The Ole Miss defense knows the Rebel offense's formations, signals, checks, etc.
The Ole Miss offense knows the Rebel defense's stunts, alignments, calls, etc.
Consequently, after so many practices of banging each other's heads, one wonders how much is really being accomplished other than the needed repetition and branding in player's minds their assignments.
With that in mind, after countless spring reps, countless summer reps on their own in 7-on-7 drills and a long August, it's time to play a game, said Rebel DC Dave Wommack.
"All of us wish the game was Saturday,but we have to wait two more days," Wommack stated. "It's time to see where we are and what we have. It's time to play against someone besides ourselves. Our offense knows our stuff, we know their stuff, so sometimes it's hard to get a true gauge of where you are. We need to play."
True gauge or no, Wommack has been pleased with the progress made during fall camp, as he was the last time - a week ago - the media got a shot at talking to him.
"We've had a good camp. I believe we have made the progress I was hoping for in most areas. We have a couple of things to clean up but have a couple of more days to do that," he stated, in general.
The big news of this week is that DE Fadol Brown has been at practice, and participating fully, for the first time since January and, so far, it looks as if he will get some action against the Seminoles, but senior John Youngblood will still get the start and most of the action.
"John will play a lot, but he will have to be spelled. Plan A would be Fadol. Plan B would be Garrald McDowell, plan C would be Sean Curtis and plan D will be Breeland (Speaks)," Wommack explained. "Breeland is a three-technique guy, so it takes time for him to adjust but he can steal some reps for John and be a big anchor in there on the edge. Whoever is out there will be going against a very good tackle who doesn't give up a lot of plays, so we'll have to be sharp out there."
At linebacker, Terry Caldwell will start on the outside and DeMarquis Gates will start in the middle, but lately transfer Rommel Mageo has made some excellent progress.
"He's come on strong. Detric (Bing-Dukes) will also give us some reps in the middle, Gates will play some on the outside and Tayler Polk will play a lot on the outside. Nobody in my linebacker room has had a better camp than Tayler," Wommack noted.
The talk all fall on the defensive side has been the two deep safeties and their inexperience. Wommack was asked his comfort level with the free safety and Rover positions.
"We will have to narrow the defense down if we are going to really execute well and we will try to hide that with some things we are doing elsewhere," he assessed. "I don't think they can make all the checks and calls for our entire package yet, but we can get something workable installed."
Wommack didn't seem overly concerned to not have any film on FSU Quarterback Deondre Francois, who, by all accounts, will start against the Rebels Monday night.
"We have gone back and looked at his film from IMG Academy and you look at the spring game. You look at his mechanics and what kind of thrower he is, what kind of release he has. That's about all you can get," said Wommack. "From what I can see, he is a very good athlete who throws the ball well."
Obviously, the biggest challenge the Rebels will have is trying to limit Seminole RB Dalvin Cook to some reasonable numbers.
"I'm not sure we can match the same look he gives, but we have done well against our backs. FSU will give him the ball in a lot of different ways from different angles. He rushed for 1,700 yards last year, so he is definitely the challenge," Wommack added.
Wommack has experience playing against Jimbo Fisher's offense and has some thoughts on what he expects.
"They will be disciplined. They will be 11 personnel a lot with one tight end and one back,but they will also run some two-back stuff," Wommack noted. "They will try to run the ball right at us and we expect them to have really good skill guys to compliment the run game."
Put the ball down. It's time to play.