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Thursday, April 17, 2014

BLOG: Quotes, quotes and more quotes!

Yesterday’s impromptu speech from Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt was definitely one to remember.And it’s because a straight article (Nutt gives impassioned speech about team, program) in today’s EAGLE won’t do it justice that below is the full transcript from his opening statement to the media:

“Guys, I just want to hit briefly. Let’s just go back to the start of the year. You know, this season has not gone the way we planned. It started with that first game. We knew this was going to be the year. We knew this third year, with the amount of players that we lost, we knew that this would be a difficult year. What we didn’t plan on was about three knee surgeries, four concussions, a guy like (Kentrell) Lockett, your leader. We didn’t plan on that, to lose a guy like that.

“But I just want to remind our fans of this, number one, it was just 50 years, it’s been 50 years since you won back-to-back January 1 games. 50! 50! And so my point is, I’m excited about, not with wins and losses, but I’m excited that there are 12 freshmen that are playing. 12! I’m excited about the future. I know now, more in my heart than ever, I know we can get to Atlanta. I know we can. Because I know we can recruit here. We’ve proven that the last two seasons.

“What you didn’t plan on was that first game to put you in a tailspin. What you didn’t plan on was a couple of other things where, and it’s my fault, we weren’t as sharp, weren’t as ready as we should have been. But I see a lot of hope. And I’m excited. I’m excited about these next two games. I don’t want to lose focus on this. I remember the day we got here. I remember the day we got here, guys. I didn’t see any life. I didn’t see any. I saw a lot of no-hope. And I don’t want that to come back on our guys now, and that’s what I’m feeling a little bit. I don’t want that. I want to convince them of this. Number one, you’ve got two ballgames left and a lot of these guys have done a lot of good things these last two years. And it’s easy to dwell on the negative. It’s easy to sit up on the 50-yard line, it’s easy to sit there and say Bad, bad, bad, bad, embarrassing. And, hey, I was the first one to say it after Saturday. Man, I don’t want to do that. If you think you’re hurting, you ought to just look at the tip of my itsy-bitsy little finger and then go all the way up through my body. I’m sick to my stomach. The Tennessee game, because we planned on winning that game. But look at this, though, if you think Florida’s happy? You think Georgia’s happy? There’s going to be a year, in this league, the greatest league in America, there’s going to be a year where things don’t go just right.

“But it isn’t all about gloom and doom. And that’s what’s difficult about the world that we’re in now because I’ve got 18 and 19-year-olds that actually believe everything that comes outside these walls. And so, I’ve got to turn that. I’ve got to turn it. You’ve got to listen to what’s inside these walls. It’s about your family and this football family. We’ve got some outstanding recruits, recruiting is still going good, the last two signing classes have been really good. I think this will be our best one. Yeah, I planned on being at seven wins, right now at this point, seven to eight, six at the worst, but the bottom line is, reality is, we’re not.

“So, no more. I’m not going to allow my players to be gloom and doom. I’m going to let everybody else be gloom and doom. Remember, you’re part of something that was great. It wasn’t too long ago they’re patting you on the back about, Can you believe it was a half a century? Fifty years and you went back-to-back and won January 1s? And you’re putting up these Cotton Bowl deals? And you’re helping bring in good recruits? There are good things getting ready to happen. And so, I just want to tell our fans that, I want to tell our players that, most of all. Get your head up. I just saw two out here with their head down. What are you doing? Get your head up. This is what’s the greatest thing about football. It teaches you all you want about life. There’s not a sin about getting knocked down. There’s not a sin about that. The sin is if you stay down. And so, the thing I want to do, I want to make sure our coaches are going as hard as we can with all the energy and effort to make sure they’re taking the correct step, the proper stance, the perfect read and play. You don’t play tight. You turn it loose. One of the things we did, if you look the last two years, and the games that we played good this year, we turned it loose. That’s always been that way with us. Always. You turn it loose, you play the greatest game in America with a lot of passion, a lot of enthusiasm, and you turn it loose. So we’re getting ready to go play one of the best teams in America, LSU.

“LSU has the finest defense that I’ve ever seen, right now, so far, the best. Starts with their front, their front is outstanding because they’re big, they’re huge, they’re fast, they don’t give up but very, very few points. They swarm to the football. I mean, with speed. And one day we’re going to be two and three deep just like that. They have real speed from the front to the backers to the back end. Offensively, real weapons at the wideout. A real tailback. A good offensive line. Good special teams. So we’re playing, I guess, the No. 5 team in the country. LSU. Get ready. Questions?”

EXTRA QUOTES FROM OXFORD-PEARL: Because we were tight on space in Monday’s EAGLE Sports Section, all the quotes from the Chargers’ 49-14 victory at Pearl’s Ray Rogers Stadium on Friday didn’t make it into print. Below is what you missed out on…

On Mont Dean:
It was awesome. Sitting back there, I’m not doing anything. I just get to watch him run. He’s a beast, bouncing off tacklers. I’d love to know how many broken tackles he had.

On Deshaun McNeal’s 9-catch night:
Deshaun showed his toughness. He got hit a couple times and they took some cheap shots on him with face masks and stuff and he played right through it, got up, and kept on ticking.

You basically did whatever you wanted to offensively:

We really executed tonight on offense. Early in the year we had some fumbles and I think that’s why — we should be undefeated. They really were dedicated the last two weeks in practice and understand what these games mean to these seniors. They’re executing and that’s all we can ask.
I don’t even think we punted tonight and we had third down twice. That’s unbelievable.

It was really awesome to have a big game like this on a big night. Big players make big plays. We had to show up and show out.

Were they giving you anything?
I don’t feel like they were giving me anything, they weren’t going to stop me, I refused to — I can’t be stopped right now. i have one goal, to win state. That’s it.

On defense limiting Pearl’s option?
The whole week we were working on keeping the option contained and making sure the quarterback was hit every time. Other than that one touchdown, the quarterback was hit every time.

Better this time around, than last year’s loss at Pearl?
Oh yeah, It was a lot different.

What was working?
We ran the ball, threw the ball, just a complete ball game. We didn’t have to punt. Our offense did great, and I’ll tell you the defense came to play, too.

You got 14 points off of turnovers:
Those were huge. That’s a 14-point swing, the seven we scored and the seven they didn’t score. I can’t say enough about our defense. Our coaching staff had them ready to play defense. Offensively, we are right where we want to be. I’m tickled to death.

Was the goal to get Mont Dean going early?
We didn’t know exactly what they were going to do. I thought they were going to play with a 50-front, and they played a 4-front. We thought we could run on a 4-front and they stayed in it and we stayed with what we did.

Passing game & Deshaun McNeal:
He was awesome, but people forget about them linemen who are blocking and the quarterback that puts it on the money.

*Oxford returns to action on Friday to host region 1-5A foe West Point in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs. Lafayette will travel to New Albany for the third round of the Class 4A playoffs and Water Valley will host Region 2-3A rival Winona on Friday in the third round of the Class 3A playoffs. All games are set for 7 p.m. kickoffs. (November 16, 2010)

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