Not Far Off

Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack has been watching Arkansas offensive game tape since the Rebs dispatched of Idaho a week and a half ago. The opinion he has formulated is one of respect.

"Arkansas is very close to being a very good offensive team," said Wommack. "Their run game is very good and they do a lot of things to get the numbers on their side.

"They haven't finished as many drives as they would have liked, but they have been potent a lot of the time. Everyone in this league is comparable and if you aren't ready to play and focused, it's a tough day."

One of Wommack's concerns is the different looks they give a defense in trying to open up their run game.

"They give you a lot of formations, shifts, scatters and those type things. There is a lot to prepare for," he continued. "You have to stay focused on what you're doing.

"It's just a different type of run game. LSU lines up and comes right at you, trying to run over you. Arkansas will build a wing or slot or motion to try to get an extra guy to block at the point of attack. That affects how you fit things and why we have to execute very well."

Arkansas starts two freshmen offensive linemen the Rebels recruited very hard - Dan Skipper, a 6-10, 317-pound OG, and Denver Kirkland, a 6-5, 345-pound OG. They flank Travis Swanson, a veteran center who has started all 47 games of his college career.

Dave Wommack
Chuck Rounsaville

"Their center gives them some stability with those youngsters in there. Those freshmen are getting better every game," Wommack noted. "You see them make a few mistakes here and there, like all freshmen, but they are going to be really good football players real quickly."

Wommack also has high praise for Hog freshman RB Alex Collins, who is averaging 100 yards a game thus far in his fledgling career.

"Shoot, I think he's a really good one. We face really good running backs every week in this league and he's right there at the top," Wommack stated. "He's a jump cutter with unbelievable vision. He will cut it either side of the box, outside, inside. He just does a tremendous job. A really good football player with great vision."

The Rebel defense is getting three mainstays back from injury - Denzel Nkemdiche, Mike Hilton and Robert Nkemdiche.

"Those guys make a difference for us. They make us better. It seems like they have been out forever, but I am sure glad to have them back," stated Wommack. "It's been good getting some of these other guys some experience - that will pay off in the long haul and into the future, but it's the time of the year when we need all hands on deck."

Wommack is aware the Rebs are favored by double digits in the upcoming tilt, but he's not taking anything for granted.

"As I said, this is the SEC. It's not hard to figure out," he closed. "You have to come prepared to play every down like it's your last, be assignment sound, passionate and execute for 60 minutes.

"I believe our kids will be excited to play Saturday and will give their best after an open week to rest and heal up, but it will take that kind of effort to come out on top."

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