From the Locker Room

ATLANTA, Ga. - Ole Miss closed the book on the 2014 season with a 42-3 loss to TCU in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Postgame reaction from the Rebel locker room.


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Evan Engram:

On what happened:

“Honestly, I’m still trying to figure that out. TCU just came out clicking on all cylinders. Our defense gave us chances to answer and we couldn’t find it. TCU today, they had the perfect scheme. They played everything right. They got pressure, they were covering the gaps, covering guys, covering people. They were everywhere. We couldn’t find anything.”

On what the loss means:

“All it means is that it’s never going to happen again. I appreciate the seniors so much for what they’ve been through, this program and how far they’ve gotten. But the guys coming back, we’re going to prepare. We’re going to use this loss as a tool to fuel us every day in the off-season to make sure that something like this never happens again.”

On halftime adjustments:

“We were just trying establish a run game, trying to see if we could get push. We changed up some things and adjusted to their adjustments. Obviously, nothing worked. We tried to answer. We tried to find somewhere where they were weak. We tried to find somewhere where we could apply some pressure. It didn’t work.”

Cody Prewitt:

On the future:

“Coach Freeze and the staff have done a great job recruiting. They’ve recruited some of the best younger athletes in the nation. Even the ones that I’ve helped coach, they’re going to be really good. They’re going to take this program even higher than it is now.”

On if TCU’s speed caught the defense off guard:

“It was just as fast as we thought. Mentally, our emotions got in the way a bit. Going in, too excited to get in there and run around and play good football. We got our eyes in the wrong place a few times, and we paid for it.”

On his emotions:

“I’m struggling to keep myself together right now. It’s hard. I’ve spent a lot of time with these boys. They’re like my brothers. I do love ‘em. I love every one of them.”

Robert Nkemdiche:

On the loss:

“I feel like a win is the same thing as a loss. You like it and you want to get better, or you don’t like it and you want to get better. I feel like there’s always room for improvement, it don’t matter who you are. You can always find something to get better at. As a coaching staff, as players, we’re going to find something to get better at and work towards it.”

On what TCU did well:

“They had a lot of short routes, quick routes. They were able to do a lot of things. They schemed against us really good. They just had a good game plan against us.”

On if the team kind of laid down:

“I feel like we did. Some people kept that fire in them, some people laid down. We tried to fight out to the end. We tried to finish it.”

On the injury to Laremy Tunsil:

“It is, because he’s such a close dude to me, man. We’re real close friends. It just sucks because I know he’s a great football player. It sucks for him to break his foot like that in the bowl game, last game of the season. It’s going to slow his process in the off-season, but he’s going to recover good.”

On if he’s concerned with the team having to deal with such significant injuries to such significant players entering next season:

“We just have to come together as a team and get them right and get them back to regular and do everything we can do to be in the top-4 next year, to be with the elite and be in the mix again.”

On if he said anything to Tunsil:

“I talked to him on the field. I told him to keep his head up, I’m here for you. I love his parents; they’re great people. I just told him to keep his head up and you know what your future holds. Come back even stronger.”

On how Tunsil reacted:

“He was strong about it. He just hated it, man, that he couldn’t help us get back. It was kind of frustrating. It’s life.”

On if the TCU loss alters expectations for next season:

“We still think we’re a really great team, it was just a bad day for us. I really think we can come back, use the off-season to get better and keep progressing as a team. We can be one of the elite teams next year.”

Ryan Buchanan:

On his mentality entering the spring:

“It’s time to go. I think both me and Kincade, we’ve both looked forward to this day. It doesn’t come as a shock. Bo’s done. We’ve prepared for this. We know spring’s going to be a big deal for us, and whoever we compete with, I have confidence I can run this. But I’ve got to show it in spring and I’ve got to show it in fall camp next year. I’ll be ready to go.”

On his reaction to the Chad Kelly signing:

“Any big program, you’re going to have to compete. Any position, you’re going to have to compete, especially at quarterback. That’s part of it. I don’t care who they put in front of me, I’ve got to play the best, I’ve got to be the best. That’s just part of it.”

On getting added reps in November/December:

“It definitely helped. Bo was fighting through that ankle. We had a couple of extra reps. We went against our defense a lot in those Christmas reps. That made a big difference. Me and Kincade feel like we got better. That helped a lot.”

Devante Kincade:

On getting some game action:

“It was really exciting out there, just feeling the feel of getting hit again. Two years? It felt awesome. Plus, I was going against most of my former teammates at TCU. I know most of everybody. It was exciting.”

On his mentality entering the spring:

“My mentality is just G-1. God first, and I’m fixing to be working 24/7 starting tomorrow. It’s going to be a great competition. Me and Ryan, we’re like best friends. We already know it’s going to be competition time, plus we know another quarterback is coming in. Every big college program has at least four good quarterbacks competing against each other. That’s how people get better, that’s how a program gets better.”

On his reaction to the team signing Chad Kelly:

“He joined the team, that’s how I feel. He’s another competitor. Once he comes in, we’re all just going to compete and have fun.”

On what he needs to work on:

“Right now I feel like everything. I have good accuracy, but I want to be to the point where wherever I need to put the ball, I want to be able to do it at least 99 percent. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning can’t do it, but that’s my goal. I’m going to look forward to trying to get there. Footwork, accuracy, getting stronger and poise in the pocket.”

On if the TCU loss changes expectations for next season:

“Not at all. Like coach Freeze always says, this DNA will never be seen again. This team will never be mentioned again. We made a lot of good ups and downs. But coming in next year, it’s going to be a different story.”


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