Picking Up the Pieces

Ole Miss held his weekly teleconference Sunday afternoon, a day after his team was dismantled by Vanderbilt, 30-7, in Nashville.


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What is the status of quarterback Randall Mackey, who suffered a thigh bruise Saturday?

"He's sore this morning. He probably won't go today. We'll know more Monday."

What do you have to do to get this team back emotionally and does that make it more difficult to prepare for Georgia?

"As bad as we felt yesterday on the way home, I've been in it long enough to know that it's about the next day and the next game. Get ready to play and put the feelings behind us. Our defense and kicking game have been really good, good enough for us to win with. We have to start scoring points."

What are your thoughts on the offense and where you go from here?

"We're looking at everything, every position. We're looking hard at Aaron Morris, really everyone. We need to do things where we can execute and move the ball and put points on the board. We're looking at all of it."

Any other players who might get a shot on the OL?

"Evan Swindall came in and did a good job yesterday. Jared Duke and some guys who have played before will be looked at hard."

Was the offensive line confused with the calls or something?

"We have to come off the line hard, step right, be sound and block someone. Defensive movement has given us problems. We have to get better at that."

Are you settled with Zack Stoudt as your starter?

"Zack is the starter right now. We'll continue to go with him and see how Mackey is. If we can protect, we'll be OK with Stoudt. We have to protect him though. All those interceptions weren't just him. We also feel the more Mackey plays, the better he'll get."

How did Brandon Bolden hold up?

"He wasn't 100 percent but he did some good things for us. I was glad he was out there. He did a great job on the punt team and made a couple of good runs. It's great to have his leadership out there and hopefully he'll continue to get better."

Are you surprised that Kentrell Lockett has not been more productive or is hat a byproduct of an ACL operation?

"I expected that. He's had four surgeries. He's giving all he has and he is making some plays. I've been proud of his effort. Wayne Dorsey had his best game yet (against Vanderbilt). He played all over the field for us."

We saw more of C.J. Johnson, Nick Brassell and Serderius Bryant on defense. How did they do?

"Really good. C.J. gives us more quickness there, Nick did an outstanding job in coverage and will only get better and Serderius did some good things and will get better. Keith Lewis will too. They're babies but they're not afraid and they're doing it right."

Will Nick Brassell be on defense more and less at WR?

"Yes. He'll still get WR reps, but not as many."

When you watched the film today did you see anything different from your first assessment yesterday?

"It was just so disappointing how many times we got the ball in good field position and did nothing with it. We miss a block here, have a penalty there and stay behind the count. We have 2nd-and-15, so to speak, too much. That's not the game we want to play."

Offensive coordinator David Lee said yesterday the offense was too complicated and he needed to simplify it. You feel that way as well?

"Yes. We have to cut some things down and get really good at things we can execute. It does not do any good to have a long play list if you are not able to recall or execute. We feel we have a good plan going into a game, but we are having too many busts on simple things."

What is the mood of the players?

"I haven't seen many of them yet, just a handful. I know they're down. I talked to a lot of them yesterday on the bus. They still have a lot of hope and they believe in this team. I think they'll bounce back."

What have you done in the past when you have been down?

"In the past, I have hunkered down with my coaches and players. You hang on the rope together. You believe there are good things are going to happen. We've had some misfortune with injuries and are playing a lot of young guys, but I don't like making a lot of excuses. I just like going out and playing. That is what is disappointing. I am disappointed for our fans the way we played, especially on offense."

Is the loss harder to take because of the stigma of Vanderbilt football?

"I don't look at it that way. I have respect for Vanderbilt. History tells you they play us close. They were healthy and were 2-0, on a roll. I knew how tough this game would be. I felt our players did too by the week of practice we had. That is what is frustrating. We had out best week of practice, especially on offense, and we didn't go get any points for our defense or our special teams, who played well."

When you look at your schedule, is this team talented enough physically to compete in this league? Is it fixable?

"I think it is fixable. We just have to keep everyone healthy and execute. I still feel like good things are going to happen to this team."

How important is this game against Georgia for the rest of the season?

"I don't look at it that way. I go one day at a time. I look for daily improvement and then go out and compete as hard as we can against a really good team Saturday. That's all I go by - not the rest of the year. It's one step at a time."


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