The following is Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt's Sunday teleconference after the 25-23 Rebel victory over LSU in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday.
HDN: After watching the film from yesterday, I was very pleased with how physical we played and I have never been prouder of a group. They played extremely hard on both sides and besides the blocked field goal that was kicked low, the special teams were outstanding. They played with extreme effort and physicality and they overcame some setbacks - two TDs called back. They did not drop their heads or let go of the rope. They finished the game and I was really proud of them for that.
Q: Did Dexter do what you wanted him to on the onside kick?
HDN: Yes. The kicked ball was too hot. We teach the front line folks to let it go if it's too hot and let the second line guys get it. LSU just made a great play and timed up it just right.
Q: When you watch the film the next day, even though you know the outcome, do you still have nervous moments?
HDN: Absolutely. I just got through watching it and had the same feelings at the end I did last night.
Q: What are your thoughts on the job Tyrone Nix has done this year with the defense?
HDN: In my mind, he's the defensive coordinator of the year. he has been consistent every single week, his plan has been right on every game and he's just done a great job. He has a great feel for the game and when to call blitz or when to bluff blitz. He's been outstanding.
Q: Did you feel like he pushed the right buttons when he pressured almost every down during the last LSU drive or two?
HDN: No question about it.
Q: Have you ever been involved in a game where you have had such a rapid-fire up and downs emotionally?
HDN: One or two, but this was right there at the top.
Q: What impact do you think Mississippi State's emotions will have given they were beaten so badly by Ole Miss last year?
HDN: I don't know. I'm more concerned about our guys. This is the biggest game of the year. It's an in-state rivalry. There are brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles and anytime you go in a coffee shop someone is from State and someone is from Ole Miss. I'm just glad all the recruits we had in got to see the atmosphere here last night and they were very safe. It was an exciting time and they got to witness one of the best games of the year.
Q: What is your schedule this week with no classes?
Nutt: We will do pretty much the same thing but we will move practice up to earlier in the day. We'll keep a study table going for those who need it.
Q: Did the KKK event have a negative impact on recruits?
HDN: It kept about eight recruits from coming and I hate they missed the game. I hate they felt like they needed to stay home. I understand, but there was nothing of significance that happened as far as their rally. I heard some of them (protesters) were from out of town. I talked to Mothers and Dads who did come and they saw the harmony and togetherness in the stands and in our locker room and saw it amongst our players. I had a lot of comments that 'I didn't know it was this good up here.' We had a lot of positives come out of the weekend.
Q: What about the injury situation?
HDN: We are beat up and sore - it's that time of the year. But everyone of them, if you ask, will tell you they have another 60 minutes in them. They will be ready to go and have a good week of practice.
Q: Talk about the play of DE Emmanuel Stephens.
HDN: I'm glad you asked that. Since Greg Hardy left, the group of Marcus Tillman, Kentrell Lockett and Emmanuel have raised their level of play. They have taken it upon themselves to become more productive. They have always been good against the run, but now they have added to their pass rush. They have stepped up a lot and I can't say enough about them. Man, they have gotten so much better these last three weeks.
Q: Have your guys talked about bowl possibilities and are they excited?
HDN: I have not talked to them about it. They know they have a shot at a January 1 bowl, but we've told them we need to stick to our knitting and take care of business. It's easy to get caught up in that conversation, but it really does no good until after this last 60 minutes. We told them the same before the LSU game. We can dream about Disney Land and all that but it does us no good unless we take care of business. I want to keep the same attitude we've had here in practice and leading up to our last regular season game.
Q: Were you surprised eight guys stayed home due to that Klan rally?
HDN: I really was. I thought they would be here and was disappointed they didn't show. A couple of them had been on campus before and know the kind of people we have here. I am on my second year and this is the least racial problems - I just haven't seen any. This is a wonderful community, unbelievable school, a beautiful campus and you have a football program getting ready to go to back-to-back bowls, hopefully January 1 bowls. That hasn't been done in a long time. There's so much positive. I just wish they would look into it very, very closely and not let anyone discourage them or give them bad information. I think there is a lot of bad information out there.
Q: How quickly will you try to talk to those kids and their parents?
HDN: Some of them have already been talked to and we will continue that this week, but right now we have a lot of recruits swimming to the boat. That's what happens when you win. We are going to have another recruiting class this year equal to last year or better. When you have them swimming to the boat, we can make choices, so kids can't dilly-dally too long. They are going to have to make a decision and look at things closely. If they are worried about some things, they need to revisit it. It's just not here unless someone is feeding them a bad story and bad information. You have young men here who are very safe, getting a great education and having fun playing the greatest game in the world.
Q: Do you think there are other schools using this against you?
HDN: Without a doubt, but that's fine, it's not going to help them. This is one program in the state that is getting very strong right now. We have the Mannings and Deuce McAllister and guys like that feeling a lot of pride in this program and it takes us to another level. To see Deuce shaking hands with our current players and telling them how proud he is of them, it's an awesome feeling. They (other schools) can try to use that but it's not going to help them.
Q: You think it is ironic that some recruits are worried but your staff is as racially diverse as any in the country?
HDN: I think that's a good point, but I have been raised not to look at skin color. We get the best coaches and players regardless of their race. We do have the most black coaches on our staff, but they were chosen because they are the best. Tyrone Nix should be up for the Broyles Award. Terry Price is an incredible recruiter and has done a magnificent job with the DL. Chris Vaughn is an excellent recruiter and has done a great job with our corners. Add in Kim Dameron, who has coordinator experience, and that defensive lineup is strong. We have a perfect staff right now and once recruits get around that and hear our players and see us together, see how we handle our young men, they will know. Basically, people who haven't been here are going by what they hear. They are concerned and they should be, but we can help fix that.
Q: Talk about the job P Tyler Campbell did.
HDN: PK Andrew Ritter did a tremendous job and Tyler Campbell was awesome with his hang time and keeping them deep in their territory. And Josh Shene was money with his critical field goals.
HDN Final Comment: A lot has been said about Coach Les Miles' coaching decisions at the end, but I hope most will concentrate on how well we played. I regret that we didn't score more points than we did. It should have been out of reach at the end. We played well. I hope these kids get credit for that.
Nutt's Sunday teleconference
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