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Arkansas 38, Ole Miss 37: Quotes from the Rebels’ postgame press conference

Arkansas 38, Ole Miss 37: Quotes from the Rebels’ postgame press conference

Ole Miss lost a 38-37 heartbreaker to Arkansas Saturday in Oxford. The Rebels were ahead for all but four seconds–the final four–when the Razorbacks hit a 34-yard field goal to win the game.

Here’s what head coach Matt Luke and quarterback Jordan Ta’amu had to say in the postgame press conference.

Head Coach Matt Luke

“This is tough on our kids. They continue to keep bouncing back and fighting back and we didn’t get it done.”

On coming out fast from the start:

“They did. This is a team that cares about each other and they battled. But we had three turnovers and you can’t turn the ball over and expect to win SEC football games.”

On Jordan Ta’amu:

“I am proud of Jordan. He came in there as his first start in the SEC and he did a lot of good things. I think a lot of people are going to point to mistakes, but those are to be expected. There is enough blame to go around, they don’t need to just put it on him.”

On Jordan Wilkins:

“He played hurt and I didn’t know if he would play today. That just speaks to this team, everybody says they don’t have anything to play for, but they are out there playing hurt and for each other. They want so badly to get a win for their guys.”

On how to look forward to Kentucky:

“You have to pick yourself up off the mat and go back to work. There is no easy answer on this one, you just have to go back to work.”

Ole Miss QB Jordan Ta’amu

On how seeing action last weekend helped from a confidence standpoint:

“Going in there knowing Shea was hurt, I knew the team needed me and needed a leader out there. I just buckled up and felt confident as soon as I stepped on the field. I knew my O-line and my receivers had my back. Going into the LSU game was a big confident booster for me and tried to carry that onto Arkansas.”

On his journey to get to Ole Miss:

“I started in a small Division 2 high school, out of there I got Division 2 offers and junior college offers. I chose to go with a junior college route because I knew I had a Division 1 level player in me. I took that junior college route to New Mexico Military Institute and from there I focused on me and got my yards and got recruited. Ole Miss was one of my top offers. I loved it here as soon as I came on my visit. I loved the offense and my teammates.”

On how he felt at the beginning of the game:

“I felt confident and we played fast. That’s what coach wanted us to do, to come out of the first quarter and go as fast as possible and score as many points as possible and carry that on. We just needed to finish.”

On the difference in the second half:

“Arkansas gave more pressure, but we should have kept driving down the field. I believe I could have made smarter decisions. I am still learning, this is my first SEC game, so I need to take this one, watch film and learn from my mistakes and take what I have learned to Kentucky next weekend.”

On moving forward to Kentucky:

“We need to come in tomorrow and watch film and learn from our mistakes, especially me. Everyone is in the locker room saying, `Let’s move on.'”

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn's love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship--and continued as she watched Katie receive three degrees from Ole Miss, culminating with her Pharm D. in 2012. Evelyn, a member of the FWAA, USBWA and the NCBWA, has covered Rebel sports for numerous outlets. In addition to working for The Rebel Walk, Evelyn is a sports writer for a newspaper in Texas.

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