Coach O postgame -

The following are Coach Ed Orgeron's postgame comments after the Ole Miss Rebels lost to the Arkansas Razorbacks 44-8 Saturday afternoon in Oxford.

Orgeron: Well, obviously give credit to Arkansas. They were very well prepared today. They played with a lot of emotion and spirit out there and we didn't. We did not come to play our best today, and I have to take the blame for that as the head coach. I thought we were a little flat today. I was a little worried. I thought we did the best job we could all week to prepare. But obviously we didn't. They got out fast. That first series was rather ugly. We had guys to make plays on the run but we didn't. At halftime we made some good adjustments on defense. We kinda held them in check and gave ourselves a fighting chance. But the turnovers really caught up with us. Overall we didn't play like a good football team, a balanced football team, in all facets obviously. And they took it to us.

Q: Did you see signs of the team being flat during this past week?

O: Not really. Not really. I thought we practiced very well. There are some times I'm always worried. Today before the game I didn't see the fire and the energy we had against previous teams.

Q: Was some of today's performance leftovers from the loss to Alabama?

O: There are no excuses. We play in the SEC. We have to get used to this. With our schedule there's going to be some emotional games week to week. We just need to learn how to handle it. But we did not come out today the way I expect us to come out.

Q: Was it just a bad day for Seth Adams?

O: The last three games he's thrown some picks. We identified some stuff this week and worked on it. I'll have to look at the film. I'll ask Dan (Werner). Sometimes it's (Seth's) fault. Sometimes it's the receivers' fault. I thought the protection was bad today. They had a lot of pressure on him. We need to see what it was. We just wanted to give Brent (Schaeffer) a chance, and we didn't want (Seth) to throw another pick. I don't want any guys out there to not perform and not get benched. So that's what we did.

Q: Is Seth's job in jeopardy?

O: We'll see. We're going to see. I would hope not. I hope we can get it fixed. But Seth's position is just like anybody else's. If you don't peform, I'll put in the next guy to see if he will perform better.

Q: Seth played so well early this season. Do you have any idea what might have caused the recent step backwards?

O: I watched the film with him last week. I thought he was just trying to force the ball into double coverage. Some throws went right on the money like he had been. His stuff is on film. Defense are learning how to defend him. I think that's obvious. So a couple of things. But he's still an outstanding young man and we love him.

Q: Talk about Tony Fein's day?

O: Tony's worked hard the last couple of weeks. John Thompson has worked with him personally on learning how to fit the run. He was doing some fundamental things that were wrong that were putting him in the wrong position. Throughout the week you could see him come along, and we think we've got it fixed. He's strong and he's tough and he can make plays.

Q: Assess Brent Schafer's performance today.

O: I'll have to look at it. He made some plays. I would say they were coming after him, eight, nine-men blitzing and stuff. You could see his ability to escape. I thought the deep ball was very good. He's always thown the deep ball well. He made some mistakes but we'll look at it on film and talk it over with the offensive staff.

Q: Their fast start put your team in a hole, didn't it?

O: There's no doubt their fast start put us in a hole. But we came back and fought.

Q: You had mentioned earlier your talent level is not what it needs to be yet. Did that show up today?

O: Let me say this. When I said that, we've got to coach better and play better. I'm never going to put anything on my players. I recruit ‘em. I coach ‘em. I tell ‘em where to get. So it's on me. That's not on my players, now. That came out wrong after the Georgia game where I said we've got to get better SEC talent. That means I have to recruit better. I have 77 scholarship players. I'd like to have 85. I've got to put them in better position, that's what I meant. I would hope that nobody in here would try to say that I put the blame on my players. That's not happening. I take full responsibility for everything that happens.

Q: What about Ashlee and Shay's injuries?

O: Just typical stuff. Typical stuff. Ashlee's been injured the last four or five weeks, and we've played with injuries. Sometimes they're reinjured, so I don't think it was anything major.

Q: How did you address your team after this one?

O: I tell ‘em the truth. Tell ‘em the truth. Starts with me. Tell ‘em the truth. We'll go back to work Monday. I don't know any SEC team than can show up not emotional or not ready to play. We have to play like we did against Alabama and Florida. That's how we have to play every week. We cannot have a down week.

Q: What went wrong with your pass protection today?

O: They outmanned us. They outblitzed us. We had breakdowns in protection. We have to look to see what we're doing.

Q: Talk about Josh Shene continuing to struggle.

O: We're really disappointed with Shene. We only got to kickoff once today. We did what was planned. They got the ball at the 35. We'll take that against their team instead of a hundred yard return anytime. I think the double duty is hurting him a little. He had a great freshman year, and we need to find out why he's not having a great sophomore year.

Q: After three straight home games, is it good to be going on the road?

O: We'll have our hands full again to go play on the road. Whether we play at home or on the road, we have to accept the challenge. We have a tough, tough schedule to finish our season, and I want my guys to finish very hard.

Q: After eight games, have you changed your recruiting targets at all?

O: A little bit. We'll get a kickoff guy for sure. We're looking at some specific positions we know that we need.

Q: Does today's game shake your team's confidence?

O: I don't think we played our best today. That's obvious. I didn't think we were the same type of team that we'd been. It's not a fair statement to say either yes or no on that. I know when we're playing our best, we can play with anybody in the conference. But we have to be totally ready and and play at our best. It starts with me and our coaching staff, full speed, fired up, full of energy, physical, clicking on all cylinders. That's the type of team we need to be. We have a system and we have not changed anything that we did before Florida and Alabama. We tend to do the same things every week.

Q: How much did the turnovers really make a difference today?

O: I thought the difference was in the third quarter where we were trying to close the gap. I thought Arkansas was in a little lull and if we could get some points there we could catch it up. I felt a comeback coming, I really did. But we kept turning the ball over and shooting ourselves in the foot. We didn't give ourselves a shot. Our guys had some confidence there, and I could see it in their eyes. We just couldn't get anything going on offense.


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