From the Locker Room

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - No. 15 Ole Miss did away with No. 2 Alabama in thrilling fashion Saturday night. Rebel head coach Hugh Freeze and select players met the media to discuss afterwards.

Hugh Freeze:

Opening statement: “What a game. It was definitely a four-quarter battle. I thought we had it put away a couple of times and they just wouldn’t go away. It’s a credit to their staff and the character of their team, their kids. The great thing about it is we can improve so much from this. There’s so many things we could’ve done better tonight. If our kids will stay hungry with the right demeanor and stay humble, I know we can get a lot better than we played tonight. They got 100 plays, and that just wore our defense out. I was afraid to go tempo because they needed a break it seemed like every time. Crowd was electric. It made it difficult, but we handled it pretty well. Had very few penalties because of that. I think there was a lot of growing up that happened tonight. Hopefully we’ll take all the positives from it and be excited about the win, and look at everything we didn’t do properly and get ready for next week.” Chad Kelly have that it factor? “He’s got some kind of factor. I was a bit frustrated with him some tonight. He was glued into one receiver on a lot of our combo routes, and I know we had open guys. He’ll learn from that. That’s the thing - he wants to know what he did wrong. He’s hungry to learn. He certainly can make plays. He proved that again tonight against a really, really good defense. He’s a gamer. He’s got some it factor to him, for sure. On defense creating turnovers: Those were huge. I really thought at the end of the day if you looked at who won the turnover battle and you looked at the team that had the most explosive plays, that would be the team that would win the game. On tipped, 66-yard touchdown to Quincy Adeboyejo: “That happened in my prayer time today. That’s the only thing I can say about that, is to God be the glory.” Anything going through your mind during play? “Yeah, what are you doing, Chad? He came over and I said, ‘Brother, you need to pray hard tonight and thank God. Let’s don’t do that again.’”

RB Jordan Wilkins:

On the game: “It was crazy. I think we should’ve put it out a little earlier, but we came out with the victory in the end.” What could win mean moving forward? “It’s big. We knocked down one of the top dogs in the SEC. Our schedule’s still really tough; we’ve got to keep rolling. We’re all excited. This definitely showed what we’re capable of doing. On miracle touchdown to Adeboyejo: “God. That’s all I can say. Great play, great awareness by him.” On Chad Kelly: “The thing about Chad is he’s such a competitor. It’ll hype everybody up on the field, and I think that’s the difference between him and everybody else. He makes great plays and great decisions. He’s definitely a leader for this team.”

QB Chad Kelly:

On the game: “Feels great. Got to give all the glory to God. I’m just so thankful to play for a great team, great players, great coaches, great fans. This is awesome. This is what you dream about.” Was environment everything you thought it’d be? “Oh, yeah, it was loud. I don’t think it threw us off our game, but definitely it was loud. I’m just thankful, baby. I’m so thankful.” On broken play to Adeboyejo: “I didn’t catch the snap right away, and I just figured Laquon’s 6-3, he can jump the highest out of anybody. I just gave him a chance, and the Lord is great.” Play make you think it was Ole Miss’ night? “Oh, definitely. Right after that we were thinking, ‘We’re winning this.’ That’s exactly what we all thought, and this was our game. On what the win could mean moving forward: “It definitely helps us, but there was a lot of mistakes that I personally made that I need to get better at, that I need to get in the film room and correct. I missed some wide-open guys, and my emotions kind of got the best of me in the first half. My teammates knew if I kept doing what I was doing, I was going to be fine. They had all the faith in me. I’m thankful I’m on this team.”

DB Mike Hilton:

On the game: “Those last nine minutes were the longest nine minutes. That’s one thing we thrive on, is finishing games. We came out on top.” Confidence level this week? “We were pretty confident coming in. We knew our offense was going to put up some points, whether it was three or 70. We felt like we had a good enough defense to slow them down. All around we just had a great game.” On huge plays/turnovers by defense: “Those were big plays. When we get chances to get our hands on balls, we try to make a play. Trae (Elston) and Tony (Bridges) made plays, and here we are with the win.” On what win could mean: “It just builds more confidence. We’ve still got a long road ahead, a lot more SEC opponents to go. But it builds confidence for the rest of the season. On if defense got gassed: “We were gassed. They tempoed us, and then they started having long drives. We knew we had to stay out there and fight through it.” Feel different compared to last season? “We had so much confidence going in. Not at all (an upset). We knew we could play with them.”

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