Mississippi State Player Quotes
ReliaQuest Bowl Post-Game Quotes
LB Jett Johnson
On finishing the season with a win in the ReliaQuest Bowl
Huge win. So proud of this team, can't say enough about them. You know, it didn't go the way we wanted to the whole game, but like Will said while we were in the shower actually, 'tough teams find a way to win and grind it out' and that's what we did.
On what Coach Leach would think about the game
"He would be really happy. He would be shocked that Will Rogers called pass, and he would be swinging the sword for sure. You know, it's a great win for coach Leach and a great start to the Arnett era."
On the Mississippi State defensive performance today
"I thought we did well, gave up a little more explosive plays than we would have liked. We held them to sub 50 rushing yards, somewhere around there. Which is great for the front seven, but obviously there is still a lot to improve on."
On the opportunity to celebrate a bowl win with his teammates
"So good, so good. Last year, we had a bitter taste in our mouths, but this year we were able to pull that out and that is going to jumpstart us into the next season."
On how motivational it was to win for the team and Coach Leach
"Well it was huge. We were playing for so much. Coach Leach,(and other coaches), we went through many trials and tribulations. We just want to be a light in this dark world. This win means a lot, you guys all know that. It's great to celebrate with my teammates and coaches, and all glory to God on that."
On what the team learned in going through recent events
"Yeah, we learned we have perseverance. Coach Brock says the only way he knows how to handle adversity is lean on each other and grow as a family. I feel that is exactly what we have done."
On his vantage point during the winning field goal
"I was looking at the stands. I mean, I trust our kicker, he's an amazing kicker and I love him but I get nervous. I was looking at the fans for their reaction."
On Coach Brock's playcalling
"Tremendous, I didn't even know he was calling until the fourth quarter when he said 'Guys, I don't know if you guys know this, but I am calling the plays.' I thought he made good calls. He did great."
K Massimo Biscardi
On his game-winning kick
"I knew they had the two timeouts, and that they were going to call them. So I was just like alright, I am just going to chill and focus on the target."
On the emotion during the postgame celebration
"I started tearing up. You know this is my last game for my whole career. Just to do this for coach Leach and my teammates who have been by my side for the whole year, so it was just a great team win."
On transferring to Mississippi State
"I mean, I am just so blessed. Everything happens for a reason, so I have just kind of been taking that for the whole year and keep that perspective about it. And just doing my job to the best of my ability and staying confident and resilient and trusting my teammates."
On the trust his teammates have in his ability to make crucial kicks
"It's great, that's what I want so just them having my back and saying that they trust me. A bunch of guys were coming up to me before the kick and just saying 'you got it, you got it.' That gives me more encouragement to go out there and get it done."
On what Coach Leach would have said if he missed the kick
"He would probably just say 'I don't understand, cause it's not that hard. I would just go out there and kick it myself.' Leach did say that before that he could be out there in the field goal competition."
RB Simeon Price
On how much Coach Leach was present during the game
"He was with us all game. I got real emotional after the big run. I know he'd be proud of the team, what we did in this game and how we executed and how it came down to the wire and we did what we're supposed to do. And the thing that was running through the back of my head was the whole time was "swing your sword", so I know he's up there smiling at me."
On dealing with injury last year and returning to play this season
"I've never had an injury like that before, so going from not being able to walk in crutches and simple exercises that you could do before, I mean, it was a tough process, but I had my teammates with me the whole time. Throughout that whole process my coaches, my teammates, my family, they really backed me up, and that's why I'm standing here today."
QB Will Rogers
On the transition to Coach Arnett
"I think it's always a challenge anytime you know your play caller goes out or anything like that but I think it went about as smooth as it could. I've developed a relationship with him, working with him, and they're talking ball, you know I love everything he stands for, I love how he fights for this university, fights for his players, so I think the future's really bright with Coach Arnett."
On any lessons from Coach Leach that went through his head today
"Yeah, honestly I'm glad you asked that. You know my first half wasn't my best half. We came out there in the second half and I was standing there on the sideline just having one of those moments. I don't know why I thought about it but "what would Coach tell me right now? He would probably tell me to just play the next play, keep doing your job and play the next play." Is what he would tell me so we came out, we had a little better second half, we were able to put some drives together to go win a game."
On what he saw leading up to the touchdown at the back of the end zone
"Initially we had speed option called out of the huddle and we came out of the timeout, looked at the front, and I saw the safety kinda creeping down so we obviously don't have good leverage for speed option in the boundary so I checked for that concept at the line of scrimmage, told the line that, calling a protection and things like that. You know I initially wanted to go to Rufus right quick, but the end dropped off the line of scrimmage, and from there my eyes went to the background of the endzone and it was a great job by J-Rob to really work that back line and find some space there."
On playing for Coach Leach
"He was there today, for sure. For sure, he was there. I think we all just wanted to win this game for him, and you know, we really had to dig deep. It wasn't pretty, man. Football's not a pretty game sometimes. It's a tough game played by tough people. He kinda said, keep swinging your bat, keep swinging your sword, but you know, we got it done for him today."
On the emotions of the day
"A lot of emotions running through, you know, like I said, Coach has been here with me for three years, he recruited me out of high school. I just miss him now. Just kinda miss him a lot. So to be able to be the one to run out with the flag, it's an honor."
On what he has learned about the team in the last few weeks dealing with adversity
"Probably just how much of a family we are, you know, it's a family atmosphere everywhere we go. You hear the saying that tough times don't last, tough people do. I think that's what we had to do. We're a tough team, tough individuals in the locker room with a bunch of leaders who've played a lot of ball, lot of veterans in the locker room. And I think we all pulled together, realize we're playing for a bigger purpose."
On his thoughts leading up to the winning field goal
"Make it. Make it please. That was my first thought. I was just going through, it was a special day. I'd be lying if I said it hadn't been a hard month or so, for me especially. For me, I can't have a bad day. If I'm catching the feelings from Coach's loss, Coach Nichol or Sam's loss, or even just having a bad day, I can't have a bad day at practice, I've got to be able to motivate the guys and motivate the receivers and offensive line to be able to get the most out of practice. I'd be lying if I said this hasn't been a lot for me, but to be able to come out to Tampa and to finish strong with a win, I can't tell you how much it means. It means everything.