One-On-One

After Thursday's practice, Rebel Wide Receiver Coach Grant Heard and Defensive Line Coach Chris Kiffin discussed with the media what their groups have to do to succeed against Alabama. Read about it inside.

For Ole Miss Wide Receivers Coach Grant Heard, the Alabama game is all about his troops being able to win some one-on-one battles.

For Defensive Line Coach Chris Kiffin, for his group to have success, it's going to be about relentless, technically sound play.

"It's going to come down to players making plays," said Heard. "Alabama plays a lot of man and man concepts and they are really good at what they do. They are fundamentally sound and have great athletes, so it's going to come down to my guys winning one-on-one battles throughout the game.

"It will take more than one guy. It will take as many as three on a particular play to win their battle for us to be successful. I think we can make plays. We have to make more than they do on Saturday, and I think we can do that."

Sophomore Donte Moncrief is far and away the Rebs' top aerial target, but so far, according to Heard, he has not gotten "extra" attention in coverages.

"I haven't seen it yet, but it's early in the season. If they do, it's a compliment to him for what he has accomplished," Heard continued. "Also, it means the other guys will get single coverage and they will have to step up and make plays, which I have all the confidence they will do. If someone wants to take him out of the game, that's fine. We have other guys who can make plays."


Donte Moncrief
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Slot Receiver Collins Moore, who has fought back from a shoulder dislocation in fall camp, had an opening last week at Tulane when starter Korvic Neat was unable to play. Neat is out for the Alabama game as well.

"Collins is trying to catch up with the speed of the game a little bit, but he is eager to get there," Heard noted. "He did a good job against Tulane. He had a couple of mistakes in his first game back with extensive time, but it's nothing we can't clean up. And I know this - he will give me 100% when he's out there."

Heard gave freshman Cody Core more reps against Tulane and said he will continue to play him.

"With Korvic out, he has to play. I am going to let him go and no better place than Tuscaloosa," Heard closed.

Kiffin has watched a ton of film on Alabama's offensive line, who his guys will be matched against.

"They are really good. One guard is projected as a top five NFL pick, the left tackle was the number one player in the nation out of his school and is a sophomore. He'll be a top five pick. The center, Coach (Nick) Saban said, can play any position on the line and the right tackle is 'ginormous,' at 6-7, 340," Kiffin elaborated. "Yes, they are good. We have our work cut out for us.

"They are extremely good at blocking the run. They are coached well. They know where their combo blocks are going on every snap and you really have to play a perfect game to stop the run."

Kiffin also watched the Alabama-Western Kentucky game, a team he's familiar with since Arkansas State, where he was last year, played them in 2011.

"We saw Western get after it, play with fanatical effort and tackle. That's the number one thing we have to do - tackle. We also have to limit the explosive play and create turnovers to give us a shot."

Kiffin will be shorthanded Saturday. Uriah Grant has a broken hand and the cast on that hand is limiting him.

"He hasn't done much this week. He can't use his hand and against an OL like Bama's, you can't play one-handed," Chris noted. "It's not his fault, it's just what it is. One-handed players will not be effective against these guys.

"Right now, we will use the four guys we have and use Uriah in emergency situations. Woodrow Hamilton is also out and will not ravel with us. We need to rest him for the last seven games of the regular season and get him back healthy with no lingering affects."


Issac Gross
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Kiffin said he's worked in a couple of other guys for "emergencies," but did not name them.

One player Kiffin is anxious to see against the Tide is freshman Issac Gross.

"Everybody is doubting him and when he's doubted, he rises up. He's extremely focused and I can't wait to see him. I couldn't care less that he is 248 pounds starting at nose tackle," Kiffin stated.

Kiffin allowed himself to daydream into the future for a moment, envisioning Gross at 275 pounds.

"At that weight, he will be great. Recruiting him, I nicknamed him the technician because he's so far advanced with technique. He has better technique than any player I have right now, better than guys four years ahead of him," Chris continued. "You never see guys that polished in recruiting. If he can gain the weight, he will be an unstoppable force."

And what of the progress of #11 - Channing Ward?

"Little by little. It's really exciting for us to see when something clicks. It's not a whole lot and he's not getting a lot better every day, but when something clicks, and he gets it, it's very exciting because he's trying so hard," Kiffen closed. "I really have to remember he is a true freshman because his technique is night and day from Issac's. When he gets it, he will be really good."

Random Notes:

* QB Bo Wallace looks set to start against the Tide. He threw again Thursday pain-free and has been given the green light to give it a shot Saturday.

* TB Jeff Scott was fielding punts in the early going of practice Thursday with Philander Moore. With Neat out, Moore will get the nod, but if there's any trouble, Scott has experience and success in that role.

* PK Bryson Rose went through an extensive live kicking session Thursday and was nearly flawless. He was 9-10 from various ranges and his lone miss was by a fraction. After a rough early start to the season, Rose seems to be back on track now.


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