Respect

ATLANTA, Ga. - Ole Miss junior Cornerback Mike Hilton has faced great receivers all year, but he says the challenge the Rebel secondary is facing against TCU's receivers is second to none.

"As a group, they are the best we have faced," Hilton noted. "They are very explosive and while they don't seem to have one superstar receiver, they are the best group, on film, we have faced."

For Hilton, the pseudo-spokesman on this day for the secondary, it's going to be a full day's work.

"They are known for their big-play ability. They can go 80 yards in one or two plays in the blink of an eye," Mike stated. "It will be important for us to never lose sight of that big-play ability they have and to stay tuned in for 60 minutes because they can strike from anywhere at any time.

"If we can slow their big plays down, we will be in good shape, but nobody has been able to do that against them all year. They score and score and score, almost at will it seems in some games."

The TCU offense starts, we have written repeatedly, with QB Trevone Boykin, who reminds Hilton of an SEC QB the Rebs faced.

"He's Nick Marshall at Auburn," Mike said. "His arm is a little stronger than Nick's, but they are very similar in the way they can make plays with their feet and extend plays.

"We have to contain him and pressure him up front because you can only cover for so long before the athletic receivers we face, and they have, will get open. It's very important to our success that the D-Line controls things up front. We need to make Boykin throw under pressure and we need to get him on the ground some too."

TCU does not really have discernible "route trees" to hone in on. The Rebels have seen that before, but it does take guessing out of the equation.

"We will have to mix up our coverages and try to keep them guessing where we are going to be, but we can't fall in the trap of guessing ourselves," Hilton explained. "Most teams do have route trees, but they don't and it's a different mindset in defending those kinds of teams."

Hilton believes this Peach Bowl match is important for the future.

"A win Wednesday would set us up for even bigger and better things next year. We've got a lot of guys coming back and a springboard to the offseason and next year will keep our momentum going right on through," he explained. "I know we are losing some great players in Senquez and Cody, but we've got some great players who will be ready to step in and take up the slack."

Mike also believes the bond that has been formed on this team will carry over.

"We are a family here. I know a lot of people say that, but we truly are. We never got down on ourselves or each other, we never took a day off, we never had a game where we weren't giving everything we had," he said. "We did lose our focus at Arkansas, but we didn't lose our effort."

"I think we learned a lesson this year when we kind of overlooked Arkansas and we paid dearly for it. I don't see that happening next year - we will learn from it."

First things first, however - TCU.

"To be honest, we can't wait to see how this shakes out. This is best against best, in our minds, and we are anxious to see how we perform. We respect TCU as much as anyone, but we also have faith in our ability as a defense," he closed. "Let's kickoff and see what happens."


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