While Matt Luke had to be at the COI meetings in Kentucky, the show goes on in Oxford as Ole Miss turns their attention to their matchup with Cal on Saturday night. The Rebels got off to a slow start but finished strong against UT Martin in their 45-23 win, giving Ole Miss plenty to work on this week before they travel out West.
DC Wesley McGriff was again impressed with the effort put forth by his defense but still hopes to see improvement in several areas including tackling, getting lined up correctly and cracking down on the mental mistakes. While neither opponent the Rebels have faced so far have threatened the Rebels through the air, McGriff knows this week may bring a new challenge. Both UT Martin was able to move the ball on the ground, and South Alabama have been able to run the ball effectively, and McGriff noted that they will continue to work to stop the big plays on the ground.
“Every position has to go out and perform to earn the right to start,” McGriff said. “Every positon from the D-Line to the linebacker to the secondary all have their hand in the jar in terms of giving up to many yards in the run game…and you can throw me in there as well.”
OC Phil Longo
OC Phil Longo was pleased with his offense as QB Shea Patterson put up record numbers. While the run game didn’t have a prolific game for the second straight week, Longo continues to prove that he is willing to take what the defense is giving them and finding ways to exploit it. With extensive talent at the wide receiver position, Longo knows that Cal’s defense will have their hands full. In the first two weeks, the Rebels have relied on a big third quarter, but Longo knows that a faster start is important in the coming weeks, beginning with this weekend’s game against Cal.
“We really moved the ball in both first halves, the issue for me has been not finishing drives. Total yards and production-wise we’ve been fine, but that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t finish the drive,” Longo said. The focus is going to be on starting faster without question.”
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