Nov. 13, 2010
Tennessee Head Coach Derek Dooley
"It was just a phenomenal effort by our players, and I'm really proud of them how they've come out these past two weeks. The preparation all week has been great. We were focused. We had our best week of practice. It just showed. They're gaining a little confidence, I feel like. They played aggressively. They played fast. It was just a phenomenal team win. On to the next week."
On sensing the team would have a good game...
"I felt like we were ready. I did. Our players, especially the younger guys, they're starting to learn how to prepare and stay focused during the week. That's hard to do. It was a real commitment by the team of everybody doing a little bit better in everything they do. It's day after day after day. It takes a lot of talking about and a lot of support from each other. I feel like they're doing it. You can see them play with a lot more confidence, and that's a good thing."
On winning the turnover margin by five...
"I'll say it every week. The key is the turnovers. It always is. But it's also sometimes an indication of how locked in you are. I tell the team, `You create your own luck.' Teams aren't lucky; they create it. They create it by playing fast. They create it by playing with confidence. That can only happen if you have a great week of preparation. Any time we're plus-five in the turnovers, you're probably going to win the game, knock on wood. That was great."
On being able to play more players due to the score...
"I got a little worried there a while just stopping the run. That's what they do best. They came out in the second quarter and put it to us. I just felt like if we could keep pulling away a little bit and hold that run game down, then we get them into doing things they're not comfortable doing. That's why I thought the beginning of the third quarter was so critical. I told the defense they were going to come out and try to run on us. If we could just hold up in the run game, it would force them into doing things they don't like to do. When you make a team play left-handed, it gives you a better chance."
On what he told the team during a timeout in the third quarter...
"It wasn't `How you guys doing?' Tyler (Bray) just takes his time sometimes. The next thing you know you look up and there's 15 seconds on the (play) clock and it's driving you nuts. We were moving slow and it was still early in the third. This is when you can screw the game up. So it was important that I made sure the team didn't get complacent. We had to keep playing. If you don't, then all of a sudden things tip on you. They responded because I think we scored that drive. That was good."
On the called reverse during a kickoff return ...
"I thought it was the right time. They had kind of taken the momentum back. It was 28-14 and you could feel it, like, here we go now guys. We just wanted to try to make something happen, and we did. But then we go out on offense and lose 30 yards. So much for that. We worked on it and we're going to keep doing things. But it was a real struggle. Our specialists struggled. (Michael) Palardy struggled. Then of course, it was the same old deal since the first day I took the job with punt returning. We got to a point where I didn't even put one back there. It was the only way we were going to lose the game, go fumble a punt. I know that's kind of ridiculous for a major college football team, but that's where we are. I don't have one guy that I have confidence in, so I don't know what else to do."
On the first touchdown and creating luck...
"It was a little lucky, but you create it. Justin (Hunter) ran fast and reacted to the ball. Things like that happen, but then things like that happen against you. That was just one play. It was early, and it is nice to get a little juice going early. Justin is a special player. He made some special plays. Those guys were blitzing a lot and giving a lot of opportunities in coverage. So that was our plan. We were going to throw it up there to the tall guy when they go to challenge us, and it worked."
Prentiss Waggner, DB
On the secondary's overall improvement in this game...
"We talk about it everyday in practice, about having good practices and turning that over into the games. I think today we were aggressive and challenged the receivers and fought for the ball. We had some plays come our way."
On his move from safety to cornerback...
"I think I feel pretty comfortable. I played the position in high school and I think that's really my natural position. I think I can play a good technique at the corner position so I'm looking forward to continuing to get better at corner."
On his pick-six and being the first Tennessee player to have three interception returns for touchdowns in a single season...
"We were in cover four and I think the receiver tried to run me off but I was the d-line getting a lot of pressure on the quarterback and I read the slip screen play. The quarterback overthrew the running back and I picked it off and took it to the end zone."
"It's a big honor. I really didn't know about the record until you guys told me about it in the back. I think it's all because of the grace of God that I got that interception and got it into the end zone."
Brent Brewer, DB
On adjusting to playing in the secondary...
"I'm just trying to go out there and do my job. I'm just trying to get in the right position and do my job and when I see me hole and read my assignments I go up and do my job."
On teaching and being a leader to his younger teammates...
"I'm just trying to go out there and study film and try not to do too much. Just trying to do my job is the big thing. Sometimes the younger guys try and do too much and do other people's jobs."
On adjusting to the speed of the college game...
"Definitely, I'm just going out there and working hard in practice and getting that tempo down and that carries over to the game."
On maintaining momentum and winning out November to get to a bowl game...
"Today was a big win for us and we've got a big one next week too so we've got to keep carrying over and working hard in practice and carrying that over into our games."
Justin Hunter, WR
On the tipped ball he caught for the first touchdown...
"It wasn't intended for me, but I saw all the defenders coming my way for the ball and I am just thankful that it came to me."
Tyler Bray, QB
On the offense line...
"I thought the offensive line was fine the whole game. Blocked it well, I didn't have to bad of a rush and most of the hits were me not throwing it hot and dumping the ball."
On his trust with the receivers...
"We feel like we have a great relationship and I have faith that they are going to go up and grab the ball. We do have the height advantage over most teams we play so that does help."
Ole Miss Head Coach Houston Nutt:
"It was just a bad day today. A bad feeling, a bad showing. Start off the game feeling good, went from one end of the field to the other, then dropped a pass. Then, we're in good position (on defense), tip a ball, thought we were going to intercept it, but the way things went was perfect for them all day. We helped them with interceptions and turnovers. The bottom line is just bad. Just a bad, bad day for the Ole Miss Rebels."
On the performance of quarterback Jeremiah Masoli:
"He just wasn't setting his feet and doing some things that he normally does. That hurt us. But I don't make excuses."
On when Masoli was cleared to play:
"I think it was Friday afternoon, evening sometime."
On the performance of Tennessee freshman quarterback Tyler Bray:
"He had a lot of good, short fields. He did a good job executing and throwing the ball, we knew he could do that. But I never in a million days thought it would be 52-14. That's what turnovers and mistakes do. We have a little tendency to do that and we're not good enough to overcome it."
On the start of the second half after stopping Tennessee on its first drive:
"It (the interception for a touchdown) was a backbreaker. You can't feed the fire like that and give them six points right off the bat. He didn't see the corner coming up right there. He (Masoli) just didn't have a good day."
Jeremiah Masoli, QB:
On Ole Miss' offensive struggles:
"We couldn't get in a rhythm early. Look at that first drive. We had some great thing going and then couldn't capitalize at the end. That was just kind of like the tone for the day. We just couldn't capitalize. We couldn't get it done. We could move the ball. (Then) third down, couldn't convert. It was just tough. You have to give a lot of credit to them."
On throwing three interceptions:
"If you look at the interceptions that got returned for touchdowns, it was just on me. I thought (running back) Jeff Scott was open, and he wasn't. I tried to get it over somebody and put a little too much air under it down by the goal line. I was just trying to make a play. High risk, high reward."
D.T. Shackelford, LB:
"Stuff like that happens. Sometimes the ball bounces your way and sometimes it doesn't. Today, it bounced their way. It's unfortunate, but it happens. To be honest it was like, `uhhh.' And then you have to try to bring yourself back up. It's just the way it goes. Certain things went Tennessee's way today. I give them a lot of credit. They came out prepared and they were able to do a lot of things that we weren't able to do. Turnovers were huge - tip balls. They were able to capitalize."
On Tennessee freshman quarterback Tyler Bray:
"He's pretty good. He's good in the pocket and able to read defenses. He's going to be a good player."
Brandon Bolden, RB
On rushing for a game-high 113 yards:
"Everybody was just getting their hat on a hat. The offensive line did a real nice job of getting guys back off the line of scrimmage and creating holes. It was just what anybody else would do - just hit the hole and get in the end zone, and that's
what it came down to."