The following are quotes from Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner and some key Ole Miss players in the 31-14 loss to Kentucky. The Rebs dropped to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the SEC.
Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner: (On the outcome) It was totally the opposite of last week. Last week, we weren't executing our plays very well, but at least we could stay onsides and hang on to the football. This week, we were running our offense well, doing exactly what we had talked about all week long, but we found ways to shoot ourselves in the foot with penalties that killed us and five turnovers. I never would have predicted this. We went two games without those problems, then all of a sudden, we have five turnovers and a mountain of penalties. I wish I knew the cause. We work on the same things every week - ball security is something we really preach and obviously our preaching didn't work tonight. (On the gameplan) I thought our guys executed well and we knew what we needed to call and what we needed to do. We had a good plan, but you have to do it all. We are not the type of team that can go out and play sloppily and win a game. We talk to our guys about the need of playing great every week to succeed. We fought the whole way, but I don't know too many teams who can overcome 12 penalties and five turnovers. We also had a TD called back. (On Brent Schaeffer) I thought he played well today except for the ball security, which was the glaring error. He made a few really nice throws and runs. A couple of those throws were plays we don't rep a lot, but he saw something, went to it and made big plays out of what he saw. There were some good signs tonight, some promise, but we have to be smarter with the football.
TE Robert Lane: (On the game) We gave it to them. Offensively, we made way too many mistakes to win. That's the bottom line. We go down twice to score and throw a pick on a DL spying on a crossing route and then fumble a snap. Those are things we can control and things that change momentum in a game. We take any of those in and the momentum shifts to us and you don't know what might happen. (On the offense) We played good except we committed the number one sin - we didn't take care of the football. We executed the plays, but we had turnovers and penalties, which just break your back. (On why those surfaced in this game) I have no idea. I have no explanation. It seemed like it became contagious tonight. We have to get better at that too. In other words, we can't let that stuff snowball. So we had a fumble early on - get over it and stop it from happening again. We didn't do that tonight. We didn't overcome anything tonight and we kept making the same mistakes over and over. There are a lot of things we can improve on. (On being close) We are very close as a team of being pretty good. We are hitting on seven of eight cylinders and plugging holes as they pop up. We will get them all plugged real soon and get on a roll. We will start getting the game-changing plays going our way. I can feel it. It's coming.
WR Mike Wallace: (On his game - two catches for 65 yards and a long TD catch called back) I knew all week this was going to be a game where I could get the ball and I was excited about it. I know I can produce on this level. Coach told me they were going to throw me the ball this week, they did and I produced, but it doesn't mean much when you don't win. I felt very comfortable out there. I had everything blocked out and was very confident.
TB BenJarvus Green-Ellis: (On the game) We have to fix some things, obviously, but I think we made some strides this week. We just have to go back to taking care of the ball. It seemed like tonight we were so intent on executing better than last week that we forgot the most important thing - hang on to the ball. It was frustrating to move the ball the way we did and shoot ourselves in the foot.
TE Robert Hough: (On his TD catch) When I made my break, I saw instantly it was going to be open and Brent saw it too. It was a great throw, a perfect call and I was all alone for my first college score. It felt good, but it doesn't feel like much now since we lost. (On the game) It's really frustrating when you kick yourself when you are moving the ball the way we were. Man, real frustrating. We didn't see that coming.
NT Peria Jerry: (On jumping offsides) They had a hard count and I was anxious to get off the ball. My bad - twice. But I settled down after that. (On his injuries) I'm banged up from head to toe. I will just fight through it because I'm not going to get healthy this year until I have a long time off and I don't want time off now.
LG Andrew Wicker: (On the game) I never saw this coming. Penalties and turnovers have not been a factor for us this year. Tonight, I have no explanation. When we watch the film, we are going to be really disappointed. I am not looking forward to that. I don't know how much lower I can get right now, but I imagine I'll be lower tomorrow when we watch film. We had things working and just gave them the game with bad mistakes, game-changing mistakes. Everyone on this team has a sick feeling right now because of how this played out. All we can do is go back to the drawing board. This tells us we can't beat another team when we are beating ourselves. We have learned two hard lessons this year - last week with not executing and this week with bobbling the game away - and I hope we learn and it pays dividends down the road. There is not a team in the country that can do what we did tonight and win on the road. We can't afford to look back, but we can surely learn from our past mistakes. We will get back on the plane, get back to God's Country and go back at it hard again Monday. (On being at home the next game) That will help us. We'll feed off the crowd - I hope our fans haven't given up on us. We are so close and I hope our fans know that. The score tonight was not even close to the story of this game in the trenches. We competed, but we have to execute, cut out mistakes and play for 60 minutes. It's coming - just hang with us.
MLB Patrick Willis: (On the game) Kentucky knew what they had to do and did it. They attacked our weaknesses and executed. We played poorly in the first half defensively, but we came back strong in the second half once we realized what they were doing and adjusted. (On what he can do) I just have to talk to the guys about staying together. We did some good things tonight, but not enough of them. It's coming. We are going to get more pressure on the QB to help our secondary. We are going to tackle better. We are going to heal up sooner or later. When we get all those things together, we are going to be strong. We just haven't put things together yet. We played well against the run and better on third downs, but we gave up some big plays we shouldn't have. We'll get there.
QB Brent Schaeffer: (On his play) It wasn't good. I take all the blame on the turnovers. I'm supposed to lead the offense and I didn't by not taking care of the ball. I threw an interceptions, had some fumbles. Things you can't do as a QB. (On the interception) Their DT got knocked back. The crossing route opened and I never saw the DT back in the passing lane. My fault. (On his passing game) I was able to get some more guys into the action. We are starting to get on the same page batter. Our young wide receivers are getting the feel of things better now and we're getting some chemistry. I think the fact that I'm further along with my reads and progressions is helping too. I'm seeing more of the field and feeling more comfortable in the offense. We're getting more confidence in each other. As we gain more and more reps, we are going to gel more and more. We had things going tonight until I had all those turnovers. We are getting better and better. We are close, real close.
From the Locker Room in Lexington
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