Postgame Press Conference

Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron called the 17-10 victory over visiting SEC foe Vanderbilt "my kind of game" after the Rebels forced five turnovers and blocked a punt en route to the win. Coach O said the Rebels "found a way to win." Read his postgame press conference inside.

The following is Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron's postgame press conference after the Rebels defeated Vanderbilt 17-10 before a sun-drenched Homecoming crowd. The Rebels are now 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the SEC after the needed victory.

Coach Ed Orgeron's Opening Statement: "We are happy with the win. Our team found a way to win in a game that went down to the last play. I was happy to see FS Charles Clark make the late interception. I was very pleased with the play of the sapecial teams and the turnovers the defense forced. We were plus-3 in turnovers and that won the game for us. I was really happy with the way we stopped the spread offense as far as Vandy's running game is concerned. We got beat and had some missed assignments in our pass defense, but our team won the game and that's the most important thing.

"BenJarvus Green-Ellis had over 100 yards rushing, but other than that I wasn't real happy with some of the offensive production. I'm expecting more - they are expecting more. The key is that we won the game and found a way to win. We competed all the way to the end and made a play when we had to."

Q: Vandy had a lot of miscues. How big were they?

Coach O: We found a way to win on special teams and on defense and that's the way I like it. This was my kind of game. We forced Vandy into a lot of mistakes even though they were getting yards on us. We made plays when they were there to be made.

Q: Talk about your quarterbacks.

Coach O: We're not getting anything out of them. Obviously it's not where we want it to be. Brent Schaeffer will probably start against Alabama, but we have to get more production out of that position.

Q: Did you hear fans booing him?

Coach O: My football team means the world to me. We try to focus on what we have to get done and eliminate all outside factors. I like when everything is positive, the rest of the stuff I don't worry about.

Q: Talk about the blocked punt, or the punt they didn't even get off.

Coach O: I give the credit to Coach Chris Rippon. When I hired him, he was the best in the nation on special teams and his specialty is blocking punts. He's done a tremendous job in that area and in all areas of special teams as the coordinator. Did you realize we blocked two punts against Georgia and that's the first time they had a punt blocked in five years? We had another one this week. It's becoming a weapon for us. I'm just so proud for him because he has worked really hard and so have all the other coaches and the kids. We put a lot of speed on our special teams and it's showing. We had a big kickoff return by Mico McSwain and just did good things all the way around on special teams.

Q: What are Brent's practices like?

Coach O: His practices have been fine. He's done everything we've asked him to do. He's ready to go in meetings and in practice, but it's just taking him a little more time than we expected to get adjusted in the games.

Q: Talk about Rory Johnson and his two fumble recoveries and 16 tackles.



Coach O: That was a great strip he made. He's a competitor. Our philosophy is to go get the ball and he has a knack for it. The philosophy of going after the ball helped us win the game today and he was right in the middle of it with a fumble recovery and a strip when they were deep in our territory. He played well. He's inexperienced, but he makes up for it with his athleticism. He's starting to show up out there a lot. We've had to work with him all the way through Saturday mornings. It's not that he can't grasp things, it's just that we are doing a lot of different things. Coach (David) Saunders has done a good job with him and he's working hard. It's paying off.

Q: How do you fix the passing game?

Coach O: We get us a big tall receiver, get him to run down the field, we throw it up for grabs and he goes and gets it, like everyone else is doing. (laughs) We don't have that guy yet. We are lacking the 6-5 receiver who can beat one-on-one coverage. We are not where we need to be at receiver, in our protections or at quarterback. It's a combination of things.

Q: What was your thinking on going for it in the Red Zone on fourth down that didn't work and then opting for a field goal later in the same situation?

Coach O: I thought if we had gotten the first one and punched it in, 21-7 would have made a statement and taught my team to be aggressive. I wanted to put them away right there. We had a chance to put them away and I wanted to take it. Later, I thought we were better served by getting the field goal and getting two scores ahead.

Q: Can you talk about putting Seth Adams in the game?

Coach O: I knew we were going to play him at the beginning of the week, but let me say this. I don't want anyone on the team thinking their position is going to be given to them. It's about competition. You have to go out there and produce, I don't care who it is. If they aren't playing well, I will put the next guy in there. That creates competition.

Q: Are you worried about Brent's confidence?

Coach O: No. I don't worry about much.

Q: You got something out of Peria Jerry today.

Coach O: It was good to see him out there. I think the atmosphere of the Georgia game made some guys want to get back out there. It caught their eye and showed them what it could be like here at Ole Miss if everyone competes. I saw a different look in our guys' eyes this week. It was like 'hey, I want to be a part of this.' He fought to come back this week and get some PT. We were having a hard time with their QB draw so we put him in the middle and told him to spy on the QB. He did a good job for us.

Q: Greg Hardy continued to play well.

Coach O: I like what he's doing. He's going to be a fantastic DL. He plays defense the way it ought to be played. He's quick. He has long arms and he's always around the ball. He's tough and he plays hard.

Q: Talk about Cassius Vaughn on special teams.

Coach O: He's quick and fast. He gets off the football well and Chris is using him in the right ways. He puts him in position to make plays and Cassius is making them.

Q: How are Dexter McCluster and Robert Lane, who were both knocked out of the game?

Coach O: Dexter is banged up a little. That was a good hit he took on the opening kickoff. He'll be fine. I don't know what is wrong with Robert but he didn't play in the second half.

Q: Does Patrick Willis amaze you sometimes?

Coach O: I think Patrick picked up his intensity this week and turned loose some too. He's a fantastic person and player. Rory compliments him well too. We have two SEC linebackers out there now. That's good to see. They all learn from Patrick too. He's a leader.

Q: You had two fourth down decisions on the last drive. You went for one but punted on the second one. Why?

Coach O: On the first one, we only needed a few inches and our defense was tired. I needed to buy some time for them. I didn't think we could give them the ball then and go stop them. The next time, we were about a yard-and-a-half short and I felt we needed to punt it. The defense had rested enough, I thought.

Q: On the late long pass Vandy hit, was there a busted coverage?

Coach O: Yes. They went to a lot more spread than we thought they would and we worked hard on stopping the run. We put in a different coverage for this game and I think we just busted it late. I thought 'just get him down and give us another play - we'll make something happen.' And we did.

Q: Why do you think they went to the spread more?

Coach O: Because we shut their running game down. We put in a few wrinkles that worked on stopping their run, especially their take option. We caused some fumbles in their running game. They decided to spread us out and they got to us some in the passing game. They are very good at wide receiver.

Q: What about the game-ending interception by Charles Clark?

Coach O: What a great time to get our first pick of the year. We had a blitz on and we were playing man-free. Charles was the free guy playing the post. We got good pressure and Charles took a shot and made a play. A good play.

Q: There were over 200 people from the Bruceton, TN, area here to see Patrick Willis. What were you thinking when you saw all of them in the Grove on the Walk of Champions?

Coach O: It was fantastic to see how much he means to that community. I am so proud of him and that town for supporting him like that.

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