The following are player quotes after the 52-6 one-sided victory over Southeastern Louisiana in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday night.
P Justin Sparks: (On his night) I wish I had more to say. It was just a tough night. I'll just have to watch the film and correct what I was doing wrong and get ready for South Carolina. On the first bad punt, I rushed it and messed up my timing. Before the game, I could tell something was off. I was getting good hang time before the game in warmups, but they weren't going very far for some reason. I wish I could give you more, but I don't know myself. Just a bad night I have to get corrected.
DT Jerrell Powe: (On his first start) I was a little nervous, to be honest. Not bad, but a little jittery. I just wanted to help my team and my role has increased. I think I did alright, but I didn't feel like I played my natural game throughout the game. I have to eliminate some mental errors, but that comes with experience. I'll get it. (On the team) We are SEC ready. We haven't played nearly as good as we are going to play, but we made improvements tonight and will make more before we take on South Carolina. I know this - we have no choice. The football is about to get real in a hurry and we better be ready. I think we will be. We were sharper than I thought we'd be tonight with all we've been through and now we have to focus on all the little things we did wrong starting tomorrow.
QB Jevan Snead: (On his game) I played a lot better than I did at Memphis. I felt a lot more comfortable in the pocket and my receivers were getting open. There are still some things I can improve on - I missed a couple of passes and a couple of coverages. I took a sack that was my fault - I am accountable for that safety blitz and I just didn't pick it up. On the drops, those guys were just getting them out of the way. They won't do that very often. You'll notice the ones who had drops, I came right back to them. I trust them and know they will catch it the next time. I know they will get that glitch corrected. (On the offense) I am excited. We put up a lot of points and still did not play as good as we are going to. We are getting there. We made some steps tonight with better execution. We will just need to take another step in a hurry, before Thursday night, and we will. (On the protection) The offensive line and the backs did a great job of protecting me tonight. Like I said, the only sack was on me. My fault. The line did a tremendous job, no doubt.
CB Cassius Vaughn: (On his interception, his first this year and career fourth) The defensive line pressured the quarterback and Coach Nix made a great call. All I had to do was cover long and follow the ball. I was where I was supposed to be and went up for the catch. (On his week, being demoted) I had to take care of some things off the field, but everything is OK now. I grew up a little this week, but regardless of the situation, I'm going to give this team and these coaches everything I've got. (On being SEC ready) No question we are. We know what is facing us. It gets tough now, but we are prepared for it to get tough. We have a quick turnaround, but they - South Carolina - has to do the same thing, play in five days. We owe them a little, but that doesn't matter a lot. We just have to get ourselves ready and play hard, like we know we can, and everything will be OK.
WR Shay Hodge: (On 5-catch day) Jevan was on the money tonight and threw me some easy balls to catch. I just did my job. (On the quick turnaround) It will be new for me - I have never done that, but we are ready for it. We've known for a long time it was coming. Now it's here - step up to the challenge. It's that simple. We'll get through it. (On the offense) We were sharper in a lot of areas, but we had some drops tonight we can't have in the SEC. We just have to do the little things right and the catches will come. We will get that straight. The wide receivers have a lot of pride - we will correct what went wrong tonight in the receiving game.
TE Ferbia Allen: (On his night) I had a couple of catches and felt pretty good about the game. It was cool to get my first one as a collegian. I had good focus and I feel I helped the team, which is my goal. My pass blocking has improved. I still have work to do, but I'm getting better. (On Gerald Harris being out) He's out, but he's helping me out a lot. He's like a big brother to me. He always gives me great advice and critique's my game. He's like having a second coach out there, but I'll be glad when he is back. We need the big guy out there. (On the offense) We know South Carolina has a good team and we don't have much time to get prepared for them, but we are making strides. We are getting better and that's what it's all about - improvement. We will just keep working and get it handled.
MLB D.T. Shackelford: (On his game) Firs of all, I want to thank God for giving us this great game to play and for allowing me to play it. Next, I want to thank my teammates because one person does not do anything - it takes all 11. I was just in the right place at the right time. (On his pick six late in the game) I told Coach Nutt I wanted to play running back, too. (laughs) Joel Kight hit the quarterback, the ball came straight to me and I just headed the other way. I got a couple of blocks to spring me and took it in. You know that was my first interception? It was pretty cool to finally get one. (On his game) I have a lot to learn, but I am making strides thanks to Coach (Tyrone) Nix and the way he coaches me up every day and because of the older linebackers who help me all the time. They don't let me get by with nothing and that's a good thing. That's the way you learn. (On the tackling) We worked hard ever since the Memphis game to get that down and it was better tonight. We still have some sharpening up to do, but the repetition we had in the off week helped us all. (On the defense) We can always improve. We have gotten better since fall camp started, but we can, and will, keep going. We are starting to gel and become a team.
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