The following is a transcript of Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt's Sunday teleconference following the disappointing 33-20 setback to Auburn at Auburn yesterday.
Nutt's Opening Comment: After watching the film, we are discouraged with the mental busts we had and some other things. Our defense didn't have their best day at all. They are much better than that. We play faster than that - we weren't playing fast. Our corners' and safeties' eyes were very poor and that resulted in letting some things get behind them. On offense, boy, we had numerous opportunities to put points on the board and that was frustrating. We had the ball for 49 plays in the first half and only got 7 points. We had 232 yards. If you look at those stats and guess how many points, you'd say 17-21. We had key penalties, key drops, key bad throws, key missed blocks. We stopped ourselves so many times. Then in the second half we got great field positions two or three times and got nothing from it. We have to get all of that corrected. You just can't have turnovers and penalties in the SEC. Jesse Grandy gave us a lift with his kickoff return and Dexter's home run with the 79-yard run was a spark, but when the defense got the turnover on their end we really thought we were going to win the game 34-33. Then, we went backwards with a penalty, a sack and an interception.
Q: How did you gauge the OL play yesterday?
HDN: I thought they were very good in the first half and then when we got into the game of 3rd-and-long, they got us. Antonio Coleman got to us several times. Everyone in the league has one or two guys who know how to rush and he did a number on us because we were in bad situations. We blocked OK in the run game. Pass protection can be better, but again, we put ourselves in such bad situations they were able to attack us.
Q: Did you guys over-prepare and lose some aggressiveness on defense due to being worried about all their misdirections and trick plays?
HDN: There could be something to that. I just know we thought our preparation was good. We knew what we had to prepare for, but in the end it did slow our eyes and our focus a little. To me, we run a lot of that same stuff and it was like I was telling them today if I fake the sweep and throw it to the tight end almost every time, you cover it. That was what was frustrating. We lost our bearings. That's what is frustrating and what eats your guts out when you watch it again today.
Q: Were you surprised that you were able to get your running game going that it didn't open up the passing game any more than it did?
HDN: Yes. When you look at it closely, we had some guys open and missed a couple of throws. Then we dropped a couple. There's about five plays I'd like to have back. Shay's ball right before the half he caught and it got knocked out by a helmet. Markeith's low tip up in the air that went for a TD. Those things were just unfortunate and would have made a big difference.
Q: What is Bobby Massie's development like?
HDN: He's getting better, but we don't think he's quite ready for SEC play just yet. Hopefully we are going to get him more playing time this weekend and take another step with him.
Q: With Dexter in the backfield, does it hurt your receiving corps?
HDN: Yes. We lose a step at WR with him in the backfield, but we need him in the backfield to give us the best chance to win.
Q: Jevan has been hit a lot. How is he physically?
HDN: He's a tough guy and he's hanging in there. He's a little sore, but he's doing pretty good.
Q: What is going on with the other RBs and their lack of production?
HDN: Brandon Bolden has given us good production in the passing game, but the other part, I don't know. He's got to do better on short-yardage situations - get North quicker and certainly protect the ball when you are going down. He's been beat up a little - ankle, knee, soreness stuff. We expect so much more of him. I think Enrique Davis will get some looks this weekend. He's healthy now, but we've got a decent rotation going right now. We'll see.
Q: What about the injuries from that game?
HDN: We had five or six in the training room this morning with minor stuff - ankles, quads. They should be fine. Dexter is OK. We are going to try to go full-out this weekend.
Q: Was there a common denominator to the unsuccessful offensive drives?
HDN: Yes, stopping ourselves by penalty, drops, bad throws, missed blocks, penalties.
Q: What about your team's mindset?
HDN: We are all down, but that has to get out of here today. It's November now and we have to go. We don't have time to be down past today.
Q: What is the status of Rishaw Johnson and Dan Hoffman?
HDN: Rishaw is back and eligible to play. Hoffman will be out another week.
Sunday Teleconference with HDN -
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