Nutt: 'Very disappointing'

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt visited with media members via teleconference Friday afternoon.

"After watching the film, it was very disappointing and hard to swallow," he said of the fourth-ranked Rebels' 16-10 loss at South Carolina Thursday night. "I was really proud of the fight and the effort of our guys for four quarters. The defense was outstanding in the red zone. Our kicking units were much better. Offensively we did some good things, but we stopped ourselves so many times with missed blocks, missed assignments. We've got to do much better keeping the ball and executing."

Offensively he said the Rebels have some things to work on.

"I thought there were times where the pocket did collapse a little bit on Jevan," he said. "Also he probably anticipated a pocket collapsing, and he didn't throw it away a couple of times like he normally does. But we're going back out here today and get better."

Nutt said he and Snead hadn't talked this afternoon but would before practice.

"I'm going to tell him there's a whole lot of football left. We all know we can do better. It's not all him. What's important is we don't worry about anything. Let's correct the mistakes. Let's handle the things we can handle. And let's go get better."

Nutt said there are some injury situations again that are disappointing.

"Tim (Simon) probably has a torn ACL. Really hate that. He'll be out for the season. D.T. Shackelford has a very bad sprain. I don't know how long he'll be out. Everybody else is just mainly bruised up, but everybody else is OK."

Nutt was asked about how difficult it was for his offensive linemen, especially Bradley Sowell, to handle some all-star defenders South Carolina had.

"Matthews and Norwood were the best we've seen so far. That was a really tough matchup for us. It really threw us off-balance. There were times where a back was trying to help (Sowell), and at times Norwood still won that battle. So that was discouraging. You've got to give Norwood a lot of credit. He's a punt rusher and a defensive end and backer. He plays it all, which we knew. He did a great job for them.

"That was a tough assignment for Brad Sowell. He'll get better on his drops, his sets. He'll learn from this one. It was just a very, very tough night."

Nutt was also asked about the uncalled facemask on the last drive of the game for his team.

"We saw that this morning, and that would have been another 15 yards in their territory. That would have made a big difference in the ballgame. We'll send that in, and there's nothing we can do about it. But it was a pretty obvious facemask. It was a huge play. We get the ball in their territory, it's a whole different game."

Nutt said things likely would have been different had the Rebels scored on Brandon Bolden's long run early that was called back after he made it into the end zone.

"If we get that first touchdown and we've got the crowd a little quieter, and you get seven points on the board the way our defense is playing, that's a different game. There were about 52 things in there that will blow your mind when you go back and watch this film of things that happened. If they'd just been a little bit different in our favor, we'd have been happier today."

Now it's time to turn their attnetion to Vanderbilt, a team that Ole Miss has lost to the past two seasons.

"We just got started on them. You know how tough Vanderbilt always plays us. It's going to be a real challenge, and we're looking forward to it. That's the thing about this game (last night), you can't wait to get back out on the field. You want to get back out on the field. You need that dose of medicine, and that dose of medicine is a victory."

Nutt said a couple of other players who were absent from the game with the Gamecocks were sorely missed.

"It was tough to lose guys like Andy Hartmann and Gerald Harris. Two senior leaders and very special guys to our team. We really missed them last night."

The Rebels headed back to the practice field today, working to get better and to put the disappointment of Thursday night out of their systems.

"We'll go back out on the field today inside. They're watching film with their position coaches. We'll have a special teams meeting, and then we'll got out on the indoor field and try to get some of this soreness out and get started on Vanderbilt. Then we'll come back Sunday afternoon to lift and practice. We'll definitely get into a regular routine starting Sunday, and we'll even get a little head start today."


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