Views from the locker room

VandyMania spoke with receiver Erik Davis, defensive end Jovan Haye, quarterback Jay Cutler and fullback Matthew Tant in the press room Saturday after Vanderbilt's exhilarating 28-17 SEC win over Kentucky.

Sophomore receiver Erik Davis, had three catches for 39 yards and 2 touchdowns:

Q: That first touchdown catch of yours was terrific. You take the ball behind a block, and worm your way into the end zone.

A: Yeah, Brandon Smith set the whole play up. I was just running and cutting behind him. There's no worse feeling than being one yard short of the goal line. I just took it upon myself to push it on through. I wasn't sure if I was gonna get in or not. Something in my heart just told me to keep driving.

Q: How about the second touchdown?

A: The second one was just, that's what Coach calls "Big Boy" plays. We've got to go in there, we've got to make plays in traffic. Obviously I took a big hit, but I was lucky to hold onto the ball.

Q: At what point in the game did you guys say, "We've got this one!"?

A: I think it was when we had that big interception [by Kelechi Ohanaja] right before halftime. It stopped them on a long drive. It gave us momentum going into the half, going up 14-3.

Q: What's it like in the locker room right now?

A: It's fanatic. You would think we won a world championship right now. Other people don't understand, because they've never had a streak like that. When you have a streak like that, and you get it out from underneath your belt, it feels so amazing. I'm not gonna be able to sleep tonight, I feel so good. We're going to dwell on it, we're going to take it for what it is, but we know we have to prepare for a good UT team.

Defensive end Jovan Haye, had nine total tackles and two sacks:

Q: What was it like to see those goalposts coming down?

A: It feels REAL good. Our fans have been waiting for a reason to cheer, like beating Kentucky like we did today.

Q: Do you think the better team won today?

A: Yes. I really do.

Q: Was there anything different in the preparation for today? I know you prepare hard for every team, but did something maybe click today that hadn't in other games?

A: Not really. I just think we had a little killer instinct today. We got 'em down early, and they stayed down. That was the big thing for us, just having them down and being able to keep 'em down.

Q: Jared Lorenzen has got to have nightmares about you... it seemed like you were chasing him for most of the day.

A: Yeah, there were only two games left, so I was determined to lay it all on the line today. It felt good to sack him, but there was another time when I could have gotten a second sack early. I wrapped him, and he somehow just got rid of the ball. He's tough to bring down. You've got to tackle him up high. His arm is so powerful, he'll get the ball off.

Quarterback Jay Cutler, had four touchdown passes and 129 yards rushing:

Q: What's the best thing about this win? The streak over? A bit of relief?

A: Just getting a win for this team. We really aren't worried about the streak. We didn't start the streak, but I guess you could say we ended it. But we still have games to play. This season isn't over. We just needed a little confidence. We needed a little win to learn how we could play. Now we have that, and we're ready for another game.

Q: Talk about the postgame celebration. The students were all over the place.

A: Yeah, I was happy to see that. I went over to [Director of Football Operations] Brian Reese, and I asked if they were going to let them take them down. He was like, hell yeah, we're taking 'em down! So I was like, I want to watch this. The students getting involved like that, that's a big plus for us. They hadn't really been there all year, but I can't blame them. It's hard to cheer for a team that always loses. But I was happy to see they supported us and got out there at the end of the game.

Q: The pass to Marlon White-- you guys run, run, run, then suddenly Marlon White comes wide open. Was that your first read?

A: No. We'd called the play a couple of times before. They had the right defense called. But I was reading. We had a tight end pass called, but the safety jumped him, so Marlon was free. It was a great route, and a great play call.

Sophomore fullback Matthew Tant, had 55 yards rushing, two pass receptions and one touchdown:

Q: Was that a surreal moment to see those goalposts coming down?

A: It's something that can happen more often. We all realize that we're a young team. It's not really surreal-- it's going to happen more.

Q: Talk about Jay's performance in the rushing game-- 129 yards.

A: Jay was making plays all day. He was scrambling, people were going to sack him, he made big plays, made big passes. He threw two [touchdowns] to Erik Davis. And his rushing, 129 yards, that's incredible for a quarterback. I can't say enough about how he played today. They really couldn't stop our offense.

Q: The last five games you've really taken over, with four touchdown catches.

A: The coaches are really trying to utilize everything we've got. They realized I could catch the ball. Kwane [Doster] was hurt today, and that allowed me to run the ball a little bit more.

Q: Have you been frustrated in not being able to run the ball more?

A: Not really. I accept my role as a fullback, and I love it. I like blocking. But I didn't get to block that much today, because I was running the ball. I love running the ball. Norval is more of a shifty type back, and I'm more of a north-south runner. They were able to give me the ball at the end, and help us run the clock out. Top Stories