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In Their Own Words: Postgame quotes following Rebels’ 31-24 loss to A&M

In Their Own Words: Postgame quotes following Rebels’ 31-24 loss to A&M

Following the Rebels’ 31-24 loss to Texas A&M Saturday, head coach Matt Luke, running back Jordan Wilkins and linebacker Tayler Polk spoke with the media. Here’s what they had to say:

Coach Matt Luke 

“We have to give their defense credit. They shut us out in the second half when they had a pick-6 and ultimately the turnovers were the difference. You can’t turn the ball over and win.”

On the defense:
“They were able to get pressure on the quarterback, so that was tough on Jordan (Ta’amu) and I think it was hard with the conditions, especially throwing that deep ball down the field. It was a tail of two halves for us. We didn’t get it done in the second half, so credit to Texas A&M. I am proud of our defense. They gave us a chance to try to tie the game there at the end and they did a nice job stopping the run all night. I can’t say how proud I am of those guys.”

On the punt returns:
“It was windy and hard to judge on both sides. It was hard to catch it with all the wind taking place, so that was just a judgment call.”

On Jordan Wilkins:
“He is a senior and been a warrior for us all year. He played well again tonight with the long touchdown run. He is doing all the things we are asking him to do, so just really proud of him.”

On Tayler Polk:
“He is always giving everything he has. I am really proud of him and what he brings to the table.”

On the seniors:
“I just want to say, thank you. I have been grateful to those guys and I love them. They are the ones directly affected by this bowl ban and they haven’t blinked once. I am proud of them.”

#22, Jordan Wilkins, Running Back

On performance in the second half:
“I’ve got to give credit to Texas A&M. They made adjustments at halftime, came out and played hard. We were shooting ourselves in the foot a lot of the times with a lot of penalties. We have to play a lot cleaner game.”

On A&M’s performance in the first half vs second half:
“In the first half I thought we came out with a lot of energy. We failed to move the ball on first down. We kept having penalties that backed us up, which made it tough for us.

On his performance this season:
“I have to give most of the credit to the O-line, they get more physical and tough as the game goes and that turns it over to me. It makes it easier on me. The coaches want us to be physical and everybody rallies around that, it works out well.”

On 64-yard touchdown run:
“My body is feeling better. I felt like I had a lot more push off of my leg toady and the ankle that has been bothering me, so things are getting better.”

On turnaround to Mississippi State game:
“It will be a good one. I know we will all look at film and see what we can get better from. We will be ready to go Thursday.”

#24, Tayler Polk, Linebacker

Tayler Polk (Photo credit: Dan Anderson)

On career at Ole Miss and performance against A&M:
“I was telling everyone as we were walking in all we got is Thursday, so that’s the only thing on my mind. I’m focusing on how I can get healthy and how I can recover to get back as fast as possible for Thursday. That’s all that’s on my mind.”

On fast recovery:
“The main thing is I’m going to get back as fast as possible, try to get as much ice on me as humanly possible, get some antioxidants in me and then just try my best. That’s all you can do, just try to speed up the recovery and double up on everything and anything you can do.”

On 12 tackles against A&M and how he is productive:
“It’s all about heart and if you are one to lay it on the line. I’ve got instincts. I know that my abilities might not be the best, they might not be typical but I know this game in and out. The main thing is I have heart and we’ve got a bunch of guys on this team that do. Thursday we will be ready to rock and roll.”

On his love of football:
“I want to be a coach when I get done with this. I want to be a graduate assistant here and then try to work my way up. I study this game a lot.”

On if they can put A&M behind them:
“If you want it bad enough you can, and I know we have a bunch of guys that do. I’m going to do everything humanly possible to get my mind right and that everyone else on this team’s mind is right. You can’t take anything for granted and we can’t waste any time. Nothing can be wasted now.”

(Feature image credit: Dan Anderson, The Rebel Walk)

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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