Coach O Monday

The following is Coach Ed Orgeron's Monday press conference. The Ole Miss Rebels host Louisiana Tech for Homecoming on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Oxford.

Orgeron: After watching the film of the Georgia game, there were a lot of great things that happened on the football field. When you watch Peria Jerry play with the nine tackles he had, three tackles for loss, it was the kind of performance we've been waiting for with Peria. He's been playing pretty good but I really think he just turned up his game. He gave us an excellent effort. He gave us those big runs. He's running down the field. He's really coming into his own as a football player. On offense it was really good to see the run game make progress. Good to see BenJarvus get back into action. I thought our offensive line blocked better than they have. I thought the protection was good. Again, I think we're catching the ball well. It was good to see Mike Wallace make a big play. Those are the positives. Obviously we broke down in the third quarter. It was good to see the 18-play drive. Some good adjustments by Dan and those guys at halftime. We come back and make the 18-play drive. Our defense couldn't stop them, and we kinda made some mistakes on special teams. We turned the ball over, and they took over the game in the fourth quarter. Monday is about the truth. We're going to take care of the film, and then we're going to move on to Louisiana Tech. We watched a little bit of Louisiana Tech. Their Fresno State film came in late last night, so we haven't got to watch all their games yet. But we've studied them and they have a good running back in Patrick Jackson. I know they have a good offensive line coach. I know a lot of their coaches there. I've known their defensive coordinator for years. We're very familiar with Louisiana Tech and their staff. We know they'll be fired up and ready to play Ole Miss. We're looking forward to getting guys back today and get back to work. Any questions?

Q: How much of Peria's game was Georgia playing a little bit more traditional style of offense?

O: Could be, you know, could be. Two backs in the backfield. Not as much spread and stuff like that. He just had a dominating game. He really dominated most of the afternoon.

Q: Talk about missed tackles.

O: We're looking at who is missing the tackles. We graded them. What position missed the most tackles and why we missed them. We'll continue to do that. Some of it is technique. Some of it is we need bigger, stronger guys. We're going to continue to do it. Look at Kendrick Lewis, who I think is going to be a fantastic player for us. Kendrick was a wide receiver last year, and this is more of a physical type league. I think Kendrick is eventually going to be a good free safety for us. He's been kinda thrown into the fire. I'm not calling him out. He's not the only one. I'm just using him as an example. Ashlee Palmer came in, who is a good linebacker for us. He came in as a wide receiver/defensive back. He's playing linebacker. So it's taking a while for those players to adjust to all the tackling, the physical game. You look at Peria Jerry. I don't think he had a missed tackle. He's 300 pounds. A lot of those things is because we need to get bigger, stronger, faster. We need to get better on technique. I think it's about half and half if you look at it.

Q: In the fourth quarter, what was the reason for not finishing the game better?

O: There is no mystery when you look at the film. No mystery. It's not about working hard. It's not about conditioning. I think we're in good condition. First of all we need to learn how to win. When we're first and goal, we need to make that play. We need to learn how to get up 14-0. We don't know how to do that yet. We mad some unusually poor mistakes in the kicking game. There some mental errors and technique errors we usually don't have. They just took the game over in the fourth quarter. It's not a mystery but it was a surprise. But it's nothing you can put on like we're not ready or we're not practicing or they're not in shape or they're not lifting. It has nothing to do with that.

Q: Talk about Louisiana Tech's offense.

O: They run some spread. They have some two back too. They have a tight end that plays in the backfield. They run some lead draw, some play action pass. They're a combination. Louisiana Tech traditionally has been a great passing team. I'm very familiar with the. I played against them. I coached against them. I have respect with what they do in their program. They're a good football program.

Q: Do you anticipate freshmen and new players getting more opportunities this week?

O: We'll try. We try guys and put them in positions. Sometimes we don't feel they will be able to respond in a way we want them to in a live situation. We'll continue to look at some guys.

Q: What do you remember from playing against Tech?

O: I remember having one of my better games. That and a quarter will get you a cup of coffee this Saturday, though. I do remember having a good game. I really enjoyed playing against Louisiana Tech. It was like our rival. We played at Independence Bowl stadium. It was an emotional game. It was fun. I remember like it was yesterday.

Q: Is it too late into the season to talk about position changes for some players?

O: Never. Never. We will always compete to put the best players on the field. Scottie Williams is getting a chance at linebacker. We don't know if he's ready to play yet. Lawon Scott played more plays last week. Ted Laurent is making more plays. A lot of guys are getting the opportunity out there. We just need to produce in key situations.

Q: Talk about Seth's play and how he continues to perform.

O: Really proud of Seth. It says a lot about his background, his character, the way he was raised. He's taken to Dan's coaching and running the offense out there. I thought he was a little nervous at the beginning of this game. But he held on and made some plays. He's up there with us. He comes in the office, laughing and talking and joking. He's the kind of guy you want around. Hey coach what's going on? What do you think about this? Exactly what you want in a quarterback. You want your quarterback to be an extension of the football staff on the football field. He's totally into what he's doing. The guy was born wanting to be an Ole Miss quarterback. Now he has his opportunity and he's taking full advantage of it.

Q: Are you worried about team morale at 1-4?

O: No. I'm never concerned about that. I really am not. We have a system here, we have a program. I'm with this team almost 24/7. I wish you could have been in the dressing room before the game. There is no concern about morale, about getting down. Obviously it's about human nature after a football game not to feel right. I feel the same way, especially on Sunday morning. But come Sunday morning, I'm ready to go. Put the week behind, and get ready to play. We've got a lot of football left. I enjoy being with this football team. They're a hard-working, a fun group to be around. We've got a three-game home stand. We're looking forward to that and getting better as the season goes on.

Q: With Louisiana Tech coming in and not having a very good record, is this an opportunity for your team to get things right?

O: We have to play every game and respect every opponent. We're in no position right now to overlook anybody. We have a lot of things to get better at. We need to go out there and win and play well. I would expect us to play very, very well. I expect us to practice very hard and win us a football game. That's what I expect.

Q: Talk about Corey Actis' status since he didn't play Saturday.

O: Let me say this to you. As the head coach of this football team, I evaluate players and everything they do and I make decisions. One of the decisions I made was to play Thomas Eckers.

Q: Do you expect Corey to play this week?

O: Well, it's Monday. I expect him to have a good day today. A good day Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. I make decisions on all our players like that. If guys don't do things that I expect them to do, whether it be in the classroom or on the football field, I will make those decisions. Our depth chart is etched in sand. I don't care who it is. If they're not performing or doing what they need to do, then we'll put ‘em down. That's what you're seeing.

Q: Dustin Mouzon said he expects to be ready for the game this weekend. Do you?

O: No doubt. No doubt. He's a competitor. He's very tough. He took a big hit at the beginning of the game. That could have been a blow to us. We had a special package, a dime package, we were going to use in the ballgame, but we had too many injuries. So we couldn't use it. That kinda hurt us in the ballgame. But that's part of it.

Q: Do you expect Dexter's role to increase this week?

O: Yes. I thought he was good. Real good. It's getting hard. You've gotta earn a spot. Those receivers are hot. You gotta earn your spot back. We've got playmakers. We've got Bruce. We've got BenJarvus. We've got guys catching balls and that's good. The competition is there.

Q: Have you ever seen a team this banged up this early?

O: That's part of it. That's why you have to have 85 scholarships. That's why it takes a while to build a program. That's why you would like to have to not play all your freshmen. We're thin at linebacker. We're thin at defensive back. We're thin at some spots. That's just the way it is.

Q: Talk about Dustin Mouzon's positive attitude.

O: If you had a survey, 96 percent of our team is like him. This is a very close team. It is about the team. We recruited most of these guy. Although losing these games has been tough, they see the progress. These guys believe in the football team. I think they have a nice spirit about themselves. He's not the only one like that. Seth's like that. BenJarvus is like that. Bruce Hall is like that, and on and on and on. These guys have a team spirit about themselves.

Q: You guys got Robert Lane the ball more Saturday. Is that what you anticipated beingb his role?

O: Yeah. I think Robert's excited when he catches the ball. I don't think he had a lot of success. There were a lot of short passes and they were on him. That little wheel route down the sideline was just a little too far for him to catch. When he moved to tight end I felt we would throw him the ball. I want to used the tight end, regardless of if it's Robert (Lane) or Robert Hough. I want to get the ball to the tight end.

Q: Talk about BenJarvus and Bruce and what the difference was last weekend for them?

O: We watched a lot of film and I give credit to the offensive staff. We had a couple of young coaches really come across this week with some late-night studies. We made some cut-ups of some plays of some big runs against the Georgia defense, and we found some plays that we thought would work and we used them. They were in our offense but we hadn't used them. There were a couple of new plays we ran. Our success in the run game is attributed to that. Our offensive staff works hard. We saw some things we thought might exploit them, and that's what we did.

Q: How much would you say the zone blocking you have tried to incorporate is part of the run game now?

O: I'd say 50-50. I'd like it to be higher, but we're not able to make the adjustments and calls at the line of scrimmage like I would expect us to. This is our first year doing it. We were taught by one of the best in the NFL how to do it. But it's very meticulous. To the naked eye it may seem very boring. But on the field it is very meticulous and it takes a lot of hard work. Those big runs you saw were part of the zone game and us picking it up right. What you're seeing from the run game is a better passing game. They can't just load the box. This is finally what we've been wanting to get in our offense.

Q: You now have three in a row at home.

O: It's good for us. Our guys enjoy being at home. We're familiar with our surroundings. Our crowds have been fantastic. The Grove and all those things, with the recruits, the Florida game and it was on TV. All the guys talk about is what a great atmosphere. Our guys enjoy it. They get to see their families. We need to use that as an advantage. We need to win at home. We need to start by beating Louisiana Tech.


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