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Rebel coordinators went from nirvana to hell quickly

ORLANDO, Fla. - Mistakes, and better play by FSU, left the Ole Miss coordinators searching for answers after a 45-34 loss to Florida State in Orlando Monday night.

Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack didn't pull any punches after he watched his defense decimated for 580 yards and 45 points.

"We made way too many mistakes and it is my job, my responsibility, to get it fixed," he noted. "We made mistakes that were not characteristic of how we play defense and I thought we did a very poor job of handling adversity in the second half. All of that is on me.

"We didn't stop them much at all in the second half and we were really poor on third downs in the second half, really poor. We could not get off the field in the second half and some of them were third-and-longs. You have to get off the field in those situations."

The Rebs' best cornerback, Kendarius Webster, went out of the game early with a knee injury, most likely season-ending. But Dave said that's not an excuse for what transpired.

"We have to get better at playing fundamental, disciplined, technique football, no matter who is in the game. Until we do, we won't be a very good defense," he said. "We knew we were young on the back end of the defense, but that is no reason to play the way we did at times tonight. Again, ultimately, that is my responsibility.

"We have a lot of work to do. A lot. I know we have some young guys back there, but they are the best guys we have available and we have to get them better, no excuses. I was a little surprised that Tony (Conner) struggled some as well. He bit on an inside move right before half that cost us a TD. That is not characteristic of Tony. He will correct that."

Dave was most disappointed the defense could not turn the momentum.

"We did not cause a turnover, we did not make any big plays to change  the momentum, we did not get them out of their rhythm at all," Dave said. "Their QB - we had a chance to get him down several times and get off the field, but he broke containment. We also turned the tight end loose several times in that crucial time frame. We knew their tight end was chipping our defensive end and then releasing, but for some reason, we didn't cover him. The safety has to stay on top of that guy. It's an easy read and coverage.

"The bottom line is that we have who we have and we have to grow them up. We will do that."

OC Dan Werner's offense went form unstoppable to self-destructive quicker than you can say four turnovers, which is what the Rebels had in the game.

"In the first half, we made plays. In the second half, we made turnovers and no plays until we fell behind and had lost all momentum," Dan stated. "We had poor execution, poor playcalling and poor everything in that third quarter. We had over 300 yards at halftime and ended the game with 380.

"Florida State adjusted a few things, but nothing we didn't anticipate and nothing we didn't work. They jumped their front into Bear sometimes and moved around some, and we lost some one-on-one battles up front, but it wasn't enough to take us from as sharp as we were to as ineffective as we became after halftime."

There really wasn't much more for Werner to day.

The Rebel offense had 312 yards at halftime, had not given up a sack and was 5-6 on third down conversions.

At the end of the game, the Rebels had 380 total yards, had yielded five sacks and was 5-11 on third down conversions.

You do the math.

That is a paltry 68 yards, and 0-5 on third down opportunities, plus Chad Kelly was rocked five times and coughed the ball up three times with two picks and a fumble.

"We have a lot to do," Dan noted in an understatement. "You can't make the kind of number of mistakes we made and expect to win."


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