Ole Miss 43 USC 40 Post Game Notes & Quotes

Quotes from South Carolina and Mississippi players following the 43-40 Ole Miss victory in Oxford ...


South Carolina Head Coach Lou Holtz

"Eli Manning is as amazing a football player as you are going to see. He had a great day. He has excellent awareness, but we didn't change him. In the fourth quarter we started getting where we belonged and played pass defense."

When asked if there was a QB out there that Eli is similar "He reminds me a lot of Peyton."

"We are banged up, beat up, bruised and have lost a lot of players."

"We started slow. I think down the last 18 minutes we found some people that wanted to play tough. There has been something wrong defensively for a while. During that 18 minutes was the first time that we've shown some chemistry and confidence.

"Our offense had a lull late in the second quarter and early in the third quarter. Once we found our rhythm, I thought we had a chance. I am not going to congratulate our comeback. You are supposed to play 60 minutes. I am proud that our team hung in there. There are a lot of people who would have quit. I never give up. If I had decided to put Swygert in their it would have been because I though he be giving us a chance to win. "

"I am disappointed that we made some mistakes and didn't give our offense a chance to win it down the end. I wanted the kicker to kick a hard squib away from the one guy back. If we could do that Ole Miss would start back deep, at least inside the 20. That was mistake number one and instead they started at the 32. Ole Miss knew they were going to run it. We knew they were going to run it. Everyone in the stadium knew they were going to run it. If Ole Miss starts deep and we get a stop, a lot of things could happen. Maybe we get a turnover. If they punt inside the 20 with a 1:10, we probably start at our on 40 and we only need a field goal. Mistake number two is we don't stop them. We've had two mistakes on onside kicks that have hurt us."

On the safety
"It was rather critical. Without that you keep kicking ones and win. We thought we had a receiver in the area in Art Turner. But once the refs put their hands up for a safety, it is like arguing with my wife. You can state your point and ask for forgiveness but their minds are made up. If he wasn't in the end zone, I didn't know."

"Down 43-27, it is my call to go for two. There was some miscommunication on the play, but if you go for two and make it you start kicking ones. If you don't the score is 43-33 and you have to chances to make it back to where you are supposed to be. You have more chances if you go for it early. I'm not sure what the chart says, but I believe if you are going to go for two it is better to go early."

QB Dondrial Pinkins

On when he felt his team might be able to win
"The momentum switched late in the third quarter. We started moving the ball offensively. Up until that point, the offense and defense didn't play together. When the offense would score, the defense wouldn't stop them (Ole Miss). When the defense would stop them, the offense didn't score. We never capitalized on the opportunities the defense gave us."

On the problems in the second quarter
"We had some series we had some missed balls, we had some inaccurate balls and some missed assignments. It took a while for us to get in sync. It was just too late."

On the 98-yard touchdown
"It came late in the game, but I felt we had a chance. It came down to the end, and Ole Miss got the ball and pounded it. They got the win."

On being down 43-14
"We knew we had to get our offense going. Eli Manning and the Rebels were moving the ball well and putting points on the board. We knew we had to get moving and put points on the board. We knew we could get things going, it just turned out to be too late."

On his safety
"The snap was not called yet on the cadence, but the center snapped it. I picked it up and threw it and thought we had Hart (Turner) on the sideline, but they said he wasn't. I didn't think I was in the end zone, but they said I was."

DB Dunta Robinson

On Eli Manning
"He's a real good quarterback. He and David Greene are both good quarterbacks. I think it's a fight between them as to who is the best in the SEC. I will call it a tie, but I think he's a real good quarterback. It was like he knew what we were doing. He was making checks at the line like a smart quarterback will do. He made the completions. Most of it was because of us, but we made the adjustments we needed at the half."

On Ole Miss' offense in the first half compared to the second
"They hit all the right holes. We made too many mistakes. They had guys where they needed to be. We made some adjustments at the half and got our guys in the right places and then we put up some points. It was a close game, but it just wasn't enough."

WR Matthew Thomas

On the slump in the second and third quarter)
"We're a team. Things weren't going well and that's when you have to dig down deep and let it flow. Our offense played well at first and our defense was loafing. In the second half, the defense got it back. We came back in the second half and started banging."

On his 98-yard touchdown run
"I beat my defender pretty well. I caught the pass. There's not much else to it. Mikal Goodman ran a great route inside and pulled the safety off and sprang me free."

Ole Miss Head Coach David Cutcliffe

Opening Comments
"I have never been involved in a game where we were as dominant as we were at one point and then to flip it around and get on your heals and almost not be able to get off our heals. I certainly have to give South Carolina great credit. It takes great fortitude, coaching, and every thing else to make that kind of comeback. We will have a lot to learn from this tape. We certainly helped them too much. The penalties bother me. I'm anxious to study this tape and see what we can improve from that standpoint and we are going to improve. We have a big challenge in front of us, I'm real proud of what this team continues to do each week as far as a commitment to playing hard and being focused. I think we were focused. There's a very big challenge in front of us down the stretch and it's going to get tougher each week."

Scoring on opening possession seven straight games
"I think we were ready to play emotionally. I think we had a good plan and our execution was good. We had a really good week of practice offensively this week. I thought we were executing in practice about as well as we have all year and that showed early. They did some different things we weren't planning on seeing in the opening drive and we handled that. It's a tribute to the kids and the staff. It was just great execution."

On turning point in game
"I'm going to have to look at this one. I'm almost still in shock. It was a tale of two different stories. We had a chance after the third quarter to have a phenomenal game. I think the statistics were far in our favor at that time. Just as I said, they steadily fought back and we weren't executing suddenly on offense, which they had something to do with. So I don't remember one particular turning point."

On intensity in fourth quarter
"I think our intensity was there. Maybe when you get up 43-14 there's a natural reflex to be a little more relaxed and we were. But I wouldn't necessarily call it a lack of intensity. Certainly we got on our heels. Sometimes when you get on your heels you can't get off of them. I thought it was a great job by our offense on that last possession in making that first down and being able to run the clock out. I didn't want them to have the ball back. I thought that was the only positive I really saw in the fourth quarter."

On RB Tremaine Turner
"Tremaine just did a tremendous job. He's a good football player. I thought his two touchdown runs were really outstanding runs. He read the holes really well and I thought he ran hard today. He knew there was a lot on his shoulders and he took on that responsibility."

On the non tackle at end of third quarter and 98-yard touchdown pass
"Those two plays really hurt us. On the first one, we really just didn't finish the play. He never went down. It's not over until it's over. That's just a classic example of finishing the job. On the long touchdown we talked about how we thought they would come out and throw deep. It was just a blown coverage."

Defensive Coordinator Chuck Driesbach

On the fourth quarter slide
"It wasn't a whole lot of fun in the fourth quarter. I thought we had played good solid defense, with the exception of that second drive up until that point. I don't remember what really got us into that landslide. I know the play where the running back was still called up was big. It was a good call by the officials and an absolutely inexcusable defense. It is not anyone man making a tackle. We talk about three Rebels on the ball all the time and no one else showed up. We will address that because it is embarrassing."

QB Eli Manning

On it being a wild game
"It was a wild game. It got a little closer than what we wanted. We had a three touchdown lead going into the fourth quarter. We were feeling pretty good and it just shows you can't relax. You can't think the game is over or take your head out of the game. Offensively we were trying to run the clock out and they were doing blitzes. We were kind of stuck with a limited number of plays to keep the clock running. It was a tough situation but we held on and got a first down at the end of the game that was huge to run out the clock."

On scoring on the first possession the last seven games
"We were just clicking. It starts off that first possession - hitting passes, hitting runs, mixing it up and getting some third down conversions. You have to give a lot of credit to our offensive line. They did a great job of protecting, and the receivers were getting open all day. Even on the little screens they were catching the ball, getting up field and getting good yardage. Our offense really clicked. We had a great understanding of their defense and knew what would work and what wouldn't."

On facing South Carolina's defense
"That's the advantage of having an experienced offensive line, experienced running backs and receivers. There's not a lot we haven't seen from a defense. They lined up in some three-down lineman and three-linebackers in the box. We hadn't seen one snap of that, but we had seen it before. It's not anything that's difficult. We knew what was good going into it. We made our adjustments quickly. We knew what plays we liked and we kept running them."

On offensive confidence
"I think our offense is confident. We've been playing well, but we still can't get overconfident. You never know what kind of game it's going to be. We've won games where we've only scored 17 points and we've won games were you have to score 43 points to win. You never know how the game is going to be, but our offense feels like we could move the ball in every game we've played. We get a lot of offensive plays and a lot of yardage. So we feel like we can move the ball and get into scoring position."

On being 5-0 in SEC play
"It's a great feeling to be 5-0. Sometimes it really doesn't matter how you get there as long as you're there. Offensively we played a great game and defensively we played really well in the first half. In the second half their offense hit some big plays. We were just three or four plays from it being a blowout game. You've got to give a lot of credit to South Carolina. They stayed in it and found a way to get back in the game."

WR Chris Collins

On breaking the receiving record
"It's a great individual honor, but individual stats are not my personal measure for success. It took a lot of help from my teammates just to make it this far. I'm proud to be the record holder, but breaking records is not my main focus. Personal milestones are great to reach, but all I really want to do is help the team. I don't go into games with personal milestones on my mind. I'm here to win football games."

On the offensive struggles in 2nd half
"South Carolina came out fired up, while we came out too relaxed. It took us a while to get back into rhythm, but we held it together well enough to finish the victory. Every team will struggle from time to time, but the important thing is that we add another win to our record."

Emotion for this win
"The emotion is not the same after today's game. We didn't know as much about South Carolina coming into this game as we do about teams like Alabama and Arkansas. This is still a good win for the team. It just felt a little different since this was the first time in my career to play South Carolina. The emotion of the team is still high, and we're looking forward to our next challenge."

Lou Holtz mystique
"That really had no effect on our team coming into today's game. We try to play our game our way no matter who is on the opposing sideline."

RB Tremaine Turner

Extra motivation because of running back situation
"Yeah, there is a little more motivation for me to show what I can do for the team. It's a big game and I just wanted to show up. I'm a senior and this is was a chance for a big game in my Ole Miss career. As a senior, I felt like it was my duty to lead by example. I needed to carry the load and pick the team up on my shoulders. This was my chance to shine, and I played with all my heart."

On the offensive line
"The offensive line played great today. They carried me on their backs the whole day. They worked hard all week in practice preparing for South Carolina's big defensive line, and did a spectacular job on the field today. They did their job and I did mine, and we were able to finish with a lot of success."

RB Brandon Jacobs

Opportunity with RB situation
"I just knew I had to step up when the team asked me to, for us to succeed. I knew coming into today that I might be asked to carry a bigger load than normal, and I had to try and take my game to the next level."

On scoring the TD
"It made me excited to score the touchdown because it helped move our team one step closer to its goal. Anything that gets us closer to Atlanta gets me excited, so getting the touchdown made me feel good."

Game in general
"This is a big win for us since it is the first time we've been 5-0 in something like 40 years. We made a lot of mistakes that we have to work on correcting this week in practice. It's not a surprise that we need some extra work. Every week you work on something new, and try to simply improve for the next game. We've still got a long way to go, but this was a step in the right direction."

Offensive struggles in the 2nd half
"Sometimes that happens and you have to just keep trying to execute. Every team struggles at some point, and we got in a little slump in the second half. We left with a victory, and that shows the heart of this team. The struggles just brought our offense back to reality, and we'll spend this next week concentrating on how to fix the problems we had."


DB Eric Oliver
On shutting down South Carolina in the first three quarters "There wasn't anything special that we did to stop them. We just came out there and played the way we were supposed to play and got the job done."

On being 5-0 in the SEC
"This is huge because it's the first time in 40 years an Ole Miss team has done this. The last time this was done, it was before anybody in this locker room was even thought of."

On heading into Auburn
"We've got to get a lot better all around on defense. We need to work on our pass defense, run defense, tackling and just about everything."

DL McKinley Boykin

On the defense
"We played pretty good for the most part. In the fourth quarter they just managed to get some big plays. We need to work on eliminating the big play."

On the fourth quarter
"It was a series of big plays (for South Carolina). Their offense just came through and caught us sleeping."

On being 5-0 in the SEC
"It's real big. As long as we just take things one game at a time we'll be ok."

DE Charlie Anderson

On the game
"We played good defensively for the majority of the game. We just gave up big plays at the end."

On improving defensively
"We've just got to stay focused. You can't lose your focus in an SEC game. When you're up on a team by 24 points, you should shut the door on them."

On being 5-0 in the SEC
"It's great because we haven't done this well since I've been here. It's a great feeling at this point but we've got to stay focused as a team and take things one game at a time."

LB L.P. Spence

On the game
"In the beginning, we squeezed the life out of them on defense. Later on in the game they seemed to get the momentum back. Fortunately, we were able to come out on top."

On being 5-0 in SEC play
"It feels great. We've just got to work harder and remember in the future when you get a team down you've got to squeeze the life out of them."

On facing Auburn
"Our main objective is to stop the run. If we can leave them with 2nd and long and 3rd and long situations, we'll come out on top."

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