Senior enjoyed some much-needed down time last week

After 10 grueling weeks without a break, Ole Miss senior Free Safety Trae Elston said all he did during the open week was "relax and watch some football," but it's now time to get back in the groove and get ready for the LSU Tigers, who invade Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday.

"I thought Mississippi State was going to beat Alabama for a while. They played really good defense most of the game, but gave up big plays that beat them," said Elston. "They did what we have done some this year - stop people and then get popped. Then I watched LSU and Arkansas and that was a typical SEC game. After we lost to Arkansas, we knew how good they were, but I'm not sure our fans knew it, but they proved it again beating LSU in Baton Rouge.

"We never dreamed anyone would come into our house and put 600 yards on us, but they did. It just got away from us. I thought our communication was poor. We need to get our best 11 on the field and communicate and we will be OK. We have to stay positive and get guys out there who know what they are doing."

Elston said the Rebel defense will put that one behind them and draw from memories of last year's LSU game, a 10-7 loss, but, in his mind, a defensive gem, considering.

"We had two or three of our best players either out or playing injured and played one of our best defensive games. We tackled well and created turnovers. The secondary was really good. We didn't have a lot of depth last year and that got us in the end when they went on that long drive, but I was proud of our defensive effort," he explained.

This year, Elston expects to be able to rotate some key players to stay fresh for the long haul.

"We have to tackle well and carry out our assignments. It really is that simple," he noted. "We have struggled some this year tackling and busting assignments that have led to big plays. Last year, we had more guys with experience and we didn't give up those kinds of plays as much and didn't miss tackles as much.

"It's time we get those things corrected. We have to deal with (Leonard) Fournette, an amazing player, a really good offensive line and excellent receivers. We have our hands full, but if we do what we are supposed to do, and are capable of doing, we should be OK."

Elston says injuries have slowed LSU down in the past two weeks.

"Our injuries have hurt us this year and theirs have too. They have lost their fullback, left tackle and tight end and it shows. They are still really good, but when you lose three starters, like they have and we have, it hurts, sometimes really bad," he added. "A big key to their running game is their tight end/fullback combination and those guys have been out. Alabama and Arkansas were able to exploit that some."

Trae will be playing his last home game. It seems like yesterday, he says, that he was a wide-eyed freshman.

"The time has flown by. It really hasn't hit me yet that it's almost over, and that my home career has only one more game ,but it's been great. I hope we have given the Ole Miss fans something to remember us by and be proud of. We played hard and we got better as a program while we were here," he closed. "We are proud of that."


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