Tall And Fast

The Ole Miss secondary has its hands full with the tall and fast wide receivers of the Missouri Tigers, but they are looking forward to the challenge.

Missouri Wide Receiver Dorial Green-Beckham is 6-6, 225 pounds.

Tiger WR Marcus Lucas is 6-5, 220.

Another Mizzou wideout, L'Damian Washington, is 6-4, 205.

Rebel CB Mike Hilton is listed at 5-8. Senquez Golson at 5-9. They are the likely starters for the Rebels charged with covering two of the Missouri wideouts.

If this were basketball, it would be small guards against forwards.

Ole Miss Cornerbacks Coach Jason Jones said he's never faced a receiving corps with this type of height.

"We've faced teams with one guy 6-5 or so, like Texas A&M, but it's unusual to have all three and what makes them extra difficult is that they can all run and catch the football," Jones said.

They are not only tall, they are productive. Lucas already has 46 catches for 531 yards. Green-Beckham 40 for 579 and nine TDs. Washington 36 for 680 yards and nine TDs.

Jones understands thoroughly the task at hands for his guys and all the secondary players for the Rebels and looks for the silver lining in the situation.

"The good thing is that we have some tall wideouts too that we have to go against every day," said Jones. "We've got Donte (Moncrief) and Laquon Treadwell and Ja-Mes Logan.

"They are bigger wideouts and we go against them every day in practice. When the ball is in the air, we have to high point it and go get it."

Senquez Golson
File Photo

Jones said it's not just the size of the Missouri wideouts that makes them dangerous. They are also fast.

"They can take it the distance. They have good speed along with that size. They are an impressive group, but our secondary guys are excited about the opportunity to match up with them," he said.

The Rebs can counter somewhat with freshman Derrick Jones, who is 6-2 and has a 40-inch vertical.

"Derrick is coming along. He's still young, but he's athletic and he's a competitor. He's made tremendous strides since being moved from safety to corner," Jones assessed. "His size will definitely be a plus against Missouri's receivers."

The keys for the Rebels will be no different than any other week.

"A big part of the process is putting the time in the film room to understand their formations and what you are going to get out of each formations in terms of routes and what they like to do," noted Jones. "That will allow you to play smart and be a step ahead.

"We have to stay over the top and not give up big plays. The main thing, though, is when the ball is thrown our way, we have to challenge the wide receivers and go get it."

If the receivers were all Jones' guys had to worry about it would be difficult enough, but the Rebel corners and safeties will also have run responsibility.

"They are rushing for 232 yards a game. They do a good job of balancing things out, so we will have to be on our toes in the secondary for their run game as well. They throw it all over the yard, but they also are a real good run team," Jones closed. "We will have our hands full."

S Cody Prewitt will be in the Rebel secondary, doing his part to track down those big receivers and keep his eye on the run game.

"Our DBs have been working hard against Quon and Donte. They are trying to body them up and disrupt them from having clean routes," said Prewitt. "As safeties, we have to have good awareness of where Missouri likes to go with the ball in different situations.

"A big part of this week will be studying film so we can take the right leverage and angles to their passing game."

Prewitt said he prefers taller wideouts when it comes to tackling them.

Cody Prewitt
File Photo

"I'm 6-2 and them being taller takes away the targeting rule. Their ribs are wide open as opposed to shorter guys. I have to worry about hitting shorter guys in the head and getting a penalty," he noted.

Due to the way Missouri spreads the field, Prewitt said there will be a heavy load on the Reb box players.

"We have to have our box players take control of their run game. Our box people have an opportunity to make a name for themselves because they are going to be carrying a big load," he stated. "There will be times when we have safeties in the box, but with the way Missouri spreads a defense out, our DL and LBs will have to take on that responsibility most of the time.

"Missouri has a good run game. It will definitely be a major challenge this week with both their run game and their passing game."

Prewitt expects maximum effort against the ranked Tigers after two weeks of supposed-to-win games where the energy may not be as high.

"The last two weeks we didn't have quite the intensive focus that we had against an LSU or some of the other ranked teams we have played," he expressed. "We immediately turned it on Sunday when we realized who we will be going against this week.

"We are very focused."

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