Greg Knox has his second win as an interim head coach in the books, and his first of this season’s interim stint.

Knox led Mississippi State to a 41-20 win over Southern Miss on Saturday, less than a week after taking over the position after Zach Arnett was fired.

Knox knows how hard the past 2 seasons have been on his team. The Bulldogs lost head coach Mike Leach unexpectedly after his death last year, and less than a year after Arnett was hired, his time at Mississippi State was over. Knox praised his team for their resiliency through the tough times.

“They lost two head coaches within a year,” Knox said in his postgame press conference. “That’s difficult when you think of 18, 19, 20 year old kids — the emotional side of that.”

He also had high praise for his defense, which held Southern Miss to less than 250 total yards on the game.

“Our defense was lights out today,” Knox said.

Anchoring Mississippi State’s defense was the linebacker duo of Jett Johnson and Bookie Watson, which combined for 39 tackles on the day.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” Knox said. “When you work like that, good things happen.”

Mississippi State saw the return of Will Rogers on Saturday. The quarterback missed over a month of football with a shoulder injury. Now, he’s back in time to play in next week’s rivalry game against Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl. Knox said that his quarterback is fired up for the game.

“I wish you could’ve heard Will Rogers in that locker room a second ago,” Knox said.

Knox’s love for Starkville is clear, and he’s soaking in his time as head coach. It was a good win for him, and he’s feeling the love from Mississippi State fans.

“This place is family, and the love is genuine,” Knox said.