The following are comments from the Rebel players after the 33-20 loss to Auburn on THe Plains.
On this day, if it could go wrong, it did. Or so it seemed. Old Murphy and his law.
RB/WR Dexter McCluster: (On his 79 yard TD run) I got a great kickout block from the fullback and it was off to the races. That gave us some momentum, but we didn't finish the deal. (On his back injury) It was a spasm, but I'm OK now. I felt worse last week. I took a lot of hits, but I'm fine. (On the next to last possession after Chris Todd's fumble) We were supposed to turn that into seven points and then I think we win the game. We went backwards and that was very disappointing. That's not what you do there. It cost us. We've been pretty good in those situations, but we weren't today. We were down there two or three times and didn't get anything out of it and to me that was the difference in the game. (On Jesse Grandy's KOR) He's making a name for himself quickly as a return man. He has such good vision and when he hits an open lane, he can move. I'm proud of him. (On the passing game) We saw a lot of cover two today with their safeties over the top. They were forcing our passing game outside all day and we didn't make them pay enough out there where there were plays to be made. They seemed determine that we were not going to hurt them over the middle. (On the first half) We didn't finish what we started. We moved the ball pretty well all day, but you have to finish. We were poor finishers today and that's what is really disappointing to all of us.
OLB Patrick Trahan: (On the lack of QB pressure until late in the game) They were giving us a lot of different looks that we had to be aware of - misdirections and reverses - and I think that got us on our heels a little. We got pressure late, but we should have gotten more earlier in the game. We had more responsibilities this week than we have had, but the coaches had us ready for everything. We just did not perform well. (On the pace of Auburn's offense) That wasn't the problem. We just lost our discipline in some coverages and on the one long run they popped on us. (On his return to Auburn) It's tough for me to come back here and go back with a loss, but I think we will learn from this.
DE Kentrell Lockett: (On pressuring the Auburn QB) I think I was so mindful of their trick plays that I couldn't get comfortable to rush effectively. As the game wore on, we quit thinking so much and just played ball. We were able to pressure them then. Early, they kept us on our heels and we don't play defense on our heels. That's not us. That's not our personality or our style or our mindset. It does not matter that they are not a traditional offense. We were prepared by our coaches to play better than this. (On what's next) Just play ball, man. We have to erase this one and come back strong. That's all you can do after a loss, any loss. It's about character now, of the defense and of the team.
FS Kendrick Lewis: (On the defense) We were not disciplined enough today. It's all about using your eyes and reacting. We didn't see some things and we didn't react well when we did. We haven't given up very many big plays this year, but we did today and that was very disappointing to me. That's not us. We wanted to be aggressive and play well, but they put us on our heels and we did a poor job of getting out of that mode until they had put up 31 or 33 points. On the deep passes, we did not keep our eyes on our work. Our eyes wandered and we got distracted and the big plays followed. I'm really disappointed in the lack of discipline we showed today. Again, that's not us.
WR Jesse Grandy: (On his 82-yard kickoff return) I fumbled the opening kickoff and we were lucky to get it back. I knew I had to make up for it sometime in the game. I said a little preayer before the TD return and the Man Upstairs answered my prayers. I looked for an open hole and it was there. I just hit it as fast as I can. (On his comfort level now) I'm OK back there. I'm not nervous any more. I made a bad choice by bringing the ball out in the first place on the opening kickoff, but that was from aggressiveness, not from being nervous or anything. I know I still have a lot to learn, but I'm getting there.
CB Cassius Vaughn: (On the blow assignment for the tight end score) That was just me on that one. They ran a motion and I played the wrong call. It was just me. I didn't have my eyes where they needed to be. I busted my assignment. (On the third quarter) Nothing like that had ever happened to us this season. When it happened, we were just wondering. We pulled it together later in the game, but it was too late. They came with a good game plan and we didn't have our best today. Give credit to them. We didn't do what we had to do. (On the team's morale) We're disappointed right now. We just have to go to work. The season's not over. We got to get to work and get better. We didn't do what we needed to. (On the team's mindset) Confidence has never been a problem with us, but right now we're very disappointed. We didn't play to our expectations.
QB Jevan Snead: (On the game) It's extremely disappointing, especially after the way we've been playing. We came out that first drive and strung together a bunch of good plays. But to finish like we did is very disappointing. We really stopped ourselves a lot of times. We'd get something going and then we'd stall. It's extremely disappointing. (On what the offense can take from the loss) We have to go back and watch film and take what we can from this. We have to learn from this and correct it. You have to give credit to their defense. They played well and are well coached. (On Auburn's defense) I don't think they didn't do anything we didn't expect. They just played well and got some pressure on me. (On the offense's mindset when falling behind big) I felt like we were in it the whole time. I knew we definitely had to play better and finish drives, but I felt we had a chance. We just needed to eliminate mistakes. (On his performance) Again, you have to give credit to their defense and their pass rush. Of course, there were times when some receivers were open and I didn't hit them. They covered pretty well, but we missed some things.
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