On playing his last game for Texas Tech
“You never like to lose your last. All losses hurt, and this one was no different. It’s unfortunate to be the last game, but it’s been a fun run here. It’s a tough loss. It wasn’t the way we wanted to end the season, but it’s the way it happened.”
On coming up short on fourth-and-4 at Texas Tech’s 37 in the third quarter
“We just thought we could get it. They had two threes out of there, and I tapped (C Stephen) Hamby and said, ‘Go,’ and came up a yard short.
"Thank you so much. I want to really thank again the AT&T Cotton Bowl. You all are the best. Our players had one of the best times ever in their life. Our seniors will never forget it.
"The memories are just awesome, to be in the last historic game right here in this stadium. This is the first time I've seen this stadium. The work done on the stadium was just awesome.
"But what I'm proud of is these guys.
Coach, you're up 14-0 right off the start. Did they do anything differently?
"No, they really didn't. No, they didn't. They played in a fashion that we take a lot of pride in. If anything, they ran a little bit less stuff than they've been running.
"I thought they executed incredibly well, both sides of the ball. They were very simple, and it was a funny game. That first half was funny, because you talk about, well, you're up 14 0.
“We are thrilled to death to be here at the Cotton Bowl. Anybody that has ever watched a bowl game, I think the Cotton Bowl is one of the more memorable ones in the history of America. We are having a great time. We are looking forward to playing Mississippi. Likewise, I have always admired Coach (Houston) Nutt and what he has done. I actually started following him back at Murray State and the rest where he really did some impressive stuff.
On being in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic:
“For our players and their first bowl experience, it has been an outstanding week. … They’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I really appreciate the AT&T Cotton Bowl for letting us be here. From the food to the functions, it has been awesome. It’s also a privilege to play against a great football team. I’ve always admired the things Mike Leach has done. From the quarterbacks to the receivers to their defense, they have an excellent football team.
On his offensive players:
“Our players have made our jobs as coaches easy, a lot easier than it can be. They’re talented. They’re bright. They work hard. They have great character. As we say in the coaching profession, they’re low-rep guys and they get it on all levels.”
On QB Jevan Snead:
“He’s a guy who really came on this year. He developed exactly the way we hoped he would. He has a lot of talent.
What are your impressions of Ole Miss’ offense watching film?
“The thing that jumps out is that you see a lot of different numbers when you watch. Before I learn names, I look at numbers. When I first started watching I saw a lot of different numbers at running back. They have a plethora of running backs. They do a good job of blending those guys in. Then you see (Dexter) McCluster, who you can list at a wide out or running back, at both positions.
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR TYRONE NIX
On his defensive players:
“They made it fun to coach the games on Saturday. The guy who made the biggest impact to me was (DT) Peria Jerry. Peria is a kid who came from a great high school program (South Panola in Batesville, Miss.) and has a great work ethic. He has been tremendous to coach every day. He has made All-American. He has made All-SEC. He is a kid who has been a force for us in the run game, in the passing game, in every aspect.
OFFENSIVE LINE COACH MATT MOORE
What has been the key to the great play by your offensive line this season?
“I am blessed with a lot of really good players. There was a lot of very good recruiting before I got here. I didn’t recruit any of these guys. Most of the guys on the staff did recruit them. They are a really talented group. They are a really close-knit group. They play well together. They play together off the field. They hang together. They work together in the weight room.
On being in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic: “The hospitality of the Cotton Bowl and their staff is great. They just do a wonderful job. For our players to experience their first bowl – from fifth-year seniors all the way down – this is an honor and a memory they will never forget. Boy, we’re excited.”
On first bowl week practice Saturday: “You can tell we haven’t practiced in about seven days. We still have a little turkey, a little momma, Christmas, all of that going on.
On his play in the game: “Days like this, games like this, you can’t dream about it. Guys talk about being in the zone. I was in the zone today.”
“The offensive line did a great job. All I did was run through the holes. It was our best team ever at Missouri. It all came down to that.”
On if he had heard of Dicky Maegle: “Yeah, he’s the guy that was tackled off the bench.”
On if this is his last game at Missouri: “I’m just trying to enjoy this day.
On the inability to stop the Missouri running game: “They did a better job blocking and running than we did tackling. We played a three-man front some, and that didn’t work. We then put six in the box, they had five blockers and that didn’t work. When you outnumber them in the box and still can’t stop them, the bottom line is that they did a better job of preparing their guys to play than we did.”
On whether the Missouri offense did anything unexpected: “They didn’t run a play we hadn’t seen.
COACH PINKEL: First of all, I'm just very proud of my team, my staff. The two players that were standing next to me after I got doused with Gatorade, which is a great feeling, it's always good when that happens, happened to be Rucker and Lorenzo Williams.
They just you know, I think Rucker, who's always said, Coach, five years ago, you know, here we are five years later, you know, with a Cotton Bowl victory.
COACH HERRING:Â† Obviously, Missouri played extremely well today and we probably did about everything we could do to help them.Â† Not taking anything away from them; they played hard.Â† I thought they executed what they do.Â†
I just to be honest with you, I'm a little bit blindsided by the way we played.
“I’m starting to feel game time coming, and I’m sure (Arkansas Head Coach) Reggie (Herring) is, too.