Coach O Monday -

The following are statements from Coach Ed Orgeron during his Monday press conference.

Orgeron: We look forward to getting our team back today. We're going to watch the Arkansas film. We didn't play very well, but we're going to look at what we need to fix and correct it. Go out to the field and correct some plays. Then move on to Auburn. We're very excited to go down to Auburn and play a very strong football team. We had a great battle against them last year. We're going to be excited to get back to playing some good football.

Q: Do you prepare differently for two quarterbacks Auburn might play?

O: We'll have to have a plan for two quarterbacks. That's definitely a little different. So we will prepare for that.

Q: What about your quarterback situation?

O: We're obviously not happy with them. We looked at why the turnovers happened, and we think they're very correctable. Seth is going to continue to be our starting quarterback, but there is going to be less room for error. If he shows he can't do it, then we'll definitely put Brent in there.

Q: What caused the turnovers for Seth?

O: He was forcing the ball where he didn't need it. The defenders were in good position. A couple of times the receivers should have broken out or in. Just a combination of everything.

Q: BenJarvus seems to be steady.

O: I think it's his personality. He's very mature. He's very goal-oriented. He's focused. He's a team guy. He's a leader. He leads by example. He's steady.

Q: Is Michael Herrick in the mix at all?

O: Sure. Michael's always in the mix. But we think right now that Brent is our second-team quarterback.

Q: Do you feel like time is running out on this season and it's all but over as far as having a good one?

O: Well we can't let that happen. We're not gonna. We're excited to go play Auburn regardless of our record. We're going down there to beat Auburn. Right now it's one week at a time. We have a lot of good football left. We have Auburn, Northwestern State, LSU, and Mississippi State. Those are some big games for us. We'll take them one at a time. My focus and my goal is to get our team to play better this week.

Q: What is the status of Jamarca Sanford?

O: I think he may play this week. He will practice a little bit today. We'll see how it goes.

Q: Talk about Tony Fein and if he has turned the corner?

O: Looks like he has. He had a real strong performance. He was in the right place. I know that John Thompson worked a lot with Tony. Tony's been spending a lot of extra time learning our defense. He really showed a lot of promise in the game against Arkansas. It was sort of what we saw on film when we recruited him. So we're looking forward to him having a bigger role. We'll see this week who starts. He'll have to perform well this week. But we're really excited about the way he played.

Q: Talk about the linebackers as a group. Are they starting to come together?

O: They're getting better. They're in the right spots. They're missing fewer tackles. We still have a ways to go. But they're 10 times better than they were at the beginning of the season.

Q: Comment on Chris Strong at defensive tackle.

O: He played well. That may be a longterm move for Chris. We gave him a chance to play linebacker. The topic came up a bunch to move him down to defensive line. But we didn't have a second-team middle linebacker. He wanted to play middle linebacker. But his weight is such that he looks more like a defensive lineman. He practiced last week at defensive line and looked very good. We'll play him more there. He seems like he's happy there. He's about 270. He's quick. He's strong. We're going to play Chris in there.

Q: Has Brent done what you wanted out of him this season?

O: He's proven on a daily basis, and he's done for the most part the things we've asked him to do. He's been very positive most of the time in a really tough situation. It's his senior year and he's second-team quarterback. But he really hasn't' complained. He's worked. He's gone to school. So I have more confidence in him today than I had.

Q: We noticed you changed punters during the game. How did that work out?

O: Average. We still didn't get the job done like we wanted to. We recruited Bryan (Powers) as a three-step punter. The adjustment to being a two-step punter is taking a little longer than we thought. We don't want a guy to go in there, take three steps and get a punt blocked. He has a very strong leg. We believe he will be in position in the spring to be able to push for a starting position.

Q: Did you watch the LSU-Auburn game, and what are your impressions of Auburn?

O: They're very tough. They took it to LSU. They went into Tiger Stadium, as we all know is a very tough place to play, and went down there and played well. Their running backs run very hard. Their defense is very tough. They went there and played an excellent game. Obviously we also saw what they did against Arkansas. They had turnovers early in the season that plagued them. They seem to have solved that problem.

Q: What went into the decision to keep Seth at the starting QB spot?

O: We looked at the game film and then talked to Dan and the offensive coaches. It wasn't all just Seth. But we think there's a combination of things that we can get fixed.

Q: Talk about Greg Hardy and his play and how he is to coach.

O: He has his own characteristics. Basically he's a very, very great young man. He really is. He has a high motor. He's high strung. Against Arkansas they had two tight ends and ran the football. It was difficult for him to be inside that tight end. We moved him outside a couple of times. I think on that first third down we rushed him and they ran a power his way. We blitzed everybody and that was a dangerous part of the game for us right there. We couldn't cut him loose as much as we wanted to in the run game, although he made some very good plays. Greg is an outstanding young man, and he is an outstanding football player for us. He has a shot to be one of the best defensive linemen in the country.

Q: How confident do you think Seth still is?

O: He's a very confident young man. He's very steady. He's very mature. We'll see this week, but I expect him to bounce back this week. I have a lot of confidence in Seth in who he is and how he prepares.

Q: What was the difference for Tony Fein this week?

O: He was in the right spots. He made the right reads. He's a good tackler and makes the plays on the perimeter. He did that a lot better this week than he had been.

Q: Are you seeing progress from this team after a one-sided loss at home?

O: I saw a lot of progress against Florida. I saw a lot of progress against Alabama. We take the games one week at a time. These questions were not asked of me last week. We had a bad game. We didn't play well. But we have played well against some pretty good football teams this season. Stats are something you look at at the end of the year. The things we have to deal with right now are to get better and go play a great game against Auburn and win us a football game on the road.

Q: If Jamarca is back, how much will he help?

O: He's a great tackler and gives us some confidence. We know he will be in the right place making the right calls, kinda like a quarterback out there. He makes all the other players around him better.

Q: You mentioned after the game Saturday that you sensed the emotion wasn't there before the game? How frustrating is that inconsistency from your team?

O: I don't know any team in America that's going to be sky-high every game. We weren't sky-high Saturday as we were against Florida and Alabama. We need to get that way. We need to get that way against every SEC team to play our best football. We were ready but we weren't sky-high. We need to learn as a team to give it our best effort every week, 110 percent effort every week, especially in the SEC.

Q: Did you imagine years ago when you both were at Miami (Fla.) ever going head to head with Tommy Tuberville?

O: Not really. Not really. I'll tell you what, we learned a lot of football together. He's a very good coach. He actually helped me get down to Miami. We were very good friends, and we didn't have any money. All we did was we basically coached football and worked our way up. We were like sponges out there. We listened to everything Jimmy (Johnson) said, everything Dave Wannstadt said. And the thing I appreciate the most from being down there at Miami is that Coach Johnson didn't treat us like graduate assistants. You're a full-time coach. So we learned a lot of football and won a lot of games. We really got close when there was a change. Johnson went to the Cowboys, and (Dennis) Erickson came in. We had an opportunity to teach those guys the 4-3 defense. I think that's when we blossomed. We had some good teams.

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