Keep Improving

Robert Nkemdiche said last week’s open date meant a chance for the Rebels to improve. He believes they did.

“We utilized it good,” he said of the off week. “We got a lot of good work in. Some technical stuff we’ve got to get fundamental, and just work on our stuff and our technique. So it was a good week for us.”

Nkemdiche said it was mainly about individual work but also team work as the season moves to game four.

“Just doing your job and playing within your defense,” he said. “Just worrying about your job and your gaps. Fitting up the right things and just doing what we know to do.”

Ole Miss is 3-0 and ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press poll. Nkemdiche said the entire Rebel team knows Memphis is an improved team. So the focus is there.

“We’ve just got to go out there and play the defense we know to play and execute,” he said. “Coach (Dave) Wommack always has a great plan. So we just need to go out there and execute it and we will be a happy team.”

The 2-1 Tigers have caught the attention of Nkemdiche.

“They look like a really good team,” he said. “Their quarterback’s really good. They have a lot of nice running plays. They have athletes on the perimeter. So we need to come ready to play and keep focusing. Don’t look ahead and just take it one by one.”

Looking ahead? That means to Alabama the following Saturday in Oxford. But they're not doing that, and Nkemdiche said the task to stay focused on this week isn't that difficult.

“It’s not hard,” Nkemdiche said of focusing on the now. “You have to be patient and take it day by day. Just seize the moment and take it one by one.”

Nkemdiche is impressed that there are so many quality and ranked Southeastern Conference Western Division teams this season.

“It says we work hard and we have made this a powerhouse football league,” he said. “We worked hard every day in fall camp, and we made it our identity to be the strength of college football. We’re going to keep doing that.

“Our secondary’s playing great. I’m really happy for them. Everybody’s doing good and we need to just keep progressing as a team.”

As for his own play through three games, the sophomore defender said it’s been good but he knows he has room to improve.

“I think I’ve played well. But I’m going to keep progressing and get better," Nkemdiche said. "Keep working the scheme and just keep playing as a team. And we'll be fine."

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