Coach O postgame

The following are Rebel head coach Ed Orgeron's postgame comments from Saturday's 28-17 Arkansas win over Ole Miss.

Orgeron: Obviously a very disappointing loss, a very disappointing performance by my team in the second half. I thought the first half we played lights out on defense. To hold Arkansas to 89 yards rushing, the fifth rushing team in the country, I thought was an excellent job by our defense. That was our plan. They threw the ball, and on third down they hurt us in the flat. We just didn't get it done at the corner position again. And we didn't have enough pressure. I thought the penalty on McKinley Boykin when we sacked them and it was going to be third and long changed the momentum of the football game. That was a poor job on our defense and a penalty we didn't need right there. Offensively it just seemed we couldn't get much going today. Ten yards rushing. I don't know if you're ever going to win a football game rushing the football for 10 yards. I thought Ethan Flatt looked OK at times. But he did not give the spark to our offense that we needed. We did not get anything out of our special teams. Our return team and our punting team were poor. The field goal at the end would have given us a chance to get the onsides kick and go for it. Overall we just did not play well in the second half.

Q: Talk about the struggles of your defense in the second half.

Orgeron: They (Arkansas) played well in the second half. In the second half we looked like a different team on defense. Our whole plan was to stop the run and get off on third down. We had a nice blitz package on third down. They got certain personnel and we sacked them. They changed their personnel grouping. Give them credit. We went to a zone coverage and we didn't get it done.

Q: Did the McKinley Boykin penalty change the game?

Orgeron: The momentum changed. They go in and score. It's going to be third and long. If we could have gotten off the field there it would have helped. That changed the momentum of the football game. Our defense was on the field too long in the second half, and they wore down.

Q: Do you feel like your corners were in position but that they were not making the plays?

Orgeron: Yes. No doubt. We were in the right positions but didn't make the plays.

Q: Was Ethan affected by the hit early?

Orgeron: I imagine he was. He came back. He's a competitor, but I think he was.

Q: Talk about the play of Robert Lane and Larry Kendrick.

Orgeron: They looked pretty good. Robert brought some fire to the team. He's a competitor. Kendrick ran the ball OK, had a couple of big runs, and held onto the football. But with 10 yards rushing, I don't think anybody's playing well.

Q: Where does this program stand right now?

Orgeron: Recruiting is going to be a big part of my job here. But I'm proud of my team here now. They've competed and worked. We play LSU and it's our last home game. We play Mississippi State. We have to continue to battle.

Q: How do you get your team back up to play again after losing this game 28-17 when you led 17-7?

Orgeron: That will be no problem, I promise you.

Q: What has been hampering your team most lately from winning games?

Orgeron: On defense, third downs. Just overall attitude on offense and development on offense is not where I want it. We need to find where that's happening.

Q: What about the quarterback situation now?

Orgeron: We'll play to win. It's not about next season or whatever. We'll play to beat LSU. Whoever gives us the best chance. We'll look at the film and see how Ethan did in making reads and adjustments. Whoever gives us the best chance to beat LSU is gonna be in the game.

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