Take It And Run

While Hugh Freeze sounded disappointed, a little, with the way his team moved to 4-0 on the season, neither DC Dave Wommack nor OC Dan Werner were "apologetic" about the 27-16 UM victory.

"I had been telling anyone who would listen, and apparently nobody was, that Vandy has a good defense, personnel-wise and scheme-wise," said Werner. "They are third in our league in total defense and nobody has run on them yet.

"We weren't particularly sharp tonight, but we ran up nearly 500 yards (472) of offense against a very good defense."

Dan's critique began with his assessment of Quarterback Chad Kelly, who threw two atrocious interceptions on "bad reads, all on me," the junior gunslinger said.

"Not much to say there," said Werner. "My comment is the same as yours - bad reads and bad throws. That's the one thing he hasn't done all year, but he did tonight.

"As soon as he threw both of them, he came to the sideline and said he couldn't believe he threw those. We were able to overcome it, thankfully, but we will study those hard and correct that."

The Rebs were not very effective in the short Red Zone either.

"I was nervous all week that Vandy would be more physical down there than we were giving them credit for and they were," he continued. "We got very little movement down there. Out in the field, we spread them out and had a good plan, but down close, they outmanned us, something we have to look at and work on.

"We have to get more physical down there and we have to execute better. That will be a focus for us moving forward."

Overall execution was not up the level the Rebels had shown the first three games.

"We got what we thought we were going to get as far as defensive looks several times and we'd have a bad throw, dropped pass, missed block, penalty, whatever," he explained. "Those things happen at times, but they happened too often tonight."

Werner said he will take the win and live to fight another day.

"We may be ranked high in the nation, but it has not changed in our league. You take any win you can get in the SEC and be thankful for them," he closed. "We clean some things up and we'll be fine.

"We'll get back in a groove."

Wommack thought the Rebel defense was pretty good for the most part.

"Vandy schemed us a little on their first drive, hitting their tight end several times until we got that adjusted, but other than that, I thought we were good in the first half," said Dave. "In the second half, we got hurt badly with some penalties and we let them pop a big run on us when our LB didn't slide over.

"Then we seemed to settled back down in the fourth quarter. I thought the stop after we turned it over deep in our territory was huge, a game-changer."

After seeing his defense wear down against Alabama a week ago, Dave had committed to playing a true two-deep and giving his front line guys more breathers.

"We played more people by design. We could not ask our guys to do what they did last week. Our backups have to play and play a good bit. We played them tonight and they did alright," he stated. "We did not get of the field as much on third down as I would have liked, but they will learn.

"They need experience and tonight was good for all of them to get more snaps in a tight game. Our plan was to play more people and we did. It's a long season and we have to make a commitment to those guys."

Wommack said MLB C.J. Johnson played his "best game" thus far in his new position.

"I kept an eye on C.J.and he played really, really well," Wommack stated. "All of our LBs made some good plays, but C.J. was the mos consistent."

Wommack liked what he saw for the most part and really liked the learning experience for a lot of the backups.

"You are going to have games like this in this league. These youngsters will adjust and move on and get better," he closed. "I am happy.

"Sure we could have played better, but games like this happen and we won. That's what we care about, not style points. We'll clean up some things and cut down on the penalties and get back ready to go."

Meantime, the Rebs are 4-0 and not apologizing for not blowing out the Dores.


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