Ole Miss Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner and Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack had grins on their faces a mile wide after the 38-27 victory over rival Mississippi State on the Bulldogs' home turf.
And they couldn't be wiped off. . . .
"Any time we can beat State on their turf, it's special. They are a good football team.I have a lot of respect for them, but we played a dlreally good game tonight and pretty much shut them down in the first half," said Wommack. "I thought we got tired in the second half and they were in a desperation mode, which made them dangerous, but we made enough plays to get a comfortable win.
"Obviously, the early lead was big and the pick six by Tony Bridges we demoralizing for them, but beyond that, we really got after Dak Prescott, saicking him a bunch (7) times, which I think set the tone for the game defensively.He is a great football player. I am really excited for our kids, even though we got tired in the sevcond half and game up a couple of late scores."
The gameplan for Wommack was simple - stop/slow down Dak.
"Nobody stops him, but if you made enough plays to slow him down, it gives you a chance. We made him uncomfortable. He is a great football player, their guy. When you are able to contain him, you have a shot to win," he stated. "We thought we were going to be able to get after him pretty good. We watched the Alabama game, where they sacked him nine times. We have a pretty good DL ourselves, so I was confident we could get to him too.
"The pick six was also a big deal for us, but that was caused by pressure as well. We let him get a couple of nice runs on us, but that is going to happen with great players. He's going to make some plays. You just have to limit them. Overall, I am very pleased."
Werner also saw a quality game for the Rebel offense.
"I think being able to run the ball for 243 yards on 37 carries was huge, especially at the end when they knew we were going to run it and they still couldn't stop it when we were eating clock and shortening the game," Dan explained. "We ran it hard and scored enough points to the win."
Again, QB Chad Kelly had a very good day, completing 21-30 passes for two scores and no turnovers. He also rushed for 74 yards and was not sacked.
"Chad didn't come close to a pick that I saw - maybe one. He is running the ball well and the guys are making plays in the passing game for him," Werner allowed. "Also, the offensive line did not give up a sack and cleared the way for the rushing yards. They have continued to get better each game, which is what you want.
"MSU has a really good defensive line and for us to hold them without a sack and to gain 243 yards on the ground was definitely a great effort by all, definitely including the OL."
MSU decided to "take Laquon Treadwell away" by putting two defenders on him most of the night, so DeMore'ea Stringfellow came alive with two TD catches.
"When they took Quon out of the game, it opens up the run and other receivers and the thing I like is that Chad saw that and was getting it to the open peoiple," Werner stated. "And when things were covered up, he was open to run the ball and we are all about that.
"In these types of games, we want to pull out every stop and he's a tough runner to tackle."
The quick start was not lost on Dan either.
"It not only took the crowd out of the game a little, but it gave us confidence that we could move the ball and score on them," he closed.
The Rebels ended with 479 yards, even going conservative in the fourth quarter to run out the clock. State had just 263 yards at the end of three quarters and tacked on 140 nothing yards in the fourth quarter after the game was decided.
All in all, it was a road gem.