Sept. 8, 2007
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Head Coach Jeff Bower: "I'm disappointed in the way we played. We had chances to score and we settled for field goals and we needed to get touchdowns. We didn't and then we turned the ball over in the second half and gave them a short-field too much."
"I thought we played pretty well on the running game in the first half. We got in a bad position a few times in the running game and let them break contain. You have to lineup and stop them."
(on starting RB Damion Fletcher only having 10 carries) "He had to go in to get a drip (IV) and we had several other guys cramping up."
Jeremy Young, QB: "We got in the redzone a couple of times and didn't capitalize. We did a great job getting the ball down the field but when we get in the redzone we need to get it in there. That's the tough thing as a quarterback when you get down there and have long, sustained drives and you can't get in the endzone."
(on 69-yard TD pass) "It gave us a lot of confidence because we didn't have to depend on the running game. We had a chance to come out and get some passing in and we did a good job but it just wasn't good enough. We do so much with running the ball and I was sure they were going to pack guys into the box. We had to go out and make plays. That's what football is about and tonight they made more plays."
Gerald McRath, LB: "They did the same thing that they showed us on film. Our execution and defense was alittle poor coming out in the second half. I think our lack of getting off the field on third downs hurt us. It was real bad this game and I think when we watch it on film we're going to see that we took ourselves out of the game and we layed down."
"Nobody is satisfied with this. We can't keep giving the offense opportunities to stay on the field. The biggest thing is I think we let our own offense down this game."
(on dehydration) "We had a lot of guys cramping up and a lot of guys getting dehydrated. It's something that we really haven't seen. It's actually a lot cooler here than it is back in Hattiesburg. It's kind of weird to see guys cramp up, especially after the heat we went through during two-adays."
Head Coach Phillip Fulmer: "I'm really glad to get the win. We knew coming in that Southern Mississippi was a tough football team. They'll have a great season. They have a lot of great players who have played a lot. They're a good-looking team. It was great to see the offense come out and do as well as they did early.
"The positive part (defensively, other than the busted coverage where we gave up a long touchdown pass,) is that we held them to four field goals.
"Getting some pressure on the quarterback paid off for us. It was great to get a good number of guys in the game.
"(Daniel) Lincoln, our young kicker, and (Chad) Cunningham, our young punter, came through for us tonight. Britton (Colquitt) might have been able to play, but we took the chance that the youngster (Cunningham) would get it done.
"It was great to see (Arian) Foster get 100-plus yards. We had two receivers get 100 yards; that's fun. Erik Ainge is a heck of a football player. He understands, he sees and he throws. It was a good effort by him."
Erik Ainge, QB: "I thought (coach Cutcliffe) did a good job on third and long. We put ourselves in bad down and distance, but protected well, had a good game plan and converted a lot of third-and-longs.
"I have to credit Austin (Rogers), Lucas (Taylor) and Josh (Briscoe). They are all playing well. The potential has always been there, so we aren't shocked that they're where they're supposed to be every time.
"The defense did a good job in the second half. They got that turnover, and special teams forced another one.
"The hand is fine, and we have a tough test next week."
Arian Foster, TB: "The game felt good. We knew they would bring blitzes, and that it would take a while to get the running game going. The coaches came out in the second half with a good game plan.
"Anytime you get a turnover, it's important to capitalize on the opportunity. I'm happy for our receivers, they've played well. They've played great the last two games, and I'm proud of them."
On having four tailbacks who play: "It's great. We have four guys who can step in and get it done. (Coach Cutcliffe) does a great job scheming. It's fun being a pawn in his chess game and just doing what he wants us to do."
Rico McCoy, LB: "Southern Miss came out and played a great game. We watched a lot of film, and they did what they have (done) all year. We came out and played hard, and as the game went on, I got more relaxed and comfortable. When you're comfortable, you can make plays."
Robert Ayers, DE: "The coaches put us in a good position and we went out and played better (in the second half). We used more blitzes and different looks that allowed us to play better.
On McCoy's tackle of Jeremy Young: "He gave us a lot of energy and woke the other guys up. We look to Rico and (Jerod) Mayo to make those plays and be leaders of the defense."
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