Mississippi State at Auburn - Mississippi State Quotes - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Mississippi State at Auburn - Mississippi State Quotes

Mississippi State Head Coach Dan Mullen

Opening Statement…

"That's a tough loss for us right there. That's 100% completely on me. I need to get our team better prepared. I don't think we played as well as we could. They outplayed us in certain phases especially special teams, starting field position. Those things fall on my shoulders. I didn't have our team ready to go enough for that final inch. We came up an inch short. I think our players played hard. They believed. We had a couple different deficits we fought back from a couple different times. They never quit. They never will in our program. That's what our program is based on. We have to find a way to take that final inch. That's about where we are right now as a program. As a coaching staff and as a football team we have got to find a way to get that final inch. That's what is separating us from being a great team."

On close first-down call that kept Auburn on the field…

"Our players came off and said it was short, but I don't know how they look at that. Obviously we're going to think they didn't make it and their going to think they did make it. I don't think that is an issue. There is the game of inches I guess. There's a great example right there. They found a way to get that one eighth of a final inch and they stopped us one eighth of a final inch. They got it on that one call. We came up just short. I looked at the replay and it looked like they made the right call. At the end of the game the replay it looks like they made the right call."

On the loss…

"It's devastating because we didn't play as well as we could have. I give them credit they played really well today.  They played really well, but I expect that out of them. I know you all in the media probably don't because you watch them and say oh what about this week or what about next week. We certainly knew we were going to have our hands full coming in here. Come out and dig yourself a hole with silly penalties, an interception for a touchdown a 14-0 hole. Just awful. Defensively, I mean to give up 235 rushes on 36 carries is embarrassing. That's really poor by our defensive coaching staff. We'll get that fixed. It's a tough loss and it's going to test your character. Test the character of our coaching staff, our strength staff, our administration, our trainers and our student body. It's going to test everybody's character.  This team, our character, our football family, our football program. Test our character. We have to respond five days later against the best team in the country. We have to see how we respond."

On defense coming out of halftime…

"We were poor tackling. We were in poor position. That is a coaching problem. We were in poor positions. We had poor tackling. We missed a couple tackles in that first half. That is not acceptable, that is not acceptable. We had 531 yards, still only scored 34 points should have had 41. Then you guys could have really gotten after me as a coach if we had scored to see what I would have done."

On Chris Relf's performance…

"I thought he played well with a lot of confidence. He made the call on the last play. He had three options and he chose the run. I like that. I liked the confidence in Chris. You could go pass-pass, pass-run or just run. Chris said he felt great about the run call, and the kid made a heck of an open field tackle. That was the difference tonight. I've said all along Auburn finds ways to win football games and they did that tonight."

On mistakes throughout the game…

"We had three missed passes right off our finger tips, that were all possible big-play touchdowns. The inch in the game, not just on the final play, we came up an inch short on the play before. We came up an inch short two plays before. We came up an inch short on defense. If our punt return team would have gotten that one inch that's all it is. It's not just one play. It's us as a program fighting and clawing to get that one inch. That one inch to take the last step to get to where we need."

On potentially going for two on a hypothetical final touchdown…

"Yes. Then you could've come in here and yelled and screamed at me for going for two."

On the final review…

"I imagine they got it right. They were right there in position and on those types of plays they are usually unreviewable anyway. Someone should put a microchip in the ball to make sure. I'm sure one day we will have that technology."

On quick turnaround to play LSU on Thursday…

"To be honest with you, I don't even think about that. In the SEC you just have to go play. Its week three of the season, most teams are still playing gimme directional schools. We played the defending national champions and now we are going to play – in my mind – the number one team in the nation. That's life in the Southeastern Conference. Psychologically, we are just going to buckle up and go play hard."

On injuries on the offensive line…

"We had two redshirt freshmen in there for the last two drives of the game. They stepped up. I was pretty pleased. We didn't have a snap issue. We aren't very deep, so losing starters really hurts. That's the one part we needed to stay healthy."

On being behind early…

"I just told our team, ‘we are going to see what we're made of.' There were 11 minutes left in the first quarter and I just told everyone – relax. We spotted them 14 points and I wish we had those 14 points right now. It came back to hurt us, but it showed maturity. There was no panic. We came back, tied it up, and eventually took the lead."

On concerns with MSU defense…

"I'm concerned giving up 235 yards rushing – a lot of them on missed tackles. We have to make sure that we have guys in the right position to make plays on the field."

On fixing missed tackles…

"To me, it's a practice issue. It's the demeanor and tempo of how you practice at all times, which is sometimes difficult in young players, especially in linebackers and defensive backs.  You have to go hard in practice all the time to make those plays. Sometimes in practice, you go through the motions, but their line is going to be a little bit better than our scout offensive line. Their backs are going to be a little better than our scout backs. Obviously, our scout team didn't give us good enough looks if we are that far away from making tackles. It's not about ability. It's a matter of maturity."

On message going into half…

"It was good news and bad news. We were losing the game, down seven. We gave the defending national champions a big jump start on us, but the good news is that we had 30 minutes left to play and we knew we could execute a lot better on offense and special teams and tackle on defense. We needed to make the big plays and force them to punt from their own end zone, score a touchdown, and we just didn't finish off. The inches are everywhere."

On if the best team won…

"The team that played the best today won."

 

 

Defensive Back Charles Mitchell
On defense during the fourth quarter…

"We made tackles but we played more downs than we would have liked to. We missed tackles late in the game that prevented us from having a better chance to win the game."

 

On being down 14 early in the game…

"We knew that we had to play four quarters and that we were in for a fight, we were not worried about being down 14."

 

On Auburn's run game…

"They gained yards because we missed tackles, if we had made those tackles some of those runs would not have been as big of gains and we would have gotten off of the field quicker."

 

Offensive Line Addison Lawrence
On the final play of the game…

"We knew Chris Relf wanted to run and he has been a work-horse for us these past two years, so he deserved the chance."

 

On playing in a close game…

"It definitely hurts to be one short-yardage play away from a win."

 

On struggling early in the game…

"It definitely hurts. We were moving the ball, but we were shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties. Those are the small things you focus on all week."

 

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