What was your confidence level before the game started?
“We were playing pretty good football, we had only lost one game and leading into it was our homecoming game versus Mississippi College, so going into that game, our confidence level was pretty high.”
What was going through your mind during that game?
“It was such a tight ball game, and it was back and forth, very well played. There were a lot of really great players on the field for both teams. I think what gets lost in that pitch play, though it was an amazing play, is the fact that it was a really good football game leading up to that final play. Trinity guys are going to say it was a great finish, Millsaps guys are going to say, ‘no it wasn’t,’ but leading up to it, I think it was a really good football game. During the game, we still felt pretty good about the way the game was being played, and we felt good that we could pull this down.”
Right before Trinity had its miracle play, there was a time-out called. Do you remember what was said?
“I can re-cap the whole thing for you. It is burned in my mind.We called a time-out on offense; it was a fourth down. We called a time-out to decide what play we were going to run. It was really a discussion about what we were going to do, talk to the quarterback, talk to the guys, and talk about what we wanted to get done.”
After the loss, was there sympathy or anger?
“I think first thing was a bit of shock, then upset, obviously, because you feel like you had multiple opportunities to make plays and stop the plays. So I tink you’re a little angry, but then you just kind of throw your hands up; there’s not much you can do. Things just happen, and you can’t stop them. There was very little sympathy, I can promise you that. There was a little bit of anger, though; there was a little bit of shock. Those were probably the most tangible feelings we had.”
What did you take from the game as a Coach?
“In a way, it’s a great learning experience because it is something we can always talk to the players about, and I will always talk to the players about. About finishing and being able to point to that example and say, ‘Hey, I was apart of this thing, and this is what happens when you don’t finish a game.’ No matter how much time is left on the clock, you have to play till the final horn sound. So, I think thats the most important thing: being able to pass that message along to the players of the current team and other players down the road from here until the end of my career. Every second matters and you have to play until it’s over.”
Was there any pressure coming back the following years?
“No, in fact I think there was very little pressure for us. For us, I think it was an easier game the following year because we had all the motivation to win the game. It was a situation that we felt like we played well enough to win leading up until the last play [in 2007]. So 2008, from our standpoint, it was much easier to get our players up to play.”
For more coverage of the Mississippi Miracle, click here.