Hard To Pinpoint

So far in 2012, Auburn's offense has been schizophrenic. As a result, Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack has found it difficult to get his teeth into much as he tries to gameplan for this Saturday's match with the Tigers.

"You watch the Clemson game and you think, golly, they can run the ball," said Wommack. "They averaged five yards a rush. They concern you because they have some very talented guys running the ball back there."

But then he puts on another tape, and another and another, and the confusion sets in.

"To me, it's like watching five or six different offenses. They have to find a plan and stick to it," he continued. "That makes it hard to break down.

Auburn has yet to completely settle on the guy under center, or in the shotgun, as well.

"When 10 (Kiehl Frazier) is in the game they seem to like to run some of the stuff Guz Malazahn ran there and some of the stuff we run - the read and the stutter stuff," he noted. "When 15 (Clint Moseley) is in the game, they seem to run more power stuff and the stretch game.

"We don't really have to have two gameplans for the different quarterbacks, but they do seem to do a little different things depending on which one is playing."

Womack's group has progressed steadily since being dismantled by Texas a few weeks back and he continues to praise their effort.

Dave Wommack
File Photo

"They really want to get it done. It broke my heart the other night to watch them in the locker room crying. While that tells me it means something to them, that's tough," Dave stated. "I believe they will just get better and better as the season goes on because they care.

"With that kind of effort, and with the progress they are making, we should experience more success. This defense is kind of built around lost-yardage plays and we have good numbers in that area (17 sacks ranks 11th in the country), but our weakness right now is long yardage defense. We have not done well there and for years that has been the strength of my defenses.

"Third down in particular. A&M was 9-15. Alabama was around 50% on third downs. Until we get that down to 33% or less, we will struggle as a defense."

Wommack said there has not been any particular culprit in the third down demise.

"We self-scout every week on what we called on each third down by down and distance. We've had a nice mixture. We just have to execute a little better. We just have to keep mixing things up and executing. Also, we have to get a better pass rush out of our front four. We can't always bring five or six guys. Some of it is execution, some of it is skill level."

The Reb defense was able to create more turnovers against A&M, which is critical as they move forward.

"We got eight in the first five games and six against Texas A&M. You could see the difference in us being in that game until the end," he noted. "We are improving with our eyes at this point. We did a great job of plastering to receivers against A&M overall.

Cody Prewitt
File Photo

"We had a couple of missed assignments, but not a whole lot. Now that our eyes are getting better, we have to stop wasting steps. We have wasted enough for the year already. When we do better at that, we are going to be pretty good because we play hard and we play physical when we can get in the right spots. Not wasting steps is one way to get there quicker."

As has been the case the past couple of weeks, the subject of FS Cody Prewitt and OLB Denzel Nkemdiche came up.

They have become two of Wommack's best playmakers lately and have taken on some leadership qualities, despite being a true sophomore and a redshirt freshman.

"There were some ladies taking a tour of the IPF today and Cody just walked up to them and introduced himself. They wanted to take a picture with him and he was very engaging with them," said Dave. "He's trying to do things the right way. He's taking responsibility and buying in to the culture change in our program.

"We have a lot of guys doing that, but a few who aren't and we have to get those guys over to our side. Denzel is the same way. He was crying like a baby after the game. It means something to him. If I was totally honest with you, he's having more success than I thought he would simply because I did not know if he could hold up in there at his size, but he comes through there like a rocket. He has total intensity. I love the way he plays - he has been a huge lift to us, no doubt. He is absolutely getting better each and every week."

Freshman Mike Hilton, who was the "spy" on Aggie QB Johnny Manziel some of the time last Saturday, is also getting kudos from Wommack.

"I think Mike is going to get more playing time. He has really come on. He's can run and he's a good tackler. When we called for him to spy on Manziel, he did a nice job," Wommack closed.

Next up, schizophrenic Auburn.

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