The following are player quotes after the 41-24 season-opening win over Memphis last night in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
LB Ashlee Palmer: (On the opener) We have to improve on the defensive side of the ball. We got the win and that's goal number one, but we can do better. Memphis is a pretty good team, but we know we can do a lot better. (On the Memphis offense) We practiced everything they did all week. I think we had some first-game jitters and then I think we lost some of our intensity late in the game. We have to play stronger for the whole game. (On Coach Houston Nutt) All he's asked us to do is play together and have one heartbeat. He said if we will do that the winning will come. He wants to win as much as anyone I have ever been around, so that makes us want it even more too. It's exciting. We're more relaxed but at the same time more excited. He's a player's coach - a great coach who is in this thing with us. (On the Rebel offense) I'm speechless. 41 points in their first game of the year? They did great. Now, we have to step up on our side of the ball and give them that kind of support. (On defensive improvement) As I said, this is a pretty good start, all things considered, but we have a lot of things to work on. We can improve a lot, I promise you that.
RT John Jerry: (On the 41 points) I feel great, but I really think we left some points out there. I also think we can do a lot better. When you have someone down, you have to close things out and we didn't do that as a team tonight. (On the OL) We have been working on being more physical and I think a little of that came out tonight. When you are physical, it opens everything up for everyone. I can see us making steps that way. We were pretty aggressive tonight but some of our fundamentals broke down. We can fix that. (On the backs) With these guys, all you have to do is get on your man and they will do the rest, especially Dexter (McCluster). They are very good and a pleasure to block for. (On his first experience at right tackle) It helps that I am next to Mo (Miller). I am so comfortable with him out there and vice-versa. I did fine at RT because I was prepared by our defensive ends. We won't face any DEs any faster, I don't think, so the game was easy.
WR Shay Hodge: (On two TD catches) Jevan (Snead) can find you if you are open, that's why you have to keep working the whole play. He read me perfectly on the two touchdowns. All I had to do was catch the ball and run. (On the team's attitude) It's just so much different around here now. I really felt it the last two days. We went to a movie last night and are just relaxed and ready to play football. It feels good. (On the Wild Rebel) It's a changeup that makes the opposing defenses work hard to prepare for and it works. Dexter is fast and you can't see him back there until he's past you. I think it's a powerful set and it will only help all of us as we get it down better and better. (On the offense) I am so excited because as soon as a few of our key guys get a little more game experience, this offense can be very explosive. We can do a lot of things better than we did tonight and we still scored 41 points.
PK Josh Shene: (On his perfect night) I feel extremely comfortable out there. Preston Powers, Rob Park and I have been together now - this is our third year. We trust each other. Rob knows Preston is going to get him the snap. I know Rob is going to put it down perfectly and they know I'm going to knock it through. The OL always protects too, like clockwork. I have to give them props. It also helps that the coaches understand how to handle kickers - letting us warm up before games a little longer and keeping us calm instead of getting us worked up. All that helps a lot. (On his 47-yard field goal) It came off my foot solidly. I knew it had plenty of distance and it was pretty much in the middle of the posts. I hit it just right.
SS Jamarca Sanford: (On Houston Nutt) He's a winner so why would we not buy in and follow him? He's our leader and we believe in him. (On the defense) We know we didn't play nearly as well as we can, so that's exciting to us. Once we get everything down and are really clicking, I think we will be fine. We were very average tonight and still won easily. At the same time, we have to understand that a performance like tonight's will not win a lot of games, so we have to keep working and improving. It does feel good to know we can win and still have so much room for improvement. We'll break down this film and correct and build from here.
TB Brandon Bolden: (On his first college TD, a 10-yard run) That play was just about finishing, which is what Coach (Derrick) Nix always preaches. I heard his voice echoing in my head during that run - 'finish, finish, finish' - and I knew I had to keep my feet moving and score. (On his first game) When you are prepared like we are, you get a feeling of confidence that you know you are ready. I was prepared for the speed of the game, the physical nature of a real game and I am in great shape. I was confident and prepared. That made it easy. (On fumbling a kickoff that the Rebs recovered) I wanted to cut my head off, but the coaches told me to keep my head up and forget the play. I did and ended up scoring a TD. It's funny how much you can accomplish if you will just listen to your coaches and trust what they are saying is right.
TB Enrique Davis: (On the Rebel backfield) I'm so happy to be at Ole Miss and be a part of this backfield. We have several great backs and to be in that mix is an honor to me. Our backfield is so stacked, it's scary. (On the college football experience) Walking through the Grove, the fans, the stadium, everything was perfect. (On his first college carry) Andy Hartmann gave me a great block and I cut off his lead. It was just like practice. We practice against a very fast defense every day and that prepared me for the speed of the game.
WR Dexter McCluster: (On the Wild Rebel set) It was great to be out there and make something happen. On the TD run out of that set, Michael Oher made a great block and sprung me. It was just like you draw it up. We ran it about the number of times I expected. It worked out well. (On Brandon Bolden) He's not like most freshmen. He runs real hard. If he'll keep doing that, he'll be great. Same with all of those backs. (On scoring 41 points) We know we have the players to do that a lot. We know the coaches are going to put us in the right positions to score a lot of points. This is a whole lot of fun.
DT Jerrell Powe: (On his first action) It was great, a long time coming. I was proud to be out there, but I was real nervous all day. I just kept trying to concentrate and do my best. When I work myself into more playing time it will be even better. (On the Memphis OL) They played a slide protection package and it slowed us a little in pass rush, plus they got rid of the ball so fast that it was hard to get a sack, but I thought we did OK for three quarters and then we didn't finish. (On going through the Grove) It was everything I dreamed it would be. I even got chest bumped a few times.
LT Michael Oher: (On the offense) We didn't run half the stuff we have in our playbook. Look for a lot more stuff as the season unfolds. I think we are going to be a lot better, a whole lot better, than we have been in my career here because of these coaches. They bring so much to the table. We haven't scratched the surface yet and that's exciting. (On pulling from the back side and springing McCluster for a 32-yard TD run) I got around the corner and there was only one linebacker in pursuit. I covered him up and that's all it takes for someone as fast and quick as Dexter.
FS Kendrick Lewis: (On his interception in the Reb end zone) I saw where they were going with the ball and I was able to get over the top and make the play on the ball. I thought I was going to take it all the way for 100 yards, but I stumbled on the return when I was making a cut. (On the secondary) I thought we did fine but we got a few bad calls. It was great to take on some really good receivers and make some big plays against them, plus it feels great to know we can do much better.
QB Jevan Snead: (On his play) I got off to a slow start. I had some jitters. After that, I felt I settled down some and made some better throws, but not as many as I should have or will in the future, I believe. Waiting around all day was tough and I haven't been hit in a while, but I had a great time. (On catching a 37-yard pass) I wanted to score on that (laughs) but I'm just not fast enough. (On the running backs) They are very exciting and they open things up for everything else. They ran hard. I was proud of them, all of them. (On the deep ball not quite clicking) It is encouraging to know we scored 41 points and left a lot of points out there, if that makes sense. We know we can do much better. The deep ball is something we need to keep working on to get it right. We had some opportunities but they didn't click. I have no doubt it will in the future. (On his first experience as the Rebel QB) It was fantastic. I would not want to be anywhere else. The walk through the Grove was fun, the game was fun. It was everything I hoped it would be. We just have to keep working and keep improving and this year will continue to be fun.
From The Locker Room -
OM Spirit Top Stories
AP: LSU 38, Ole Miss 21BATON ROUGE, La. -- Leonard Fournette broke LSU's single-game rushing record on just his first eight carries -- scoring three touchdowns of 59 yards or more -- and the 25th-ranked…
OM SpiritYesterday at 10:57 PM
Instant Reaction: Ole Miss - LSUBATON ROUGE, La. - Ole Miss Spirit staffers give their instant reactions from the Rebels' 38-21 loss at LSU Saturday night.
OM SpiritYesterday at 10:48 PM
From the Locker Room: LSUBATON ROUGE, La. - Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly and defensive end Marquis Haynes met the media following the Rebels' 38-21 loss at LSU Saturday night.
OM SpiritYesterday at 10:44 PM
A Hard LookBATON ROUGE, La. - Hugh Freeze praised LSU for their play Saturday night in Death Valley as they emerged with a 38-21 win over his Ole Miss, but once he got over the formality of…
OM SpiritYesterday at 10:33 PM