After Review. . .

Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner had spent nearly nine months pounding home some important points for offensive improvement in 2013. After one game, a 39-35 win over Vanderbilt, he saw what he was asking for.

"We had preached since the last game last year the importance of no negative plays and no turnovers," he stated. "We threw the ball 47 times without an interception and in our run game we had zero negative plays.

"We did have four sacks, and we have to clean that up, but what the rest tells you is that we made good decisions, and that is what we talked about all of the offseason. And if you look the the game closely, if we had had one turnover, we might not have won it."

Obviously, most of that is/was directed at Quarterback Bo Wallace, who directed the Rebel offense to 39 points without a major miscue, something that wasn't the case last year.

"We averaged about 1 1/2 picks a game last year. To see him play the kind of game he did was rewarding," said Werner. "There were a couple of throws he shouldn't have made that could have been picked off, but they weren't right at them and would have been good catches by the defender. He made a couple of bad decisions in the run game, but they did not cost us a big negative-yardage play.

"Overall, I was very pleased with the way Bo played. Sure, there are some things we have to fine tune, but all things considered, he did a really nice job."

The four sacks, however, did and does concern Werner, but all four happened in the first half and the adjustments made at halftime, along with better first and second down production, eliminated those issues.

"We faced too many 3rd-and-long situations. They know you are going to throw it then and the quarterback has to hold it longer. That was part of the problem we alleviated by producing better on first and second downs in the second half. We were able to throw the ball quicker when it was third down and a manageable yardage and we actually ran it on third down some and that helped keep Vandy off balance," he explained.

Dan Werner
Chuck Rounsaville

"Also, we adjusted some protections we were using to match the twists they were trying and that helped."

The Rebel coaches have maintained all along they want to remain a 50-50 team - 50% run, 50% pass, but that's just a goal, not an absolute.

"It doesn't always work that way, but that's what we aim to be on offense," he noted. "The important thing is that defenses respect our run game and have to play a guessing game as to run or pass."

Last year, the Rebs were able to hit Vandy with a couple of deep balls. This year, not so much.

"You could tell, they were not going to give that up," Werner noted. "They did a good job with their deep coverage, but that allowed us to work underneath.

"To that end, I was proud of Bo for taking what was given him and not trying to force anything deep. He kept hitting them underneath and moving the chains."

Now the Rebs face Southeast Missouri, a defense that gave up 45 points to SELA in their opener.

"They usually zone cover and then move their front six or seven around to try to create some big plays," Werner said. "Sometimes, it works. Sometimes, an offense can take advantage of their style if the right play is called.

"We'll have to be mentally sharp up front and Bo will have to be tuned in to create some opportunities for us."

P.S. - There has been a lot of talk about whether or not the Rebs will use either of the freshman quarterbacks - Ryan Buchanan or Devante Kincade - this year, so we asked Werner point blank about that.

"Our intention, if at all possible, is to redshirt both. If everyone stays healthy and things go according to play, we would love to redshirt them," he said.

Case closed.

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