Postgame Press Conference

After Arkansas had defeated the Rebels 38-3 in a "strange" game, Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron said he didn't see the energy level he was hoping for from his squad coming off the OT loss to Alabama. Read about it inside.

The following is Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron's press conference following the 38-3 loss to Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Coach O's Opening Statement: "Give Arkansas and Coach Houston Nutt a lot of credit. They have an excellent football team and they made some big plays on us today. I think they are very good and deserve credit.

"We started off slowly. The opening kickoff return for a TD hurt us. After that, for the most part, we played decent run defense and we played poor pass defense at times. The screen play to Darren McPhadden was the final nail. We had shut him down most of the day and then they hit the 70-yard screen to him for a score. We should not have let him go 70 on that play. Offensively we didn't get much going. We had a couple of big throws that could have helped a lot but were dropped. I was disappointed with that and the play of the special teams today."

Q: When you look at the final stats of 346 yards for Arkansas and 245 for the Rebs, how do you reconcile the score?

Coach O: It's strange because we had some great moments out there on defense against a good offensive team. We didn't feel we were being manhandled, but we couldn't continue to make the big plays and we had poor field position a lot. We also didn't get much out of our offense to help us get any momentum going.

Q: Did the opening kickoff return take some wind out of your sails?

Coach O: It took us a while to get going. I don't know if we had a lot of wind in our sails to begin with. We decided to let them have the ball first because I thought our defense would stop them and the kickoff team is supposed to be the attitude of our team. We just didn't start fast today. Once we got going, we played decent in spots and there were plays out there to make on both sides of the ball. We just didn't make them.

Q: Did you feel good about holding McPhadden and Jones to roughly 110 yards?

Coach O: Except for the screen, I felt we did OK against their running attack. They are averaging 230 yards a game on the ground and got 148 on us. That's the second year in a row we have fared well against their run game, in my mind. I was not pleased when their second team hit the fade route on us and the screen was bad. Other than that, we were OK most of the time.

Q: It sounds like you think your guys competed on defense but not on offense.

Coach O: We just didn't get anything going, you know. We just didn't get the play we wanted on offense when we had the opportunity to make some plays. I'm not saying the defense played better than the offense, I just thought we did OK against their run game. I'm really disappointed we gave up some big plays in the pass game - again.

Q: What was going on with your passing game?

Coach O: I need to look at it closely on film, but we don't have a go-to guy at receiver right now. We had a long TD and dropped it. It's a combination of things, but I thought our protection today was fair most of the day. Our passing and catching was off. After the drop, we have to remain positive. I'm certainly not singling out one guy (Michael Hicks) because he made some big catches today - we can't forget that. Hopefully with maturity and more recruiting, we will get all that fixed.

Q: Did you get a good look at McPhadden's screen play TD?

Coach O: I was looking down the sidelines - it was right in front of me - and I didn't think he stepped out. It was close, but I thought he stayed in from my angle. We worked hard on the screens and usually play them well, but we let one get us today. In their passing game, I thought we did a good job on Marcus Monk, their big-time receiver. He had one catch. Bottom line is that we just didn't play a complete game. On the screen, we had a blitz called to the other side and had that side sealed, but we didn't feel the release of their OL going away from our blitz. It was a nice play, but it shouldn't have gone for 70. That changed the game a lot. But that has been the story with us a lot this year. Play good for stretches, then give up the big play. We have to fix that.

Q: When you got down 21-0, did it change your offensive gameplan?

Coach O: It changed a little, sure. We were behind and needed to score some points. We had some open receivers but we either missed them or we dropped the ball or we had a couple of miscommunications.

Q: How do you turn things around the rest of the year?

Coach O: Continue to work and continue to play our young guys, who are developing. We also have to develop some more consistency on offense and in our pass defense.

Q: Did you see some residual that wasn't good from the Bama game?

Coach O: It sure looked like we weren't fired up. We didn't have the same mental attitude we did against Alabama. We need to mature and understand that we play in the SEC and you have to play that way every week. That's the way it's done in this league. You have to be ready every week. We weren't today, it appeared. And I don't know why. We had some great practices. We had some jacked up practices, but this morning I could feel we were a little flat. Sometimes that's just the way it is, but we have to minimize those kinds of games in this league, if not eliminate them.

Q: Did you feel if you got Arkansas in some third-and-long situations that you could have success?

Coach O: Yes. We had a nice package in for Monk. We got hurt last week in those situations and thought we were prepared for them today, but we didn't put Arkansas in that position much today.

Q: What did you think of Brent Schaeffer's play today?

Coach O: Anytime you only score 3 points, nobody did a good job.

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