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Both sides of the ball pleased the Rebel coordinators

Most of this season, the Ole Miss coordinators have been somber postgame, trying to explain losses to an inquiring media, the most miserable part of their jobs, but after the shelling of visiting Georgia, explanations were not only more positive, but given with a smile.

Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack and Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner have not been in the best of moods after a couple of games this year and who could blame them?.

But they entered the team meeting room in the Manning Center with a little more spring in their steps and a smile on their faces after the one-sided 45-14 Rebel victory No. 11-ranked Georgia.

They finally had reason to smile.

Wommack's defense allowed 386 yards, but a lot of those came after the game was decided and backups were getting some valuable reps.

The Rebs substituted early, freely and often and also caused some turnovers, including a pick six by Cornerback Derrick Jones.

"Early on, we were matching some personnels with them and that meant playing a lot of players," Dave noted. "We played different people at linebacker today (Detric Bing-Dukes started at middle linebacker) and we tried to keep people fresh because it was awfully hot out there today.I thought it was big later in the game that we had played a lot of people, but we lost our dime package when Montrell Custis went out and our money package when Carlos Davis went out, but by then the game was decided.

"We did an outstanding job while the game was still in doubt by pitching a shutout in the first half."

Pressure on freshman Quarterback Jacob Eason was a major key, Wommack stated.

"We cut loose on the pressure packages. Our defensive line got tremendous pressure on him most of the game and that was a huge benefit on the third downs we were facing," Wommack said. "I think they were 4-16 on third downs, which is good and much better than we have been doing.

"I think we frustrated Eason a bit. Chris Kiffin kept our front guys fresh which enabled them to come off the ball hard the whole game and we had some pressure packages that worked well too."

Bing-Dukes was the interesting story on the day.

"He had been at Georgia, so we felt he would be motivated," stated Wommack. "He's a guy who gets us lined up right and he's good in a physical game like this one. They run 22 personnel (2 TE and 2 backs) and we needed someone more physical in the middle. I think he had 7 stops, a good day."

The Rebels secondary also drew Dave's praise.

"Those young kids are growing up some. We are not even close to where we need to be yet, but we are seeing our kids playing more technique on the back end and we are breaking on some balls and getting our hands on some balls," he said. "We still need more consistency, but we are getting better, I was glad to see Derrick get that pick six."

Georgia runs the ball, period, but the Rebels controlled their run game while the outcome of the game was still in doubt.

"We fit things a lot better this week. I was very pleased with the way we handled the run game in the first half and most of the third quarter. We broke down some in the fourth quarter with our twos and threes but it was good experience for them," he noted. 

Dave said a message was sent at halftime to not let up, to keep the throttle down.

"Based on what had happened in two of our games, we preached no let up and the kids responded," he closed. "I was proud of them. We got off the field on third downs and we finished what we started."

Werner was happy too, rightly so.

The offense had zero turnovers while the game was in doubt, they racked up 510 yards and QB Chad Kelly was as efficient as a QB can be with a QB rating over 200 for the game.

"We had everything clicking. We got off to a fast start and just kept calling the same stuff," Dan said. "We were going to call the same stuff until something bad happened and we just kept rolling.

"The big key was that while the game was in doubt we did not have any turnovers. I think we had a late interception but the game was in hand. I was very proud of the way Chad took care of the ball, something we have been preaching hard all week and always preach.

"The good thing is that there really wasn't much that was close to a turnover either. That means our QBs are making good decisions, our receivers are making plays and our RBs are holding on to the ball."

Dan said he felt the Rebels would play well against Georgia.

"Coach (Hugh) Freeze is the best I have ever been around after a loss. He does not let someone beat us twice. If you had been at practice this week you would have thought we were undefeated. We rolled all week and that's how we played today. We rolled. Our guys believe we are the best offense in the country. If it hadn't been for some turnovers in two earlier games, I think we would be the best offense in the country. Today showed what we can do," he assessed. "That was a good defense we played today."

Werner had nothing but praise for the Rebel wideouts.

"I could not be more pleased with them. Our receivers, including Evan Engram, are a nightmare for defensive coordinators. If they put too much emphasis on pass coverage, we can run the ball like we did today with 180 yards. If they try to stop the run, we can pass on anyone, we believe," stated Dan. "As Chad and the receivers go, so do we.

"Engram is so tough on defenses. Who covers him? If he gets singled up on anyone, throw it out there and let him make a play. When Georgia went a little softer and realized they had to defend the pass more, it opened up the run for us."

The Rebel coaches were pleased to finally have the ball to start the second half.

"I told them we were going to go fast out of the gate and make a mark early. I was glad to see we executed, protected the ball and made plays to score a couple of TDs and put it out of reach early in the fourth quarter."

The Rebel coordinators had been somber some this year postgame, but not after the needed Georgia win.

It was all smiles.



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