Arkansas vs. LSU
November 24, 2006
War Memorial Stadium – Little Rock, Ark.
Arkansas Head Coach Houston Nutt
“I am really proud of our team and all of our seniors. I’ve been proud of them all year. This is not how we wanted to end our regular season. You’ve got to give LSU credit. You can’t give them big plays but we showed why we are going to Atlanta for the (SEC) Championship game. I would love to have a couple plays back and a kickoff but you can’t go back now. We are going to pick ourselves up and get ready for our next game.
“Our defense got really tired but they showed a lot of courage and determination. That first extra point miss really messed us up. You can’t miss extra points. It messed up our rhythm because then we had to think about going for two. That is hard to come by against the number one defense in the country.
“Jamarcus Russell is a great player. He is a big 6’6” guy who can see over everybody. He can always make some big plays. He is very hard to bring down and can make those third down conversions.
“It feels very weird to lose. It’s a bad feeling. I would much rather have it the other way; it’s much more fun that way. Our team played with class and we deserve to go to Atlanta. Give us a couple of day and we will be ready.”
Arkansas quarterback Casey Dick
“It’s tough for all of us. I obviously didn’t play to the best of my abilities and I take full responsibility for that. Now we just have to regroup just like we did after USC. We missed some key opportunities, but now we have to go to Atlanta and take care of business.”
Arkansas running back Felix Jones
“It makes losing even harder when you’re that close. We just have to take it as a stepping stone and learn from it. We can’t blame anyone. We played our best.”
(On his kick off return in the fourth quarter) “When I get the ball in my hands I look to score, and I was almost able to take that one.”
Arkansas defensive lineman Keith Jackson, Jr.
“There’s still plenty to play for. We still get to go to Atlanta and play Florida. This is definitely disappointing, but we’re not done.”
(On the physical nature of the game) “Sure we got tired toward the end, but we never break.”
Arkansas running back Darren McFadden
(On the crowd) “I loved the crowd today. They’re always crazy.”
(On setting the Arkansas single season rushing record) “It’s a great feeling, but it came at a bad time. It’s just a credit to the offensive line. Without them I wouldn’t be able to run anywhere.”
(On his 80-yard touchdown run) “It was just zone blocking but the offensive line did a great job like they have all year. They opened up the hole and I just ran through it.”
(On the loss) “It’s definitely tough, but we just have to get back to work on Sunday. We still have a lot of focus on for next week.”
LSU Coach Les Miles
“This is a tremendous victory. Arkansas has a really good football team. It took a special effort today. It’s so hard to prepare for what Arkansas has to offer.”
(On his team)
“There is no give up in this team. They care enough to put themselves second and the team first.”
(On his team’s bowl prospects)
“We’ve made a case for the BCS, certainly. When they’re picking the best team from the SEC, they’ll have something to talk about. We have had the distinct impression that we were the best team in the SEC West. The SEC West Champion is Arkansas, but we’re right there.”
(On Trindon Holliday’s 4th Quarter Kickoff Return)
“To answer right there (after Darren McFadden’s 80-yard TD run), the very next play, is so huge. When (Holliday) gets out in front, he’s tough to catch.”
(On Arkansas’ offensive production)
“I would never have thought they would score 26 points or have 300 yards rushing.
LSU Quarterback JaMarcus Russell
“This is a very proud win for me, personally. We faced adversity the whole game and were able to overcome it and get the victory. The kick return for touchdown gave us the extra momentum we needed. Once that happened we knew it was over and all we had to do was take care of business. We think we are now in the BCS picture with a win like that. The fumbles came at bad times but we were able to keep our composure and win the game.”
LSU Defensive End Chase Pittman
“We knew they had two of the best running backs in the country coming into the game so our focus was to stop them. We did not do a great job of it but well enough to hold on for the victory. On Arkansas’ last series we weren’t sure if they were going to put (Darren) McFadden or (Casey) Dick at quarterback; we were prepared for both but they came out with the pass and we were able to stop them to preserve the game. This win put us in the position where we want to be heading into the bowl game wherever it is. We feel we have done enough now to play after January 1. We came in with the attitude of trying to show we were the best in the SEC West and I think we did that today.”
LSU Wide Receiver Early Doucet
“The touchdown play was something we had worked on all week in practice and we found a good time to use it. JaMarcus (Russell) threw a perfect ball to me and I went up and made the catch. I had possession the whole time but when me and the defender came down he tried to wrestle the ball away from me. The kickoff return by Trindon (Holliday) came at a perfect time for us after they had a big play to get the momentum back. I feel that we are now a BCS team; I think we have been for the entire season but just lost two games that we should have won.”