Postgame Comments: Ed Orgeron

Go inside to see what Orgeron had to say following the 30-24 loss to Florida.

Obviously we are disappointed with the loss, but we put ourselves in a position to win after coming back and fighting. We had a chance on that last drive to make plays. I thought we could get the ball to Mike Wallace. He looked like he was outrunning everybody, but we couldn't get it done. It was a great effort by our team. We made some improvement after a very tough week. The team came together as one that I envisioned. We had some good leadership and good meetings last night. We've had some people give up on us, and we fought through us. I'm proud of that, and we have the makings of a good team. Florida is a good team that is talented, but you can see where we can physically play with them. We are a couple players short, and played with a walk-on outside linebacker, Jamie Phillips. I thought John Thompson did a great job today and our defensive line played pretty good in spots. We hung in there. The offense did some really good things. We bogged down at time, but overall, I am proud of my football team. We stuck together, and this was not an easy week. We were disappointed after our loss to Vandy, and the guys in our coaching circle, kept up the confidence this week. I am most proud of that. Outside sources, and things that go on out there, our team fought through that.

What made you think Wallace could get behind Florida?

Mike is fast, and we got them deep this week and last week. He just outran them.

What was the situation with the fake punt?

It was a check-read at the line of scrimmage. It was geared to fake the punt or punt it depending on what defense they were in. They were drawing up stuff on the sidelines, and we had the option. We were ready to punt it or fake it. We had them outnumbered but didn't make the play.

Talk about your defensive effort?

I'm proud of our team. We heard a lot about Coach Meyer and his offense and how great they were. I just thought we played well. My guys were not intimidated by that staff, that coaching team. Although we have respect for them, I am really proud of our staff and our team. There aren't many people that believed in us and thought we could play with the Gators today, but inside our team, we believed that.

Were the missed tackles disappointing?

When you play against Florida, some plays will be made and some guys will miss tackles. I thought we were improved. I don't know anyone that won't miss tackles against Florida. They are going to make you miss. Overall, I won't chastise my defense at all. They played as hard as they possibly could.

How do you rate Seth's day?

He is a gamer and has that intestinal fortitude that you look for. He was hurt and came back and tried to practice a little Wednesday. He practiced Thursday. He had a smile on his face. This is what the guy always wanted to do. He has turned into a really good quarterback. I'm proud of him. He is a leader. He as hurting in there, and we were all hurting in there. I think we built on something here.

Talk about Tim Tebow.

He's good. He's good.

What happened with the 5-yard penalties on the line?

We had some jumps and a play to draw them offsides there at the end. We did draw them off, we snapped it. It was a questionable call. We wanted to go deep there when they jumped. There was a lot of time where their defensive line was in the neutral zone, but the guy said he wasn't. We are the least penalized team in the conference, and we had more today than I expect.

What was bogging the offense down in the first half?

We tried some new things, and they didn't work.

How did Jamie Phillips play today?

I'm proud of him. He is a walk-on from Senatobia. Our guys got better this week, and he did a fantastic job at times. He didn't play great. But you know, the mighty Gators were in town.

Did the defense slump when Mouzon went out?

Some but not a lot. We didn't get beat on the deep ball. We didn't get bombed like they did previous teams. Our guys did a good job of coaching that up.

How close was Kendrick on that pass across the middle?

It was close, and it would have been big. We have to make those plays and eventually we will. Our guys had confidence today. They had confidence on the bus coming in. I'm glad to see that they have fight, that fortitude.

Do you have a chip on your shoulder?

We are building something here. I don't have a chip on my shoulder about anything. We are going to fight. I'm going to fight. The team will fight. We stunk it up against Vanderbilt and came back and played against the defending national champions. We have to be consistent and believe in each other. I was surprised at some of the negative criticism, about my team and about me. We are building something and working as hard as we possible can. We are recruiting and are very close to the big teams. With a couple recruiting classes, we'll finally build something that Ole Miss is going to be proud of. It isn't going to happen overnight. Everyone wants quick success, we'll see.

How frustrating was it to be that close again?

It was 27-9 and it finished 30-24. We are getting there. Sometimes it takes some special players to make the plays at the end. I was disappointed in penalties and the last drive obviously. Our guys knew they could play with Florida, and give them credit, they are a good team. But we knew we could play with them. Now, we have to sustain that. We have to build on what we did today, come back on Monday and make progress against Georgia next week. That is what has to happen in our program to take a step forward.

What is the difference from last week to this?

We got better and the guys get up for the big teams. We need to learn how to play everyone consistently.

How is Thomas Eckers doing?

Very well, he is an alternate that gives guys a breather, and we had a meeting with the seniors Friday, and he was very vocal about beating Florida and have a successful final year.

Did the players call that meeting?

No, I did.

Why was Greg Hardy not starting and didn't play offense?

We have a couple things that go on during the week and guys have to do what they are supposed to do. He played well, and he has been hurt. It's hard to get all the reps as a two-way player when hurt.

Talk about Mike Hicks.

I am really proud of him. He is coming along. I think the receivers are the most improved group on our team. Give Coaches Freeze and Werner credit, they have come along. Mike has stuck it out and really pleased to see him play well. Hopefully, I will get Dexter back soon. That will really help.

Was today the closest all season to playing a full game?

I thought we were reeling during the third quarter and didn't like it. We went three-and-out, and then they go score. But we came back, and the guys had a meeting last night about whatever it takes to win. I thought we bonded as a football team tonight. They were really together, and that is excellent to see.

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