Coach O postgame: 'I'm happy that we won'

The following are Coach Ed Orgeron's comments after his Ole Miss Rebels beat the Kentucky Wildcats 13-7 in Oxford on Saturday.

Opening comments from Coach O:

"It's good to have our first win in the SEC. Obviously this is a tough conference, but I'm happy that we won today's football game. I thought we played pretty good defense, and we made some pretty good plays on special teams. We still need to make some improvements on offense. We're not coming along as we should. I was proud to see Mico break the (freshman rushing) record, and he got over 100 yards again. But he got them at the tail end of the game, and he needs to get them more in the first half. We need to do a better job of running the football and controlling the clock."

Q: Talk about your defense shutting down their offense. That seemed to be their strength heading into today.

"We have a very good defense. We have good defensive coaches and a good scheme. They are starting to believe in each other, although I think they got tired at the end. I was disappointed with their two-minute drill. I thought we could shut them out at the end, but we didn't.

Q: You did a little more blitzing today.

"We had to. They gave us some situations where we could, especially in our nickel package. We did it well at the beginning, but they started picking it up towards the end."

Q: Offensively, is this the game that you thought you would have a breakout game?

"I didn't know. I was expecting us to do a lot better than we did. We came out very lethargic and without a lot of fire. We didn't play well at the beginning."

Q: With the kicking last week you said it was a matter of adjustment, and now after this week is it just back to the drawing board?

"Yeah. We're dealing with what we have. We're working them (the kickers) very hard and filming our practices and filming their techniques. We're working hard so they'll go out there and make them, but we just have to find the right kicker."

Q: Were you pleased with Robert Lane's performance?

"I was very proud to see Robert get in there very early. I thought he fired up the crowd and fired up our team. We need to find him ways to get the football in his hands."

Q: You seemed to get away from getting Robert the ball on those short passes, why was that?

"I need to talk to Noel about that and find that out. Obviously they were doing some things on defense that didn't allow us to run those naked (bootlegs) into the flat. That's basically what we were doing."

Q: With the running game opening up so late, do you think you took a step back in a sense?

"I won't say that. I'll never admit that. I think we have to get better. I was disappointed in the way that their defense played us up front. I thought we were getting knocked back in the beginning of the game, and I was very disappointed with that."

Q: This seemed to be another one of those games where the defense played well and the offense continued to struggle. Have you found what the problem is yet?

"Not yet. We're going to continue to play the way we are playing on defense, and we're going to continue to try to fix the offense if we can."

Q: What did you see out of Spurlock today?

"I saw him scrambling a bunch. I saw where there were some opportunities for him to make the right decisions. Sometimes he did and sometimes he didn't. I thought he should have run the ball a little bit more today. But he made some good third down conversions at the end of the game when we needed them, and for that I was proud of him."

Q: How much have you guys talked to him about when to run and when not to run?


Q: What does it come down to?

"Sometimes when we're sitting on the sidelines and we think that he can run, I go back and look at the film and he couldn't. That happened last week a couple of times. I think it's just a gut feeling, and I have the confidence that he can run the football. I want him to run the football."

Q: What goes through your mind when it's fourth down and you're trying to make the decision whether to go for it or not?

"I just want to do the right thing and do what we need to do. There were a couple of times today where I thought about going for it on fourth down, but we needed the points. We were playing well enough on defense that if we got a few points on the board we would win the game."

Q: Can you trust your kickers right now?

"I don't think it's a matter of trust. You start trusting a guy when he's been with you two or three years and has made some big-time kicks. We need to find that guy. They're not experienced enough right now to go out there and make the kick when we need them."

Q: How do you think the receivers caught the ball today?

"I was disappointed in the first half. I thought they weren't focused, and there were a lot of dropped balls. I was disappointed in the big play that we made and us not taking care of the football. That's one of the focuses of our football team: taking care of the ball."

Q: Do you think part of that was Micheal rolling out and throwing the ball harder and faster than maybe he should?

"Not when the ball is right in their hands. They should have caught those balls. When the ball hits someone right in the hands, he should catch it."

Q: Do you feel good about the defense heading into Auburn next week?

"We're getting better. We're going to have to play the run very well next week, and we're going to have to get better on third downs. We're getting better up front and we're learning the defense. The big key to our defense is we're not getting beat deep. Coach Rippon is doing a great job of coaching our guys back there, and we have the chance to have a tremendous defense. But we know that we're going to get tested in the upcoming weeks."

Q: I know you may be disappointed, but at the end of the day, it's a win.

"Well it's a lot better to go in there and win the football game and then make corrections. We needed a win for this football team to get on a roll. We told our team at the beginning of the week that things are starting to change, but this game we needed to win. And we did, so a win is a win."

Q: Talk about the bizarre ending to the first half. Have you ever been in a game where that type of thing has happened?

"No, I don't think so. That was a great job by our special teams and Coach Rippon of making that happen. We talk about our team competing for every second on the clock, and that was a matter of us competing."

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