Postgame press conference from Kentucky

Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron stated the obvious, and the truth, after Kentucky had defeated his team 31-14 in Lexington. The Rebels dropped to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the SEC with the setback. Read Coach O's comments inside.

The following is Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron's postgame press conference after the Rebels had dropped an error-filled game to homestanding Kentucky 31-14.

Coach O's opening statement to the media: "It's hard to win any game with 12 penalties and five turnovers. Kentucky had us reeling in the first half on defense. They spread us out and gave us some problems, but I thought we came in at halftime and made somed good adjustments. We shut them down a little bit and did some positive things on defense which gave us a chance to compete.

"But I think the fumbled snap when we were deep in their territory and down 21-14 was the big play of the game. We fumbled the snap and the momentum shifted back to Kentucky. That was the second time in the Red Zone we had a turnover and that killed us.

"We have to eliminate the penalties. That is very uncharacteristic of our team. Some of them were on big, game-changing plays, like our TD that was called back. They also made a big third down when we were in man coverage that was a big play in the game. They went on to score and put the game away.

"We did not sustain anything on offense in the second half and when we did, we didn't finish the job. I give credit to Kentucky. We just have to move on."

Q: On Brent Schaeffer's fumbles, did you think he was protecting the ball well enough?

Coach O: On the first couple of series of the game, he was was carrying it kind of loose. The ball was out there. That was a concern early on, but I'm not sure what happened on the fumbles we lost. We'll look at the film, but I would imagine he was carrying it loose.

Q: Was it strange to you that a team with no penalties in the first game went to 12 in the third game?

Coach O: It's real unusual not to have any in the first game. Then to turn around with an unusual amount tonight was disheartening. There are no excuses for penalties. We will have to look at what we are doing and figure out if we are asking them to do too much. We have to fix that.

Q: What adjustments did you make at halftime defensively?

Coach O: We got them out of the spread with some nickel looks and they went to a two-back look, which we did pretty good against for most of the second half. Then we gave them a first down on another penalty. Then they hit us on a rub route when we blitzed and were in man coverage. The ensuing catch led to their only TD of the second half. Meanwhile, we were shooting ourselves in the foot on offense with turnovers in their end of the field.

Q: What affect does it have on the team when you are down a score and get it deep in their territory to tie it and then have a turnover?

Coach O: We just have to find a way to win - that's all there is to it. If we were used to winning, we'd have found a way to punch it in there. We have to find a way to win and learn how to win and quit beating ourselves. Twelve penalties, five turnovers and horrible first-half defense and we still had a shot. But you have to do it when you get a chance. We also have to learn to play for 60 minutes - we can't play spotty like we did tonight and expect to win.

Q: What were your impressions of Schaeffer's play?

Coach O: He's not where he needs to be right now, obviously. But he did make a lot of good plays - some long throws, some good runs, but he had some big mistakes too. Way too many mistakes and some big game-changing mistakes too.

Q: What about TB Bruce Hall coming in and getting 20 yards on three carries and having one big run called back?

Coach O: He did well. He gave us a spark. He ran the ball hard and was explosive. He deserved his turn from what he had done in practice, BenJarvus needed a break and Bruce did a real good job when given the opportunity.

Q: All week, you had talked about playing LB Rory Johnson and Dustin Mouzon more. How did that play out?

Coach O: What happened was that when we got the gameplan finalized, Rory was still making too many mistakes on Thursday so we stayed with Quentin Taylor. We couldn't risk him starting. At halftime, we put in a nickel back and took out a LB and that helped us against the spread formations they ran.

Q: You got a little more production out of some of the young wide receivers - Shay Hodge, Mike Wallace, etc.

Coach O: Yes, on a couple of plays. That was good to see. But they also had two big penalties that cost us - a hold and covering up the TE on a TD pass that made the TE ineligible and called the score back when the TE went downfield. The WR should have been off the line of scrimmage. Big play against us. We can't do those things. But I did see some positives out of them.

Q: What about Brent's chemistry with some of those young wideouts?

Coach O: It's not there yet, but pressure on him was also a problem tonight. He was running around for his life at times tonight. I think it's a combination of everything, but we'll get it right.

Q: What about your secondary tonight?

Coach O: We've struggled with the big wide receivers we've faced. We don't have the size to deal with some of them. We are looking for some bigger corners - ours are undersized. We have had to go to some cover two with the safety behind them, but we can't do that every down. We've been getting exposed. They did a good job last year and I have confidence in them, but we have to figure out why they aren't doing a good job this year.

Q: On the late hit, did you think it was a good call?

Coach O: I don't know. We'll see. I thought there were a couple of questionable calls tonight, and they hurt us, but that's part of football. We have to overcome those. It's just like injuries. That's part of football. We are very thin and can't afford any interior injuries, but we had a couple tonight (RT Darryl Harris, RG John Jerry, NT Peria Jerry - both Jerrys came back in, but Harris didn't). We just have to have some guys step in there and play and do the best we possibly can. We not only have some guys out, we have guys who are playing who can't practice and they can't perform as well on Saturdays without practicing. That's just where we are. We have to deal with it.

Q: How do you get this young team back after a couple of bad games in a row?

Coach O: I will stay positive with them. We will stick together as a team. I love my football team. I like my guys, I like my coaches. I am going to stick with this team and we are going to come out on top.

Q: Talk about the tight ends getting involved a little tonight with Robert Hough's TD catch and a couple of more.

Coach O: It's great. We spread the ball around tonight a little better and I think we'll see more of that as Brent gets his reads down better and the timing with him and more receivers gets going better. Kentucky was a zone blitz team and that left the tight end open sometimes. I was glad to see both Roberts make plays tonight - Hough and Lane.

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