Ole Miss got its third win of the season Saturday, a fairly non-descript but still meaningful…
From The Locker Room -
TB BenJarvus Green-Ellis: (On his 116-yard day and shot at 1,000 yards on the season - he's over 850 now) It felt good to get 100 yards again. It was a nice day out there today. I don't think too much about stats, but the offensive line made a comment the other day about me getting 1,000 yards. I'm going to get it for them. (On Bruce Hall) He comes in for me and produces. It's great for the team. He's a good running back. (On scoring on the first drive of the game) That gives you a lot of momentum and it's easier to play with momentum. That gets you going as a team and an offense. (On Fullback Andy Hartmann) Andy has given us a big lift since Jason Cook has been down. It's good to see him take advantage of his opportunities. He did a good job. (On getting a win) It's always a good feeling to win. It's a lot better than an 'L'. I haven't taken any moral victories this year. All I count are wins and losses and wins feel a lot better than losses. (On getting a week off) We need it to heal up. I know I need it.
FB Andy Hartmann: (On the running game) We were able to make some pretty good holes today for some extremely gifted running backs on our team. (On his playing time) I don't like I am playing at the expense of Jason (Cook) being hurt, but it's been a pleasant surprise for me. I'm just doing everything I can to help the team win. I want to make a difference until Jason gets back. I feel real comfortable out there. Coach (Frank) Wilson has worked hard with me to make sure I know what I'm doing. And Jason has always helped me a lot. He's like my mentor. He's my number one fan out there. He's a great guy. I follow his lead on and off the field. (On his skills) I'm just a hard worker and I will never give up on a play. I know if I do my job, with the OL getting better every week, and talented guys like BenJarvus and Bruce at TB, that the sky is the limit for them. I just try to hold up my end of the deal.
WR Mike Wallace: (On the win) It was alright. We left some points out there, but we won and that was our big goal. When you are 2-7, every win feels good. We probably should have scored more points, but we won by 20 and I'll take it. (On his 6-catch day) All week, Brent (Schaeffer) and Coach (Dan) Werner have been telling me they were going to throw me the ball and to be ready. I caught the ball all week in practice well and I was just waiting on today to get here. (On the 35-yard TD reception) We were waiting on that coverage all day. They have shown a coverage where they blitzed the safety and left the middle open with man coverage. The safety went with (TE) Robert (Lane) over the middle and I beat my guy deep. I was happy about it.
Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner: (On Bruce Hall) He has such good vision. It doesn't look like he's running that fast and all of sudden he's in the secondary. He understands the game being a former QB. He knows protections and blitzes and what defenses are trying to do. He helps us out in a lot of ways. (On making a few longer plays) I'm pretty pleased with it, but we actually missed a couple of more long plays we should have made. We had man coverage most of the day and probably should have connected on two or three more deep ones to open the game up, but we are getting there and showed improvement in that area today. (On 401 yards total offense) That was nice, but we need to string a few of those together. We are shooting for 400-450 total yards a game as an average, not to get it once or twice a year, but you have to start somewhere. We're working on it and will keep working on it. (On the need of an open week) This is the first time in my career I've gone 10 in a row. It was hard on me, so I'm sure it's been hard on the players, but we haven't talked about it in those terms because there's nothing you can do about it. Now that it's over, I will say it's been a hard 10 weeks, but our guys have battled and worked and I'm proud of them for that. Now we can give them a little time to rest, heal, regroup, catch their second wind and finish the last two with a bang. (On Mico McSwain at wideout) People have to worry about him because he has speed and everyone we play knows that. I think it helped us today because Northwestern had to be aware of his presence outside and the threat he brings with his speed. He's still a dual-type player for us. We lined him up in the backfield on one play, motioned him to the far side, which kicked their coverage that way and opened up Mike Wallace for his long TD. (On Andy Hartmann at FB) I was proud of him. He played a little last week and got his feet wet. He battled hard today. He's a tough guy. We brought him in from Florida thinking he'd be a redshirt guy, but he's helped us on special teams all year. I'm glad we've had him this year since Jason Cook got injured. (On Brent Schaeffer's day) Other than the fumble he had, which bothered me, he was pretty good. The thing about his misses is that they were all long, which is what you want. All his passes were thrown where either we caught them or nobody did, which is what I preach. We had a lot of audibles today and he handled all the checks well. (On the last drive of the first half to make it 17-10) We opened the game with a good drive, then kind of sputtered for a while. We needed that score because had we not gotten it and gone in at half 10-7, we probably would have felt like we were losing. It was a good boost to get a 10-point cushion.
OL Coach Art Kehoe: (On BenJarvus being on pace for 1,000 yards rushing) We take pride in BenJarvus or any back doing well. We are cognizant of him being close. It's a motivator for the OL. In the 11-year history of Ole Miss, only three years have we had 1,000 yard rushers. I think Kayo Dottley did it twice and Deuce McAllister did it once. If we get the fourth, that will be awesome. I told our guys we need to help him get it and the OL wants him to get it. A 1,000 yard rusher will help take off the pain of some of the losses we've had. (On the win) It was awesome. The kids played hard and for the most part we moved the bal well. We had 200 yards rushing. We would have liked to have seen a little more, but when you are 2-7, you don't want to get greedy - just get a win and be proud of it. Our kids play hard, prepare hard and do what we ask them to do. It feels good to see them rewarded with a win. Now we just have to get healthy, get a plan together for LSU and see what we can do in Baton Rouge. (On pressure on Schaeffer) We had a couple of times when he was sacked and a three or four times when he was hurried. They blitzed us a lot and came with the free safety and the corner sometimes. Some of it we handled, some of it we didn't. That will certainly be an issue with us this week. We ran 62 plays today and probably should have run 75 and gotten a couple of more scores. (On the open week) Nobody complained the whole time we were playing 10 straight games, but it was tough. The kids gave us a lot. Now we need to go to Baton Rouge healthy, rested, confident and playing as hard as we can. The open week let's us do that. (On Andrew Wicker's injury) He's got a stinger problem and when you get hit on it, it just starts over again. We're going to get it right by rest and rehab because we will need him badly the last two games. (On playing in Death Valley) When I was at Miami, we were both ranked high and we (Miami) got them pretty good, but the last time we played them (in a bowl last year) that probably sent me to Mississippi. They whipped us pretty badly.
TB Bruce Hall: (On his day) My confidence is getting higher and higher. And hat's off to the offensive line, they did a great job today. I thought we did a decent job on offense today. We established a positive feeling by scoring on our first possession and then did a fair job the rest of the way. (On the open week) It's important. A lot of guys are banged up and need rest. We need to be healthy and rested for our last two games. (On his 22-yard TD run) It was my first TD as a Rebel and it was special. The longer you play, the more you see it's hard to get in the end zone and the more you enjoy those moments.
LB Rory Johnson: (On the win) Any win feels good. We needed it and were glad to get it. We let them score on their first drive, but that kind of woke us up. Football is four quarters and we talked about not letting them have any more points. (On an ice bag he was holding on his face) I took a shot to the jaw in the first quarter and it bothered me the whole game. It will be OK. (On the second half defense) We just smacked them in the mouth. We were pumped up at halftime and wanted to pitch a shutout in the second half. (On the open week) I think we are practicing two days next week so that will let everyone heal and rest. We need it. We'll be ready for the last two games. (On BenJarvus) He's a heckuva back. In practice, if you aren't bringing it, he will run you over. He's ripped and tough.
PK Joshua Shene: (On his 52-yarder) Coach O told me heading into the game that anytime we got to the 35-yard line in, I was going in. I was glad he called my number on the 52-yarder because I wanted to kick at least one long field goal my freshman year. I've made a 62-yarder in practice, but that's practice. I knew the 52-yarder would be a low kick. We were told they (NW State) didn't jump on field goals and I kicked it low. It went in - there are no style points in kicking. It's either good or no good. That one was, fortunately, good. (On the field goal operation) The whole thing is very smooth. We have come a long way since the first of the season. The line, snapper and holder has great chemistry right now.
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