Laquon Treadwell (above) is the leading receiver for Ole Miss.
Auburn, Ala.--Struggling to contain an less than stellar group of Arkansas receivers last week in a four-overtime loss to the Razorbacks, the Auburn secondary will get a huge challenge this Saturday when the Ole Miss Rebels and a determined Laquon Treadwell come to Jordan-Hare Stadium determined to make amends for last year.
Catching 10 passes for 103 yards and one touchdown, one of three Rebels to have more than 100-yards receiving in the game, Treadwell had his team in a position to win the game late until a Kris Frost tackle at the goal line caused a fumble and also an injury that cost him the rest of the season.
Now back and better than ever with 54 receptions for 756 yards and five touchdowns, Treadwell said he’s ready to get back on the field against the Auburn defense and pick up where he left off last season. “They’re going to feel my pain,” he said. “I’m going to play my hardest and play with my heart, like I did last week. My team will do the same. We’re looking to get a ‘W.’
“I didn’t even know we played them this week until after the A&M game,” he added. “Once I found out, it sparked a fire in me, a drive. I don’t know where it came from, but I’m going to be ready to play. All my teammates know it.”
Far from the only receiver Auburn has to worry about with Quincy Adeboyejo, Cody Core, Markell Pack, Demorea Stringfellow and tight end Evan Engram all with at least 18 catches this season, Treadwell is obviously the guy that the Tigers will have a close watch on during the game on Saturday. As for leading up to the game cornerback Jonathan Jones said you approach this week just like any other.
“He’s a regular receiver like everybody else,” Jones said. “You watch him on film and you study him and you go out there and play.”
Jonathan Jones is a senior cornerback for the Tigers.
Even though Jones and the Auburn secondary try to approach each week the game and not get caught up in the hype, the senior admitted this week is going to be a little different with Treadwell on the other side.
“He’s a good player so him having to go through that, I’m pretty sure his whole rehab that was on his mind the whole time,” Jones said. “Playing us I’m pretty sure will be a big game for him since he got hurt in that game last year. It will definitely be a big game for him.
“He’s a competitor just like all of us. I expect him to come out fired up and with an intensity. We have to match and bring that same intensity.”
No matter how much intensity the Auburn secondary brings to the table on Saturday it won’t matter if the Tigers can’t get pressure on quarterback Chad Kelly. A gunslinger who uses a strong arm to make throws into tight windows and stretch the field, Kelly has thrown for 2,475 yards and 18 touchdowns this year while completing 65.2 percent of his passes.
Helping in that cause is the possible return of Carl Lawson for this weekend. Back practicing and cleared for contact, the redshirt sophomore could be an immediate help said Jones.
“It’s big,” Jones said. “Any time you can get a pass rush it throws the offense off. Carl is a great pass rusher. Any time you’re playing a team that throws the ball as much as Ole Miss and we have Texas A&M still coming up, the pass rush is going to be huge in those games.”