The Ole Miss defense is ranked last in the Southeastern Conference halfway through their 2016 schedule.
Rebel DE Marquis Haynes does not believe that is indicative of what the Ole Miss stoppers are capable of and feels better days are ahead.
"I think we are overrunning some things and getting ahead of ourselves. I think we need to slow down and just take care of our assignments and everything will be OK from here on out," Haynes noted. "I believe we know what to do but we just are not executing soundly. We just need to do what we are supposed to do."
Haynes implied there may be some freelancing going on and that could be an issue.
"You do what your coaches call. It's simple," he said as a matter of fact. "You can't just go do your own thing, it messes things up for everyone. The system won't work.
"We have to take care of our fits, use our eyes properly and finish. We've done it before, but we didn't do it against Arkansas."
The root of all evil, according to Haynes, are explosive plays caused by eyes being in the wrong spots.
"If you take your eyes off where they are supposed to be, it always happens, you get hit for a big play and explosive plays are what kills defenses," he explained. "We go to the sidelines and our coaches are giving us adjustments as we go, but if we don't do what they are telling us to do, we lose the chess match.
"Everyone has good coaches. They adjust, we adjust, they adjust back, we adjust, and so on, all throughout the game, but if the pieces, the players, don't move correctly, it's checkmate. You never really know what the next move is going to be so you have to do what your coaches tell you to do and believe they have the fix. There have been times we have not done that, like I said earlier."
The fixes? Haynes has his thoughts.
"We have to watch more film, we have to stay focused, we have to learn our assignments better, we need to play more physical, but taking it upon ourselves to know what to do every time something is called us on us as players," he said. "We have to play smarter. To me, most of our issues have been mental, but we aren't far off. In fact, we are real close."
Marquis realizes the Rebel defense better get it right in a hurry because just around the corner is a freight train of an offense in the LSU Tigers, at night, in Death Valley.
"This will be the ultimate test as to whether or not we are really a Landshark defense," he said, almost as a challenge. "Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice will come right at us and if we don't bow up and do things the right way, it will be a long night."
Guice is actually leading LSU in rushing with 564 yards because Fournette has been banged up some.
"I want Fournette to play. He's a great back and it's fun playing against the best, but Guice may be the most difficult on us because he's faster than Fournette," Haynes stated. "Both are really good and a challenge."
LSU week is special to Marquis.
"It's special playing LSU. I'm very excited. I know they are going to come out fighting like they should and we will to," he stated. "They are tough all the time, but at home, they are really tough.
"When we played there two years ago, we played them OK in the first half, but in the second half they got the crowd going and they were a different team, more physical and playing faster. We have to be ready to match that intensity for 60 minutes and match that surge after halftime."
The Rebel defense has struggled - no question about it.
There are many theories as to why, but Haynes is adamant he is correct.
"If we will just play the way we are coached to play, we will be a different defense, a Landshark defense," he closed.