Nutt: 'There's nothing like winning'

The following are Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt's comments Saturday after his Rebels beat Alabama-Birmingham 48-13 in Oxford.

Nutt: There's nothing like winning, and that's a good dose of medicine we needed tonight. Our guys came out from the kickoff return on. I thought Jesse Grandy's run was beautiful and set the tempo for us. I thought our offensive line did a nice job opening up some holes for our backs. Our backs ran hard. And Rodney Scott gave us a lift. Our freshmen from Nathan Stanley to Rodney Scott, Jesse Grandy, D.T. Shackelford, Joel Kight. We've got some outstanding freshmen who are really making contributions, after some guys are going down with injury, and they're really stepping up. So I'm really proud of them. I thought Jevan got back on track tonight, 15 of 22 for 240 yards. Three touchdowns. That's the Jevan we know. That's going to help. Hopefully we can take off with that. Their quarterback is good. He's a good runner, a very athletic guy. They (UAB) are hard to defend. But our guys have been playing good defense all year long.

Q: Was the focus and execution the most important thing about this game along with getting a win?

Nutt: Yes, and when you are playing a non-conference game and being so disappointed last week, it's easy to slop around and lose focus thinking about the next conference game. They knew we needed to get better, and we got better tonight.

Q: What about some of the guys like Andrew Harris and Jeremy McGee stepping up?

Nutt: Jeremy McGee especially, I'll tell you the corner spots are a very difficult position. He has a lot of responsibility, and I thought he came in and did well, got the interception. He did a good job stepping in for Marshay and we needed that to happen. Lot of other guys did as well. Andrew Harris was another one. We suspended Patrick Patterson for breaking team rules. And so Andrew Harris gets his shot, gets more reps, and that's good.

Q: Talk about Rodney Scott's night.

Nutt: He gives us a lift and real energy. He hits the hole with some authority and quickness. So he probably earned a few more carries tonight. That's not to say we don't still believe in Brandon and Cordera.

Q: Their QB was running well in the first quarter. Did you make some changes to stop him?

Nutt: Not many, just closing things down and keeping an eye on him. He's so athletic, tall, rangy, fast. So our guys started tackling better. He's a good, good player.

Q: Could you imagine what a weapon punter Tyler Campbell was going to be for you?

Nutt: Tyler Campbell and Andrew Ritter are two freshmen who have been outstanding. I'm just proud we have them for the next four years. It's nice not to have to worry about kicking and punting. They'll only get better. They get nervous sometimes and try too hard. When they're relaxed they can boom it and it changes the real estate from one end of the field to the other.

Q: Tyler put one at the 1-yard line.

Nutt: It just changes the momentum. When you have a team backed up, you're most likely going to get good field position, which we did. It changes the game. We'll need those guys to keep doing that.

Q: Talk about what this might do for Jevan's confidence?

Nutt: When he starts hitting passes and is in a rhythm, Jevan gets that confidence. We've all seen it. We saw it last year. He can do it. We just need everybody to help him. It takes 11 guys, not just him. I thought our receivers played much better. Shay Hodge was very into it and focused. Dexter is always Dexter. Lionel Breaux made a beautiful catch and run for a touchdown. I just feel like we can really take off now. Our running game's gotten a little better. They've got more confidence. I was just talking to John Jerry. You can just tell there's a new sense of attitude and we feel we can go now.

Q: Talk a little more about Jesse Grandy and the threat he brings.

Nutt: He came in this summer at 157 pounds, and I never thought he could play this first year. But he's tough, and he's put on about 15 pounds. He's so electrifying. He can make a guy miss. He can stop and start on a dime. He's so fluid. He has beautiful hands, natural hands. He can kick return, punt return, reverse, catch the ball, he is a true weapon, and he's only going to get better. Through our strength program and when we start feeding him, he's going to be great. And we need him right now.

Q: Can you elaborate at all about Patterson's suspension?

Nutt: Right now, one game.

Q: What did you think of Nathan Stanley tonight?

Nutt: He was really good tonight. He executed the plays we asked him to run, and I thought he threw the ball extremely well. He was very accurate tonight on a cold night. He hasn't played in a long time. He throws a beautiful deep ball with trajectory and gives the receiver a chance. I thought Melvin Harris should have caught that last one for a touchdown.

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