Coach Orgeron Q & A from Auburn game

Ole Miss lost to Auburn 27-3 Saturday, and here's what first-year Rebel head coach Ed Orgeron had to say to the media assembled afterwards.

Opening comments: "Not a very good performance by our team obviously. We hung in there on defense with them a while. But we could not make the plays on third down that we needed to and gave them some opportunities we shouldn't have. The fourth down play (for Auburn) to score at the goalline early really hurt us. The interception at the end (of the first half) really hurt us. The penalties we had hurt us. Give them credit. They're a really good football team. They had 123 yards rushing to our 23, and that was the story of the day. We did not play well on the corners. Their receivers made some big plays on us we haven't given up this year. Our defensive line played pretty good against a good running back, held him in check most of the game. But overall I just didn't think we played well and were not hitting on all cylinders the whole game.

Q: When you stopped Alabama two weeks ago on their first drive, it kinda put your team in that game. Did today when Auburn stopped you early kinda take your team out of it?

Coach O: I didn't think about it like that, but it hurt us down there not to get the points early. They took over the game physically and we needed to play for 60 minutes. We needed the points early to give us the momentum.

Q: Why run Brandon Jacobs down there early when you needed to score, since he hasn't played much this year?

Coach O: Well, we just wanted a bigger guy down there to pound it up in there. We felt with Mico in there they would be keying on our people on the toss. I thought it was a good call (on the fumbled pitch). We just need to get the ball in his hands.

Q: Talk about Ethan's play.

Coach O: I thought he did a good job. He gave a spark to our offense. We have to give him a look.

Q: Coach, what made you go to Ethan in this game at this time?

Coach O: He's come along in practice. He's been practicing really well. We wanted to give our offense a shot to throw the football, and we felt he gave us our best shot of throwing the football in the fourth quarter. Our offensive staff likes him and likes the way he throws the football. He knows the offense, so we will give him a shot. But that's not to be decided yet.

Q: In what areas has Ethan gotten better?

Coach O: I don't think he's gotten that much better, it's that the other guys haven't been moving our offense like we want. We're trying what we have.

Q: Talk about Viciente DeLoach today.

Coach O: It was good for him, really good for him to get in there and make some plays. He tried very hard this week, and it was good to see him make plays.

Q: Did your defense wear down late?

Coach O: I thought we did a pretty good job, especially against Irons. I was disappointed in our pass coverage. We got hurt there and they made some big plays on us. On third down, we couldn't get to their quarterback enough and they converted on third down too many times.

Q: Are you surprised that eight games into the season the quarterback spot is still unsettled?

Coach O: Sure. No doubt. But going into the season we were uncertain. We were hopeful it would be solidified by now, but it looks like it is not.

Q: Only 209 yards of offense today, is your offense lacking athletes? Is it breakdowns?

Coach O: Combination of things. This is a very good offensive scheme, one of the best in the country. Eventually we'll get the right players in the right scheme doing the right things, and it's going to work.

Q: It looked like your defense got some pressure on the quarterback early. What was the difference in the second half?

Coach O: I thought our defensive line did a good job in a four-man rush. They picked up a couple of our blitzes in the second half and we didn't hit 'em. They picked them up and it enabled them to leak the back out a couple of times. The last third down we sacked them, we had the right blitz called. So it was a combination of not getting the right blitz called and also their protection.

Q: Talk about Michael Bozeman's play.

Coach O: It was really good. He's physical and it showed today. He made a lot of plays and I was really proud of him.

Q: What happened on their first touchdown, the end around and halfback pass play?

Coach O: We just got beat. We were in cover three there. Our guy bit up on it and shouldn't have. We made a mistake. Good call by (Auburn) and we had the right defense called. We just made a mistake on it. That was not his responsibility.

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