just shows that we've been working hard and that we've got players on the team that can make plays when you need it best."

On how he felt in his first game back from a major knee injury:

"I felt good. I felt great. I felt the best I've ever felt. But it's just like the first couple of series, I had to get my legs and stuff up under me again. I think it was more that I had kind of gotten accustomed to going against the guys every day in camp. Now, it's a totally different guy, a totally different style of play and everything. But after the first couple of series, I kind of got the gist of it. I was fine. I was all right."

Cornerback Charles Sawyer:

On the loss:

"That was a tough one, you know, like swollen tonsils. We've just got to keep pushing. You can't hold your head down over one loss in the beginning of the season. You've got to keep pushing."

On disguising the coverages on the interception:

"That's what really helped us there. I just saw the quarterback and the ball pretty much. I didn't know the interception was going to happen. But I knew a good play was going to happen because we disguised it so well."

On the defense:

"This defense has come a long way, and we still have a long way to go. But it's improved, and we worked hard this offseason."

On the play of the secondary against BYU quarterback Jake Heaps:

"Secondary was good. We've just got to give big ups to our D-Line. They brought a lot of pressure. Our secondary did good, but we can do better. We know we can, as a group. (Cornerbacks) Coach (Keith) Burns told us you guys are No. 12 in the SEC. And you don't want to be. So we took it personally."

On if the loss will carry over:

"No but you never know. That goes to show you have to finish. It's a season, not a game. We still have 11 more to go."

Wide receiver Ja-Mes Logan:

On Brandon Bolden being out:

"If he is out, it does not change our offense. We still have Enrique (Davis) and Jeff (Scott). It hurt to lose Brandon for this game – he worked awfully hard all summer and August, but that's how this game is sometimes. Injuries happen – he will bounce back."

On Zack Stoudt:

"I knew Zack was capable of doing a good job. We knew he was going in so we all went and talked to him about the coverages we were seeing. He just took it from there. We felt a spark when he came in. He knows the offense very well and he loves to run the speed-ball offense."

On not scoring an offensive TD:

"I anticipated a lot more. I expected a lot more. We should have scored a couple of touchdowns, but it just didn't fall our way. I know we are capable and we will get better, but tonight we didn't get it done."

On Nick Brassell's drop of a sure TD:

"Hey, I had a drop too. I just patted him on the head and told him he was going to put that behind him, be the first one out there at practice and the last to leave. I think he just had a little case of butterflies. He'll be fine. He's a very talented player and we'll help him keep his head up."

Linebacker Mike Marry:

On the game:

"We held them to one TD, but that's not good enough. We shut them out in the first half, but we let them get in a rhythm in the second half. We made a few mistakes we didn't make in the first half. We lost our focus a few plays and it ended up costing us. We just have to believe in our schemes, execute and never lose our focus."

On the defense overall:

"We lost, but I am proud of my teammates. We played really hard and we are only going to get better. We can't feel good about losing, but we can leave here knowing we didn't give in, we just made a couple of mistakes and we are going to clean those up. We have room for improvement and we are determined to get that improvement."


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