Coach O postgame

The following are Coach Ed Orgeron's comments after Ole Miss lost to Alabama 27-24 Saturday in Oxford.

Orgeron: I just told my team they gave me everything they possibly could. I just feel bad for them. All week we worked very hard to win this game. This morning there was a great feeling amongst everybody and a great attitude for competing to the very end. And it came down to that. It was very questionable at the end what happened. We put ourselves in position to win the game. We just fell a play short. We came back in the second half and shored up some things on defense. We played a little bit better. I thought the play of Greg Hardy was fantastic. I thought John called great blitzes on third down with some great pressures. We played the run a little bit better. I was disappointed in our special teams. We blocked a punt which was good but we missed an extra point. I thought it was a great fight by our team. By no means are we happy with a loss. I just feel bad for those guys. I know how hard they've worked. But we're going to bukle it up again tomorrow and get ready for Arkansas.

Q: What was the ruling by the officials at the end?

O: Oh, boy. I didn't get much of an explanation, to be honest with you. I think they said he was pushed out of bounds, something like that. I don't know. It was unclear.

Q: Did they say he was he pushed out of bounds or stepped out of bounds?

O: Or he stepped out of bounds, something like that. I didn't get an explanation. We just listened to them on the side. They gave them the ball I think they said he stepped out of bounds. I was wrong on that. They were going to see if he was pushed out of bounds. It would be OK. But I think they said he stepped out of bounds.

Q: Did Alabama challenge it, or did the officials just review it?

O: Alabama didn't challenge it, I don't believe.

Q: Did you have a good view of it?

O: No, I didn't get a good look at it at all. I was just looking to see if he caught the ball. Obviously we thought he was in bounds.

Q: What were your plans on the next play?

O: We're throwing a fade to Greg. We had enough time. We were going to try to score. If we didn't score, we had enough time to put the field goal unit out there and tie it up. That was the plan.

Q: You were close in proximity to the officials. What were your thought at the time while you waited?

O: I thought he was in. I didn't think it was going to be reversed at all. I just wanted to make sure we had enough time to throw the fade and kick the field goal. I didn't want to throw an incomplete pass and run out the time. But we had seven seconds so we felt we could do it. That was what was going through my in. I never thought it was going to be reversed. Ever.

Q: Talk about going for it on fourth down deep in your own territory on that last drive.

O: You've got to. I didn't want to give them the ball again. So we wanted to win this game. It was a good play, a good call. We missed a lot of opportunities. We were playing real well. We just had a couple of mishaps.

Q: You've lost some close ones before. Where does this one ranked?

O: It's tough. It's really tough. It would have come at a good time, a very good time for our football team. We're working. The guys are believing in what's going on. This would have been a good win for us, could have turned the tide for us. But it didn't happen. The guys believe in it and will come back from it. But it's a tough one, especially the way it ended.

Q: When was the last time you had a defensive lineman play as well as Greg did today?

O: It's been a while. He's a good athlete. He's had a couple of good weeks of practice. He's been more consistent. He's a really player.

Q: Talk about the play of Seth Adams today.

O: He was sick this morning. He had to leave early from Tupelo. He had to get an IV in him. He threw a couple of picks but he came back and fought. He's a fighter. He's a gamer. He threw the ball at the end to give us a chance to win the game.

Q: Thomas Eckers was at right guard over John Jerry. Is Jerry hurt?

O: John Jerry was held out because of disciplinary reasons. Those disciplinary reasons are held inhouse. He's expected to be back with us on Monday.

Q: You threw the ball to the backs quite a bit today. Did you see something from the Alabama defense that allowed you to do that?

O: Yeah I guess you know a couple of mismatches on their linebackers. Dan handles most of that. I just want the ball in Mike's hands. I like No. 2 when he catches the ball. I thought our receivers played very well again today. They're very aggressive on the bal. That play Mike Hicks made down there in the end zone. Think the receivers are doing a good job. Again, I just feel bad for the team, knowing how much they gave to win this game.

Q: How was the locker room after the game?

O: Guys are down. I really thought we'd throw the ball and score. They got it taken away from them and it let the air out of them on something that was very questionable.

Q: Did you feel your players were good enough to win today?

O: I think in a lot of spots we were. We still have a couple of spots left we need to get better at. The first half they kept on driving, kept on hitting us with the same plays. We made some adjustments in the second half. We did some different things. There are still some fundamental things we need to get better at obviously.

Q: Was the difference in the second half just the amount of pressure your defense got?

O: They were last in the SEC in third-down conversions. We felt good going into the game about our third-down pressures. The first half we didn't get him in many third downs. They kept running the ball on first and second downs. Finally we stopped the run on first down, and got them on third and long. We had a couple of things built in to defeat their protection and it worked.

Q: Have you been a replay guy; have you been for it?

O: Yeah, I thought it was good. I liked the challenge. I think it's good. I'm going to see them film on it. I may change my mind after this week.

Q: Do you have avenues that you cane use to talk to the SEC office about it?

O: Yeah. We're going to look at it on film. We'll send in the plays. They'll give us a response immediately when things are right and when things are wrong. But there's nothing we can do about it. It's tough.

Q: How tough has it been to lose to Alabama three straight years by three points each time.

O: Everyone of them hurt. When you come to Ole Miss, you want to beat Alabama. I came to Ole Miss wanting to beat Alabama. We've come very close, and we've played some of our best games against them. I told our guys to keep on working, and eventually we're going to beat these teams. We've got to keep on doing what we're doing, and eventually it's going to happen.

Q: Can your team get up again?

O: I've been asked that question for three years now. We have a system. On Sunday guys come around and watch the film. Guys get treatment. Nobody's in a good mod. On Monday everybody kinda perks up a little bit. We watch the film and I show them what we did wrong. We put it in the can and we go out and get ready for Arkansas. We've had some tough losses here, and our guys seem to bounce back. We know Arkansas is a good team. They have some big backs. We're playing at home. And we'll be ready. I have no question we'll be ready.

Q: Talk about the fake field goal they ran on you.

O: We always anticipate something like that. We had the block on. I thought it was a good job by our field goal block unit. They played very well. I think Greg Hardy made the play on that too. He's just a great player.

Q: Talk about the scene at the end of the game with people throwing bottles and what not. Hat's your feelings on that?

O: Those are things that are out of my control. I tend to focus on what I can control, my football team and my coaching staff. Those things are very important to me.

Q: How do you personally deal with a loss like that?

O: I have my ways. I just have my stuff together. I need to as a head coach.

Q: Would it have been an easier loss to take had the game ended another way, like a missed field goal or an incompletion in the end zone?

O: Yeah that was in our control. I could go in there and tell them guy guys there it is. We took a shot in the end zone, or we missed a field goal. That's in our control. The other things was out of our hands. That's sometimes hard to swallow. It's tough to explain to those young men who fought so hard and gave us everything they had. They kinda look like ‘Why.?'

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