Not the Plan

Dave Wommack's Rebel defense got torched for 676 yards and 59 points. The Rebel offense scored 31 points on a pretty rugged Texas defense, but had three turnovers. The 66-31 loss to the Longhorns before a packed, raucous house was not how the coaches drew the gameplan up.

Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack didn't see what happened to his unit coming.

The Texas Longhorns rolled into Oxford and stampeded the Rebels 66-31, amassing 676 yards along the way - 350 on the ground, 326 through the air.

And while it looked to the casual observer that UT was just too much for the Rebs, plain and simple, Wommack took a different approach.

"After the game, the first thing I told them was that I love them," a dejected Wommack stated. "Then I told them I know we are a ten times better defense than we showed against Texas.

"When you go against a good football team like that and you miss assignments or you are a step our two out of position, they are going to make you hurt. That's what happened. They knocked us off the ball and threw over the top of us."

Wommack did admit Texas had a lot to do with the Rebs' woes, but he's not pointing the fickle finger of blame entirely at the Longhorns' physical superiority.

"I want to give them credit - they are very good, but a lot of this lies with us as well," he said. "The sweep for a 69-yard TD to make it 17-7 in the first half they ran was a busted assignment. The Husky should have triggered and hit him in the backfield. We missed numerous assignments like that during the game and when you do that, you get rattled and then you go back to your old ways and bad things are going to happen."

Texas started out by establishing the run, got the Rebels looking run and then started going over the top.

There was very little pressure all night on Texas QB David Ash, who was 19-23 for 326 yards and four TDs.

Donte Moncrief
File Photo

"They made us vanilla up because we were not executing our assignments. I've always narrowed back a little on what I'm ding when we're not executing and that's my responsibility. They took us out of the things we want to do because we were not assignment sound," he explained.

Where to go from here?

"The one positive I saw was that kids were still playing hard at the end. All we have is each other right now and we have to learn a lot from this experience," he concluded. "This was not acceptable. We will learn from it and get better.

"We will find out a lot about ourselves. We believe in our players and they believe in us. I promise you we will get better. We don't have the greatest talent in the world, but we can play better than we did tonight. We didn't do the little things correctly. I understand Texas is a different level, but they should not have run over us and thrown over the top of us the way they did."

On offense, the Rebels were able to do some real good things against a very stiff Texas defense, but Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner thought there was much more out there had the Rebs been more crisp.

"We stressed all week that we could not turn the ball over. We had three interceptions tonight. That's too many against a team like this. We also had way too many negative plays. We got behind schedule too many times and you are not going to make a living against a good defense like they have with those two factors involved," Werner noted.

But the Rebs did put up 31 points and were one yard short of 400 on the night.

"We did move the ball and that is what we will sell to our players. If we can just clean up some issues, we can be a productive offense, I think against anyone," he said.

The Rebs were sacked five times in the first half, but got some things adjusted for better protection after intermission.

"A couple of times Bo (Wallace) held on to the ball a little too long and a couple of times we were in third-and-long and that's not our game," Werner assessed. "That is what I was talking about when I said we were behind schedule - behind the chains.

"We have to have positive yardage on first down. When we did, we were pretty good. When we didn't, we rarely overcame it."

Ole Miss averaged five yards a carry in the run game. Werner attributed that to the tempo game.

"When we were able to go fast-pace, we were able to pop them with some runs and move the ball," he noted. "We are going to get faster and faster. We have not gone nearly as fast as we are going to go as the games click by. The tempo helps us."

The Rebels have now suffered through their first major bump in the road.

"We knew we'd have some tough games this year, now we have to see how we all are going to respond to it," said Dan. "I'm going to find some positives in this game, clean up the negatives and move forward. There were enough positives for us to keep our heads up.

"I know we have a long way to go, but I think we can be a productive offense this year. I know we can clean up some things we did wrong tonight and I know we can do a lot better. We scored 31 points, but probably should have scored 45 or more. While disappointing tonight, that bodes well for the future because we are going to stay positive, clean up the issues and these kids are going to continue to play hard. Good things will come to this team if we do those things and I think those things are realistic."

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