Oct. 25, 2013
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Opening Statement ...
“Just a little frustrated again and disappointed. We had our opportunities. We
didn’t make enough plays when we needed to. They did and give them credit.
We started too slow again. We tried to combat that all week and talked about
that. We needed to come out strong and execute in the first half on both sides
of the ball. We didn’t do that and they did. We got too far behind. We settled in
in during the second half and made some adjustments to give us an
opportunity to win the game but we did not. Give them credit. We will go back
to work and get some things corrected to do what we need to do to get things
back on the right track.”
On the onside kick try …
“We got it to two and I thought we had good momentum. We had the lob set up
and it was perfectly executed. Somebody on the backside that had absolutely
nothing to do with the play was evidently four or six inches offsides so that’s
the difference. We didn’t do what we needed to do and that’s disappointing.
On QB Maxwell Smith …
“It’s a combination of things. We need to play better. Everybody needs to play
better. We need to protect better. We need to get open and he needs to throw it
better so it’s a little bit of everything. I thought early on there were a few times
we were beat. We had one protection issue late in the game that they got the
sack on, but early there was some pressure that impacted him. He can’t let
that affect him for the rest of the game. He has to step up and when he does
have time he has to make big plays."
On QB Jalen Whitlow coming into game …
“I talked to him at half and told him that we needed him to go. We needed him
to step up and play with his ankle hurting. He said he was ready and wanted to
do it. He went in and gave us a little bit. It was a fine line. He was banged up
for a week and a half. He didn’t get a lot of reps with his ankle bothering him
and that hurt us.”
On what to take from this game …
“We need to execute better. That’s the bottom line. We had our opportunities.
Our team is going to work. Our team needs to improve. We all need to do a
better job starting with me. That’s the way it is and we’ll do that. We’re not
going to hesitate. We’ll go back to work. We have to execute when the game is
on the line and we’re going to do that.”
On the defensive effort …
“It got better again as the game went on. They keep you off balance and give
them credit. They kept us off balance. We didn’t do a good enough job in the
first half. That’s just too many yards. They converted too many yards and too
many big plays. I thought in the second half we did a better job. We we’re more
aggressive and made some plays when we needed to.”
On MSU trick play for touchdown …
“It was a well-designed play. It’s one of those that from the sidelines you can
see it coming almost in slow motion. It was similar to the play we had setup
against Florida and didn’t execute. They did and got it in. It’s one of the plays
that made a difference. Again, give them credit. You either execute it or you
On message to team after the game …
“We are going to look them dead in the face. It is what it is and it’s not ok. We
are going to coach better, they’re going to play better and we’re going to address
these issues. We are going to get better and keep on fighting. End of story.”
On almost breaking open for the winning touchdown late in the game ...
“That was tough. I should’ve broken that one. I really could’ve helped the team
out there, so that was tough.”
On executing better ...
“We’ve got to make plays. Every play isn’t going to perfect, and not every call is
going to be perfect. We are coming along. I’m proud of how our guys fought and
never gave up. It’s easy to give up as the season goes along, but I believe that
we will keep fighting.”
On the onside kick attempt after gaining momentum ...
“It stinks. Unfortunately, we were offsides, and coach had been saying all week
that we couldn’t be offsides on this. It was important swing in the game after
we had a lot of momentum. It’s unfortunate that it happened, but that’s not the
only reason we lost the game.”
On bouncing back from a tough loss ...
“I’ve never seen us give up. We don’t ever give up. We just didn’t execute
tonight. We didn’t give up at South Carolina, we didn’t give up against
Alabama. We’re just going to keep fighting. We want to win, and we are fully
capable of winning football games. I’m confident that if we keep fighting, it’s
going to happen.”
Mississippi State Head Coach Dan Mullen
Opening Statement ...
“That was a hard fought game. I want to give Kentucky a lot of credit. Mark
Stoops has done a great job with that squad. You can see that in their kids
with their demeanor, their attitude and how they play.
“For us I think we did a lot of good things tonight, and we did a lot of sloppy
things tonight. At different times there were really a lot of highs we could take
out of that game. That was the second game in a row where our defense made
a great stand at the end.
“I am still disappointed with our two-minute defense before halftime. That was
one of the most penalized games we have had this year. We had a lot of
penalties that put us behind the chains.
“We made some really big plays on offense, but had a lot of negative yardage
plays on offense. You can’t do that. Our kicking game was a little bit off
tonight, too. We didn’t punt the ball very well, our return game wasn’t good,
our coverage game and some of that has to do with the kicks.
“It wasn’t great tonight. We got a win and are 4-3 and it’s a good position to be
in right now. We are in the second half of the season and to have a winning
record. We still have five games to go and we need to finish this season in the
On finishing games…
“We have to finish. It’s a combination of everything, but we have to put the ball
in the end zone. We are getting yards in the fourth quarter, but we are not
getting the points. Our yards are sometimes not matching up with our points.
A lot of that comes from penalties, mistakes. On the last drive we had two
wrong checks and ended up with a second-and-11 play. Those are some tough
situations. You drive the ball and make plays and then make errors that put
you behind the chains. You don’t end up getting the points out of them.
“Our team did finish tonight. We started with our backs against the wall and
put together a long drive and ate some clock; then our defense came out and
won the game.”
On Jameon Lewis’ versatility…
“He was a high school quarterback and led his team to a championship, so he
has that versatility. He has become comfortable in the game and has become a
football player. Since he’s been here he has been a guy who was a utility guy,
but now he is a football player. He is an every-down player for us. Now that he
is an every-down player, you get to use his versatility more.”
Mississippi State Student-Athletes
15– Dak Prescott – So. – QB
On feeling more comfortable in the pocket …
“Most definitely, and that comes from our offensive line. They’re working.
They’re working their butts off and they’re protecting. The receivers are getting
open, so my teammates certainly make me comfortable.”
On trusting the defense but wanting to finish games out offensively ...
“That’s what we want to do. We want to make it easier for the defense. When
we do have to put our trust in the defense for a late stop, we trust them.”
4– Jameon Lewis – Jr. – WR
On being such a versatile player, running, throwing, and catching …
“It feels natural because, you know, in high school I played quarterback so
throwing the ball is no problem with me. Then catching the ball, I’ve just been
playing football my whole life so I just know how to utilize everything to the
best of my ability.”
50– Benardrick McKinney – So. – LB
On how big this win was as far as SEC play is concerned …
“It was a big win. Playing an SEC team, you know it’s going to be tough but we
just talked as a team, as a unit, that we were going to go out there and try to
play our all.”