Sunday With Houston -

Houston Nutt spent a few minutes Sunday with the media. Go inside for the interview.

I was really proud of how our team played, defense especially. We played really hard up front, led by Peria Jerry. He has been outstanding. This guy has been a leader for us, chases the ball, plays hard every snap. Ashlee Palmer, Walker, Brumfield, Jonathan Cornell, they have all improved. The big first question when we got here was linebacker, linebacker, but I think they have really progressed, a lot of improvement. I thought Dustin Mouzon came in and helped us a little bit. That mixture will keep creating competition between Cassius and Marshay. We are going to need all of them. We want to continue to get better, especially on the deep ball. But I love the way the front is playing. Lockett has his best game as an Ole Miss Rebel, no question. It was his best game, he made some tackles, pressured the quarterback, just did a lot of good things. Offensively, the most disappointing thing was the penalties. We had about seven of them, and you can't do that, especially against a defense like the one Auburn has. We hurt ourselves, holding, clipping, illegal procedures. You can't do that, can't do that. That is the frustrating thing, have to get better.

On Jevan Snead's game Saturday.

I thought he was just really antsy early. He let the pressure get to him. Certain areas where you could see him get antsy, and that is where we need him to improve. But as the game went on, he made a few throws and got better. Right before the half was a really good drive. He did enough to win, but I know I expect so much more than that. I expect so much more, just too many errant throws. He got rattled, pressured, he got hit. Didn't really get going until the second part of the game.

On the secondary giving up yards to Kodi Burns

We have to do much better with the deep ball. That is no secret that it has been a weakness. We've got to play better, got to play the ball better. Cassius thought the guy went out of bounds, but you can't let up right there. You got a chance to get the ball, knock the ball, get your hand in front of it, he may miss it, but that can't happen. Need to get better. The other thing is that you get three interceptions. I thought Tyrone did a great job of mixing up zones and blitzes, running man. Now we are starting to get turnovers, then don't turn it over. That usually means a win.

On Cordera Eason taking over in the backfield

That is a great question, and I think it started after the open week. That is where those freshmen really made a move, Enrique, Brandon. Enrique went to Alabama and had a good ballgame. When we came back, Cordera didn't pout, he went to work. I was impressed by that. We are a little surprised he is where he is. I really thought the freshmen might pass him. He has worked extremely hard to hold on to it, and he is running with a lot of power, more authority right now. A sense of holes, and you have to give the offensive line credit. They are getting better.

On injuries and practice schedule

We came out of it pretty good. Jason Cook has a mild concussion, and we'll probably hold him the next few days. He has been such a leader and a force for us. Maybe not in the stat book, but boy does he block. I'm proud of him, and I am hopeful he will be fine next week. Lionel Breaux had a sprained ankle, nothing too bad. Schedule for the week will be just like we did before. We'll go today, practice and have off tomorrow. Go hard Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, try to get some young guys some scrimmage time again. Stay fundamentally right and improve on our weaknesses. Go good against goods, come back Sunday and get back to practice.

On Mike Wallace's kickoff returns

Coach Shibest puts a lot of time in it, and we do a good job blocking. And he has speed, one thing about Mike, he has tremendous speed. He hits creases, and we want him to hit them better, I didn't think he hit them very good this past weekend. Of course he fumbled the ball on the opening kickoff, that messes the timing all up. And he turns occasionally, instead of just hitting it. The quickest way to the last white line is straight ahead. Find your crease and go. That is what he has been doing. That is why he has records.

On the mindset of winning

I think we have improved. I think we are better. We are certainly learning how to win. But as coaches, we see it a little bit differently, there are still so many things we can do better. Let's not wait until the end of the game, go ahead and chop that head off and finish. You do that with no penalties, no turnovers. I think there is a growing and a maturity I am excited about. They like winning. They like that dressing room, they like what is happening. They are feeding off it, they are feeling it. Those last two weeks, a joy and a happiness. They realize it feels good. That is a big hurdle.

On Greg Hardy's foot injury

He has two good weeks to get ready, get ready, get ready to play.

On the La-Monroe game and teams getting upset weekly

About this time last year (they beat Alabama), it is always someone across the board, any given Saturday, look what happens. This is where you have to do a great job. They are athletic on offense, they can move around, be everywhere, lot of different formation. We got to get ready to go, but we have a lot of play for, lot to play for. Can't go in there and flop around. They had Arkansas beat, had them beat, got to get ready to go.

On the penalties against Auburn

We hadn't had any penalties the last couple weeks. We had two or three and then all a sudden you have eight. Retaliation was two of them. I know the guy was kicked in the head, so what. I don't care if he hit you in the head twice, said something about your mother, it doesn't matter. You have to see him again in 25 seconds, get back in the huddle. That is the first thing we talk about in this room here in a couple hours. It is a selfish act. That is what the world is right now, all about me. That is what we can teach them, it isn't all about you. It is about the team, you hurt our team. Shay Hodge hurt our team. Because we didn't get three points there, we would have gotten at least three. Then you move back 15 yards, it makes a difference. He wasn't the only one. Now I couldn't find Emmanuel Stephens penalty, I don't know about that one. But Oher had one. Geralds, there is no excuse, we're not going to put up with that. I told the coaches, that is on us. We can solve that because we control who plays. If you're going to be that selfish, we are not going to put you out there.

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