Highlights from Houston Nutt's time on today's SEC teleconference. ...
(Could you comment on your success in the first half but not in the second?)
We see us getting better, and it's giving us confidence. We want to win. That's the bottom line goal, and that part hurts, but when we do watch the film and see the top 10 teams, the teams we've played the last three weeks, all the A teams. We've played every one of them real good with the exception of Alabama toward the end.
“That's giving our guys confidence, especially the younger guys. They're learning very fast, and we've been proud of that. Now we have to finish it for 60 minutes.
“We've always been known as a fourth-quarter team. We played the longest games in the world in overtime. We have to play through it now. There's no magic formula. There are things we're still working on, trying to tweak, trying to hit every button. We tell our guys we want the same 30 minutes we had for the first 30 minutes. Until that happens, you have to play your way through it. The bottom line is it seems like in the third quarter there's a turnover, which has happened the last two games, or a penalty, or a big play given up on defense. It's hard for us to overcome those things.”
(What is the mindset of the team and your own mindset?)
“I've got some guys in uncharted waters, especially the younger ones used to winning on Friday night. A little of the same for me. We haven't been in this situation before, but every single day you have a chance to get better. It starts with us as coaches. We have to set the example. We'd like to be sitting here 8-0, 7-1, 6-2. Bottom line is we're not. That's what makes this game so much. It teaches so many things, and the No. 1 thing is you've got to persevere.
“My mindset is one thing. I want to win. I want to win the next game.”
(Your thoughts on Kentucky?)
“They play very hard. Joker's done a really good job. They've got an athlete like Winston Guy who runs around, plays extremely fast and makes plays. No. 22 at linebacker. It seems like he makes all the tackles. They play hard. They hang in just about every game. They're a lot like us. They haven't finished some games, but there are good athletes sprinkled about on both offense and defense. They're really very similar.”