Rebel coordinators have nothing to complain about after one-sided Sugar win

NEW ORLEANS - After Ole Miss ambushed Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl, Rebel Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner and Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack had nothing but praise for their troops. And why not? The win gave the Rebs their 10th victory of the year and redemption from their bowl game a year ago.

There really wasn't much for Werner and Wommack to say - the players did the talking for them in the dominant 48-20 win over Oklahoma State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

The Rebels emptied the bench in the fourth quarter, which allowed OSU to save a little face in the end, but at the end of the third quarter, the game was as one-sided as it could be. Ole Miss led 41-13 and had twice as many yards 485-247 as the Cowboys.

"We could have finished the game a little better, but I'm not too worried about that," Wommack smiled. "The game was well in hand and we wanted to play some young kids."

OSU's offense came into the game averaging over 41 points a game. With respect to the Cowboys, it would have been hard for them to score 41 points in two full games against the Rebel first team.

The Rebs had their number. . . . 

"We were able to stop their run game and then get pressure on their quarterback, even with a three-man rush at times and that was the story of the game on our side of the ball," noted Dave. 

The pressure was the key, said Wommack.

"C.J. (Johnson) and Marquis (Haynes) were able to exploit their tackles early and I think it took them out of their rhythm. When we were able to get pressure rushing three, we could roll some coverages into the things they were trying to do and stop those things as well. I think we had them on their heels because they could never seem to get in a thythm or get into anything they could hang their hat on," he continued. "And you know, it always seems illogical to me, but a lot of times when you can stop the run game of a passing team, their passing game seems to go a little haywire too.

"We just were able to shut them down, at least for three quarters, which was good enough."

Wommack felt the difference between this year and last year in the bowl game was preparation.

"Our seniors did a tremendous job of leading the team. Coach Freeze was excellent in his approach. We got down here and had no issues ate all - everyone was focused and ready to go. They wanted to win the Sugar Bowl and that's what they went out and did," he added. "We had a full team effort.

"I was very pleased that we were able to play against a very good offense the way we did without five starters. these kids just kept fighting and fighting and got it done. I am very proud of the way they finished the season after the disappointment of the Arkansas game. We have a gritty bunch that does not quit and I am proud to have coached them."

Werner also had a hey day.

"I'm not sure you could say everything we called turned to gold, but our guys were in tune to everything we talked about, we made very few mistakes after a couple of busts that gave up sacks early and we made big plays," he noted. "When we play like that, we are awfully tough to beat. That was a good OSU team and we handled them pretty handily."

Dan said he did not see any wide-eyed guys this time around after that happened to them a bit in Atlanta a year ago in the Peach Bowl.

"We talked about nothing but winning this game. We didn't mention just being here like we did last year - it was all about winning. Our guys were locked in at practice, locked in at meetings, locked in to taking care of their curfews and getting rest and it showed tonight," he stated. "The Cowboys are really good, but we did some great things against them."

Werner talked to the seniors before the game.

"I told them they deserved all the credit. This program was really bad when they got here, but they hung in there and believed in us as coaches and belived in each other and look where they are now - Sugar Bowl Champions," he smiled. "And I feel good about the future moving forward, but right now, I'm just going to enjoy tonight."

As will every Rebel everywhere.

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