Rebels Aim To Fix Mistakes & Get Healthy Before Alabama Matchup

Ole Miss HC Matt Luke at Week 1’s press conference. Photo by Steven Gagliano

After Cal handed Ole Miss their first loss of the 2017 season, the Rebels head into their bye week before a September 30 matchup against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Head coach Matt Luke said that the open date couldn’t have come at a better time as the Rebels attempt to get healthy and work on their game as the trip to Tuscaloosa draws near. While big plays put the Rebels on top early on Saturday night, injuries and self-inflicted penalties plagued Ole Miss in their trip out west. Star WR A.J. Brown has a strained MCL, but Luke said he is “probable” for next week’s game. Center Sean Rawlings will have surgery on his injured ankle, and LB Victor Evans has a sprained MCL.

Luke and his coordinators emphasized the number of self-inflicted penalties and how they hurt Ole Miss on Saturday night. Sitting at 2-1, Luke knows that the true challenges are about to begin, but he is confident that his team can compete with anyone.

“We have the ability to compete with anybody, but you can’t play that way and beat anybody. It’s not a talent issue; it’s about us fixing the things and controlling the things we can control. That’s what good football teams do.”

DC Wesley McGriff saw improvement from his defense in week 3, but he still wasn’t satisfied. McGriff mentioned that there were still more missed tackles than he would like, and situational football continues to be a point of emphasis.

If we have a guy on him who’s not as athletic as him, all were doing is asking for a long day.” McGriff said about Alabama QB Jalen Hurts.

OC Phil Longo’s offense began the game with several explosive plays, but the penalties and turnovers spoiled what could’ve been another big day for the Rebel offense. Longo discussed the way his offense performed, how they adapted to injuries,

“You can’t succeed starting drives with so many 1st and 2nd down penalties, that’s the number priority this week is to eliminate those so we can give ourselves a good chance to start drives,” Longo said.

Steven Gagliano is the managing editor of He can be reached at

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