From The Locker Room -

The Ole Miss coaches have preached all week that people remember what you do in November. The Rebels players took those words to heart in starting the final full month of the regular season off with a 17-7 victory over visiting Auburn. Read their comments inside.

The following are player quotes after the Rebels downed Auburn 17-7 in a key November SEC game that gave Ole Miss some breathing room in their quest to go bowling. The Rebs are now 5-4 heading into an open week.

RT John Jerry: (On the Rebs' run game that netted 233 yards) Coach (Mike) Markuson has been telling us all year to be more physical and in the last three or four games it's started to click for us because we've been asserting ourselves out there. We are getting the feeling that we can run on anyone if we keep improving and firing out like we are now. We are playing with better pad level and we are playing more downhill. It's all coming together, but I don't think the rest of the team gets enough credit with our run game. We have great backs who are running hard and we have wideouts and fullbacks who are also making key blocks. It takes everyone, but it feels good when it clicks. The defenses we are playing are also trying to shut down our passing game because they fear Jevan (Snead) and our wide receivers, so the balance we have is helping our run game too. We just have to stay physical. (On the win) This is a great win. This is the first time since I have been in college we have had two wins in a row, I think. I like this feeling. I want to get used to it. We just have to stay humble, keep working and keep our eyes on the prize.

FS Kendrick Lewis: (On the secondary getting three interceptions) The coaches have been talking all week about how we were going to be challenged and that we would ultimately have to step up and make some big plays in order for us to win the game. We took that as a challenge and made some really big plays when we needed them the most. We still gave up too much in the air, but when things got tight we made the plays we had to to win, just like the coaches said we would have to. We want to be guys back there who make big time plays in big time situations and today it happened for us. (On the win) Every time we put a 'W' in the column, we gain more confidence. It doesn't matter who it is against. I'm not sure we believed in ourselves like we should have early in the season, but now we are starting to believe. We are feeling like when we take the field we should win, not might win or can win if we do everything perfectly. That's a good feeling, a different feeling for us and it feel great to finally develop that.

WR Dexter McCluster: (On playing tailback more) It's what I did my whole high school career, so it seems natural to me. Early in the year, I was having trouble holding on to the ball, but instead of cutting back my touches, the coaches told me how much they believed in me and actually added more ways to get me the ball. They worked with me before, during and after practice on ball security and brought me through a tough time. I don't intend to give the ball up any more, period. If they can have show that kind of faith in me, I can't let them or my team down again. (On the win) Inching closer to being bowl eligible has really lifted our confidence and intensity. I can't tell you how good it feels to be playing for something this late in the season and what an affect it has had on us as a team. We are feeling it now.

CB Coach Chris Vaughn: (On his crew bouncing back from the Arkansas game with three picks against Auburn) There are a couple of things I wish we could take back in this game, but I will take what we did every time. We played hard, we did not get down when things didn't go our way and we made some plays that mattered with some interceptions. You always want to coach away from some of those plays we gave up today, but when you turn around and make some big plays, it evens out and is important. It changes the game and lets you kind of forget the bad parts. I was glad these kids had some success. Marshay and Cassius had a pick each and they deserved it. They came back from a bad ending to last week's game and worked hard. They didn't drop their heads - they played hard and they were rewarded for it. We can get better, there's no doubt about that, but we took a step in the right direction today. What I was particularly pleased with was that we came back and made plays after giving up plays. We didn't mope - we forgot the previous play and kept playing hard.

RB Cordera Eason: (On his day) The offensive line did a great job opening up holes for me. This whole week at practice, we emphasized being physical. I ran hard, the offensive line delivered, we definitely didn't let anyone down. (On the win) This is the biggest win I've had with what is at stake. We've never beaten Auburn, and that is five wins now. We finally got a taste in our mouths, and we want more. Got to get after it. Time to win out. (On the fumble that was overturned) I knew I was down. My elbow hit the ground, and the ball flipped out. I told the coaches the whole time I was down. I had two hands on it until I hit the ground.

RB Derrick Davis: (On his touchdown play) We have been working on it for a long time and just kept practicing it. It was called at the right time, it was the right call. (On contributing) It felt really good to do something worthwhile. I was rewarded, it was awesome. (On how frustrating the season has been) It has been kind of frustrating, but I try to counter that with positive things. Do what I can the best way possible and see what happens. Today was an example, things work out if you work hard. It felt great, but no, not that frustrating.

WR Shay Hodge (On the win for confidence reasons) It is really big to try to turn the corner. We are doing that and hope it continues until the end of the season. We are learning how to win. That is the best way to put it. (On the run game) They set the tempo, the backs and line really stepped up and put the offense on their shoulders. It was a big day for them, and we hit some throws and catches when needed. (On Jevan's day) He had the jitters at the beginning, but he settled down. Jevan had some good throws toward the end of the first half, but he was a little jittery. The good thing about Jevan is we know he will settle down. He's a competitor and we know he will get it right during the course of a game.

DT Peria Jerry (On the day) We just have to keep it going. We shut down the run, and that is a must against Auburn. There are some things we can do better as always, but it was a good day. (On the win and the season) It provides motivation. We have goals, and they are still there. We are one away from a bowl, but we can't stop there. We will keep pressing even after six wins.

DE Kentrell Lockett (On his day) I was in a comfort zone today and played football. It was nice, really comfortable. (On the defense clamping down) We set some goals before the game, and Coach Nix told us what to do. We did it. We kept them under 100 yards rushing, and we didn't allow them to get into a rhythm. We had a really good day of executing. (On the excitement) We have emotions, and we have five wins now. It is big to win period, but today was great. It's great to win at home in front of your home fans and great to win in the SEC. We are all hungry.

QB Jevan Snead (On the run game) I have to give credit to the O-line, they did a great job. They have a great D-line, but our O-line won the day. The backs ran hard, and receivers did well blocking. (On early problems) I can't say for sure, but there were plays I should have made that I didn't. I always say that, but there were plays I wish I could take back. I have to make those and get the ball in there. I know I can, I just have to go about doing it. (On managing the game) I am better in that aspect. There were a couple times, when the play wasn't there, that I was able to do something with my feet. I did better of not forcing passes, it was all about protecting the ball. (On the fumble that was replayed near the end) Replays haven't been our friend, but I was fairly certain on that one. Yeah, replays haven't helped us, but fortunately, that one did go our way.


OM Spirit Top Stories