Rebel coordinators pleased with what they saw against New Mexico State

As anticipated, the Ole Miss Rebels made short work of visiting New Mexico State, defeating the visiting Aggies 52-3 and, along the way, getting some positive feedback from the Rebel coordinators, Dave Wommack on defense and Dan Werner on offense.

One would not expect too much criticism or harsh assessment after a 52-3 win and one did not get any from Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack and Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner.

"We did most of what I was hoping to do," said Wommack, whose unit limited the Aggies to just 239 yards on 74 plays, a little over 3 yards a play. "We did a better job of pressuring, I thought we did OK in coverage and after I got some things adjusted, we pretty much stuffed them.

"I liked the fact I was able to turn the guys loose a little and get them rolling again. I thought our pressure resulted in the two interceptions we were able to get. After three weeks, we led the nation in turnovers, but hadn't had any in two games, so it was good to get a couple and get back in that habit, I hope."

Wommack's adjustment comment was regarding the first New Mexico drive, where the visitors converted 3-4 third downs and scored their only points of the game on a 39-yard field goal.

"That drive was on me, not the players. I had to get a feel for a quarterback that we didn't know much about. We turned him loose a couple of times until I got him and them figured out," Dave said. "Once we got that adjusted, I think they went something like 3-14 on third downs, and two of those were late in the game after we emptied the bench.

"That means we got better on third down production overall. We also had a couple of good stops after we turned the ball over a couple of times deep in our territory. I was proud of that, for sure. To get stops after sudden changes is big in my book."

There were some position changes this week. One due to injury when Terry Caldwell took over for C.J. Johnson at middle linebacker and a couple due to getting "the best 11 on the field."

"We needed to move Mike Hilton to Husky. He had experience there and I think he does a real good job closer to the box," Wommack explained. "C.J. (Hampton) was the next best safety so he got the start in Trae Elston's place, who we moved to Rover when we moved Hilton down.

"I thought all those guys did a real good job in different positions and it was good to get them acclimated there before some tougher teams come along."

Wommack made a commitment to play more people after the Alabama game and he has stuck to that commitment, but what about development? Can he count on them down the stretch?

"I think they are making progress, but some of them are not executing the way we need them to. That has hurt us at times," Dave noted. "We are still going to have to play them, so we need them to keep coming on. I can see progres, but we need to see more. I see the effort and I see them getting better by inches, which is all I can ask."

So far, through six games, Wommack assessed his defense.

"I was disappointed in the second half of Alabama and the first half of Florida. Other than that, we have played pretty well. We just have to continue to get better as the season goes on - that is what it is all about," he closed. "While we were not playing Florida or Bama today, I thought we got better and that was my goal for the day."

Werner's crew ran up 665 yards and, for most of the day, scored and ran up yardage, both on the ground and in the air, at will.

"This game was about us. We needed to get better and I think we did. We were fairly efficient," said Dan. "We had some bad plays and bad throws, but when you put up those kinds of numbers, it's hard to complain, no matter who you play."

Early in the year, the Rebel offense was all about explosiveness. In the past two games, the explosiveness has been limited. Against the Aggies, it was more prevalent.

"We had some explosive runs and explosive passes and it was good to see that element return today. We need to keep that going. When you have some explosive plays, it keeps defenses backed off and honest and you can work the whole field," he explained. "We saw some things on film we felt we could exploit, Chad made some good throws, the line made some good blocks that sprung runners and our receivers did a nice job of catching the ball."

With TB Jaylen Walton sitting out with a bum ankle, bigger backs Jordan Wilkins and Akeem Judd got 22 carries  between them for 118 yards combined.

"I thought they lowered their shoulders and got some tough yards today," Dan continued. "It was good to see them get behind their pads and get physical. We need that from them, and I'll tell you, it seems like every time we give Eugene (Brazley) a chance, he makes the most of it.

"We are going to keep working him and keep seeing what he can do. We like him."

Werner had a big smile on his face in recalling Laquon Treadwell's one-handed catch for a 37-yard TD.

"The defender almost tackled him on a double move and I thought it was going to be overthrown and I didn't see a flag. Then, out of nowhere, he sticks that big hand up and makes an unbelieveable one-handed grab and darts into the end zone. It was a special play by a special player," said Werner of Treadwell, who had 8 catches for 136 yards and two scores.

Obviously, one of the focal points is the makeshift offensive line, sans Justin Bell and Robert Conyers and, of course, Laremy Tunsil.

"They did well. We had very few negative plays. We didn't give up any sacks and we were running the ball well. For the most part, I was pleased with everything," Werner closed. "Chad (Kelly) had a pretty good day with only a couple of bad reads, so everything was OK."

All in all, not bad at all.


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