Hugh Freeze, Evan Engram and Jason Pellerin weigh in on Ole Miss' 45-14 win over Georgia

No. 23 Ole Miss ran over No. 12 Georgia Saturday afternoon. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and select players weigh in on the win - one that moved the Rebels to 2-2 on the season.

Head coach Hugh Freeze

Opening Statement: “I was really pleased with our guys this week playing another one of the top teams in the country. We have had our fair share of that in the month of September. We certainly had experiences that we should learn from. I really thought we took control. This is the first time we were able to win the toss to get the ball at halftime and put it away early in the third quarter. I have tremendous respect for the Georgia Bulldogs and their program. Kirby (Smart) is going to do a great job. I can't think of times in my life where a team has done that to Georgia. Credit to our players and our coaches. We got to play a lot of kids in an SEC game, which is not the norm. I'm really proud and I hope we can build upon it and get some guys healthy so we can finish strong next week.” On Derrick Jones' first game back: “If you have some good character traits about yourself, I think all of us enjoy a redemption story. All of us have made mistakes. He has certainly been in his payment plan to get reinstated into the team for a long time. I love him, and am really proud to see him get back with us. To see him make a play was really nice.” On what he noticed after making changes in the second half: “We were in motion all week. My gut is usually right. Usually. My gut was that we had really good work in practices, but we were not emotional and there was no passion. My gut told me all week that it is a great sign, they are disappointed and ticked, and they will be ready to go. Traditionally, since we have been here, we have bounced back from disappointing losses pretty well. We talked about the story, I have talked to them all week from the Bible from second Samuel when a guy chased a lion into the pit and he didn't come out until the job was done. That was my message to the team at halftime. I know everyone wants to make it out to be great strategy by the opposing coaches, or by us, or not by us, the reality is if we don't turn the ball over, we don't talk about all those strategy things. That's what happened to us. We turned it over in both of those games. No just turned it over, but turned it over for two-straight touchdowns. It's hard to overcome that against good teams. And those teams seized the momentum after those plays. We really didn't do anything different, really.” On bouncing back after last week's loss: “It's hard for me to remember all of them, but this one will stand out because of the type of loses that we had to the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country when we played them. I believe that is what they were ranked at that time. When you lose games like that and felt like you could have won, and when you have to hear about it in this world with all of the social media world, it hurts. It stings. This one is pretty special.” 

TE Evan Engram

On holding on to a big lead for a win: “Oh, man. We got up, like, 17-0 and I got really excited, really hyped. And I was like, ‘Keep composure.’ I was going up and down the sideline saying, ‘We’ve been here before. Let’s finish.’ That felt good. It felt good for the defense to get a big turnover for us. That jump-started our offense. When we get into a rhythm, it’s hard for people to stop us. It’s us hurting ourselves. Us taking care of the ball today was huge, and us finishing that lead is a big boost for us going forward.” On his touchdown grab: “That’s a read for the quarterback. If it’s zone, he’s going to hit the underneath routes, and if it’s man, he’s going to throw it up and let me go make a play. I saw that the cornerback stayed on the outside guy, so I knew it was man. As soon as I turned, I knew Chad (Kelly) was going to throw it up. I had to make a play for my team.” On having a big game against Georgia, his home-state school: “It means a lot, honestly. I didn’t want to really get too caught up in the emotions in preparation before the game, but it means a lot. My sister there and still having some ties and growing up and being around that environment, it felt good for them to come over here to my new home and I have a huge game and we get a huge win. It definitely feels really good.” On the confidence boost Saturday’s win provides: “Our confidence never wavered. We were kind of just punching ourselves because we knew we kind of had some mistakes that were detrimental to the games that we lost. Our confidence never wavered. I even said to the team if somebody walked into the room and looked at us — how we acted and how we’re running around and how we prepare — they would never guess that we’re 1-2. So I think our energy is really good, and our confidence never wavered. We just have to take care of ourselves and be smart with the ball and play solid defense. That makes us a really hard team to beat.”

QB Jason Pellerin

On what he’s learned from Chad Kelly: “It’s a lot. When I first came in, there were a lot of things I had to work on and he’d help me, whether he realized it or not. I would watch how he threw, watch his form and everything and what he’s looking at. It’s awesome. He’s helped me way more than I think he knows.” On his role as short-yardage quarterback: “We’ve worked it a good bit. It’s definitely something I hope we run, obviously. We’re working it a good bit. It’s working in practice, and when game time comes around, I think everyone just has to execute. It looks like we have been.” On if the game is slowing down for him: “When I first played against Wofford, my first play, obviously I was nervous. The game just looked so fast to me and everything. Today I got out there and it looked slower. I guess I should have been a little more nervous against Georgia. Getting experience is definitely one way I get to learn better and get to get ready.” On the win: “Huge. To get a win against Georgia like that is huge for us. A lot of our guys, we’re excited. After last year’s loss to Memphis, we’re ready to bounce back, especially getting 40-something points against Georgia. Offensively we’re ready to play anybody, and defensively the landsharks are back.” On if the win shows what the team is capable of: “Absolutely. We definitely have the talent in this locker room to do a lot of great things. I don’t think the two losses reflect how great of a team we can be and we have been. When we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot, it’s hard to stop us. Offensively we have weapons all over. Defensively we have huge people stepping in big roles, a lot of young guys, too, that are playing really well. If we don’t hurt ourselves, we’re hard to stop.”


OM Spirit Top Stories