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Chad Kelly and others break down the Rebels' 45-34 loss to Florida State

ORLANDO, Fla. — Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly, tight end Evan Engram and linebacker Terry Caldwell diagnosed the Rebels' 45-34 loss to No. 4 Florida State.

QB Chad Kelly

On the second half struggles: “Anytime you turn the ball over four times, you can’t win the game. It comes down to that. It’s one me to get better. You just can’t turn the ball over. Against a good team like that, you really got to limit the turnovers, and it comes down to execution.” On if he was pressing: “A little pressing at times, but like I said, you’ve just got to take care of the ball. You’ve got to hit your check-downs if they’re open and take what the defense gives you.” On what he, as a team leader, says to his teammates: “We’ve just got to finish, that’s what it comes down to. We’re up at halftime, up 12 points or whatever it is. It comes down to execution. Four turnovers is not going to win you many ballgames, that’s for sure, especially against a good team like.” On if Florida State did anything differently in the second half: “They did what they showed on film. They played Cover 2, they played Cover 1. I thought we had a good game plan going in, and like I said, it’s on me. They did the same stuff. It just comes down to execution. We turn the ball over the first drive of the second half, and they’re already in the red zone. The fumble. It’s just two things right there in the red zone, and they capitalized off that. The momentum swings like that. You’ve just got to get better.” On establishing a consistent running game without Eric Swinney: “It stinks that it happens. He’s just going to have to fight to get back. But I know Akeem, Eugene (Brazley) and (D’Vaughn Pennamon) have to step up and make plays.” On how losing the opener, knowing the schedule ahead, changes things: “We’ve just got to come back focused and ready to work. The season’s not over; it’s just one game. We’ve got to find our mistakes and fix them.”

TE Evan Engram

On the second half struggles: “Those two turnovers in the third really hurt us, hurt our mentality, hurt our drive and hurt the defense a lot, too. It just really went downhill since then. They started getting pressure on Chad, had another turnover late. We had a chance to go down a score, down eight, and a quick three-and-out. That really hurt. That half, they just made some adjustments and started getting pressure. Those two turnovers really changed the game. On what he, as a team leader, says to his teammates: “It’s the first game. One game does not determine a season. It’s a non-conference game. We battled with a great Florida State team, one of the best teams in the country. Moving forward, we’ve got to stay positive. We’ve got a huge slate, home stretch coming up. We’ve got to bounce back, can’t dwell on anything. We’re going to learn from our mistakes and learn from this game. We’ve got to stay positive. Everything’s fine. Nobody’s really hanging their heads. We just had a tough second half. We’ll fix some things, and we’ll be back.” On if FSU changed anything coverage-wise in the second half: “Not really. I think they maybe sent another guy. They really just started getting pressure. They were throwing some of the same looks, staying two high we were going empty and going one high sometimes on third down instead of blitzing their third down blitz packages. I didn’t see much change in coverages, they really just started getting pressure. They may have sent another man on the opposite side of me.” On the offense struggling just as much as the defense in the second half: “It’s a team game. Defense doesn’t win a game, offense doesn’t win a game. Defense doesn’t lose a game, offense doesn’t lose a game. It’s a team game. We played great together the second half. In the second half, the defense was battling. They run a heavy, smash-mouth offense. Great running back. Those two turnovers got the crowd back in the game, got Florida State back in the game. That really hurt. Those two turnovers really hurt.”

LB Terry Caldwell

On what changed in the second half: “Might have lost a little focus — alignment, assignment. Third downs, we’ve got to get off the field, and we might have just given up a couple of big plays. We just need to execute more. We need to go back to the drawing board and make sure everyone has and knows their job and is doing their individual job.” On Ole Miss giving up underneath routes: “That was just alignment and assignment.” On losing the 22-point lead: “It hurts, man. We practice hard. Everybody was running to the ball. As far as Dalvin Cook, the run game, I think we did good stopping the run. He’s the top running back. We were really focused on the run, and they came out passing and got us a couple of times. On Deondre Francois: “He’s a great quarterback, and he’s got a great team. As far as Ole Miss, we just need to go back to the drawing board and go back to some things that we’ve already instilled and just execute when we get on the field.” On the third quarter: “I don’t believe it was stamina or being conditioned. I don’t think it was that at all. We had a couple of guys injured, but as far as us being in shape, that didn’t have anything to do with it.”


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