Wyoming postgame - Coach O and players

The following are comments from UM Coach Ed Orgeron and players after the Ole Miss Rebels lost to the Wyoming Cowboys 24-14 Saturday night in Oxford.

Ed Orgeron Postgame Comments:

Opening comments:

"It was a very poor performance by our football team today. We got whipped up front offensively and defensively. We had very poor execution, I thought, at times on offense with the penalties and the offensive line. I was really disappointed with the big plays they made in the second half, especially in the screen game. Obviously, we've got a lot of work to do. We came back in the second half and made some adjustments. They worked, for the most part, on defense. I thought we played on the short field a bunch. We held them to eight points after the four sudden turnovers. I was kind of proud with the way the defense played, but we just couldn't get it together. We couldn't manufacture anything. I thought Micheal coming in gave us a little spark, but it was nowhere near what we needed. Really I was just disappointed with the overall execution of our whole team. I don't think it's a matter of whether we're ready to play or not. It's a matter of execution. It's a matter of learning the offense and the defense that we want them to do, and to be able to execute it and eliminate penalties."

With Robert being so ineffective, is Micheal now considered the starter:

"Yes. It was obvious tonight. If his hand is better, we're going to start him. Robert had his chance and may have his chance again, but right now Micheal is the better quarterback.

Do you think it was a mistake not to put Micheal in earlier:

"No. We wanted to give Robert a chance. He deserved a chance, and we wanted to see what he could do.

What was Robert not doing that kept him from being effective, or was it just a matter of not getting the help up front:

"I think it was a combination of not getting help up front and us not being able to get anything going. And the penalties and the turnovers really hurt us."

When do you think the team's confidence started to be affected:

"I think somewhere in the third or the fourth quarter when we just couldn't get anything going. Defensively we were fighting, and we kept on fighting, but we just couldn't make any plays. That time when they moved the ball out from the one-yard line and we couldn't stop the sneak, I thought it was going to be tough."

Did the turnovers affect that confidence:

"It's always going to affect us. The turnovers hurt us. I thought the muffed punt was inexcusable, all those turnovers hurt us. And we go back in there and hold them and hold them, but we just can't keep turning over the football and keep playing that way. I was really disappointed with, at the beginning of the second quarter, breaking down on defense. They figured something out – we were playing our base defense – and we couldn't stop the screen. Then we stopped it in the third quarter, but overall I was disappointed in the whole performance."

Talk about the missed tackles:

"I always thought missed tackles were a combination of coming ready to play and talent. We teach tackling, and we'll continue to teach tackling, but better players tackle better. We have shown that we can tackle here, but I think sometimes guys get a little tired and a little lazy."

Talk about Wyoming's running back Wynel Seldon:

"I've seen him on film, and I thought he was going to be a really good player. Wynel played well, but we were missing some fits. On our run fits, we were not in the right place at the right times. Obviously we had some young players in there, but we didn't get it done. Overall the mistakes we were making on defense were not being in the right place at the right time."

Talk about Mico's night:

"Mico's doing things that are pretty good. But Mico can't do it by himself. He's making plays."

Are you guys trying to find ways to get him the ball more:

"Yes. I was also pleased with Antonio Turner in the first quarter. He came out and played and ran the ball hard. We just have to find out on offense what we're going to do and who we're going to get the football to. We're searching for ways, but we just don't have it down yet."

Is there any chance Ethan Flatt moves up on the depth chart:

"I don't think so, but we'll see this week. We'll discuss it as a staff."

Did you see something in Robert tonight? It seemed from the start that he was out of sync, especially with him tripping on the offensive line to start the game:

"He got knocked back. A defensive lineman knocked the center back on his foot, and anybody's going to fall. I just think we're getting physically whipped on the line of scrimmage. That has to stop."

Talk about your decision to go for the touchdown instead of kicking the field goal:

"Really we should have gone for the field goal. But it could have been a momentum-changer to score some points. And, really, we haven't been great on our field goals, and the last thing I wanted to do was to get down there and not score any points with a missed field goal. Obviously, if we had a great field goal kicker and were stopping them on defense, I would have kicked the field goal. That was the right thing to do there, but we took a chance."

Talk about the team's reactions in the locker room:

"They were a little disappointed. But I do know this: we're going to fight and get ready and go up to a play a very good Tennessee team. We're going to challenge them and continue to work and compete. I've been in programs where it takes a while (to rebuild), but eventually we're going to get it. And we're going to keep working until we get it."

What has to change to get there:

"Physically, we have to get better. There's no doubt. We have to eliminate the mistakes and learn our offensive and defensive schemes better and play them. We have to play our kind of ball better. As time goes on, we're going to do that. At some positions we're not as talented as we need to be. At some positions we're talented and not playing like we're supposed to. But in the end it all falls on my shoulders. Recruiting, getting them right. Everything is on me. But I told those guys, ‘Look at me. We're going to get this right. We're going to work and get this right whatever it takes.'"

Talk about this homeopener for you:

"It's not about me. It's really not. This is about our football team playing well. I don't care if we're playing in a cow pasture, I want to play well. I want more for the fans, obviously, and that's going to come. I was just really disappointed with the way we performed."

Talk about being on the jumbotron:

"It was great. I love the fans here, and I love Ole Miss. I'm very disappointed we couldn't give the fans more. I think my feelings are a little stronger now after the game than before."

Robert Lane comments:

"We had too many penalties that killed us on offense. You can't play second and 15 and third and 15 all game. All I can say is we have to come out Monday and get better. They beat us tonight, but offensively I want to say we beat ourselves, and we've got to stop doing that.

Robert, why was the offense so out of sync?

Lane: Coach (Noel) Mazzone and I just talked, and we can't really put a finger on it. I had the fumble on the bootleg where the end was right there to knock it out. There's nothing you can do about that. Another time the ball is in Espy's arm, and I think the corner and him got to it at the same time. Just tough breaks like that. Other times, a D-tackle came kinda free on the rush and I got hit as soon as I threw it. I don't know if the ball got batted or what. I didn't see. I may have just gone high and threw another pick. Turnovers like that kill you, but it's just something that it's not really bad plays. We were just unfortunate tonight on those three plays and also the penalties killed us. We've got to eliminate those. We can come out and work this week hard and come out against Tennessee ready to play.

Mico McSwain on his individual performance and his touchdown run:

McSwain: Like I've said before guys, it don't really matter to me as long as we win. All I want to do is win.

Do you feel like you are progressing as a running back, which is a relatively new position for you?

McSwain: I think I am. I'm getting the plays down. I just have to wait for my time to get in and go in and make big plays."

Micheal Spurlock comments:

"We made too many mistakes on both sides of the ball. Penalties will kill you in games. Now we have to go back to the drawing board and keep working.

How is your finger?

Spurlock: It's fine. There's probably going to be some pain tonight or in the morning. Right now I don't feel anything.

How tough was it for the offense to struggle like that?

Spurlock: It was very tough. I never thought in my life we would lose to Wyoming again, especially at home. It was just a great atmosphere, and I thought we played bad in the first half but I thought we'd be able to pull it through. Penalties just did us in.

Were you surprised you played?

Spurlock: Yeah, but at the same time, I didn't go through rehab at 6:30 in the morning for nothing. I wanted to come out and help my team. Unluckily we came out on the short end of the stick.

Coach Orgeron pretty much already named you the starter for next week.

Spurlock: I want to play. That's the big game. Yeah we lost to Wyoming, and we didn't want to lose to Wyoming. All of them count, but this one (Tennessee) really counts. It's SEC, and that's where the big dogs play. We want everybody to go in healthy and go into Tennessee and try to put on a show.

OM Spirit Top Stories