Ole Miss Offensive Line Coach Art Kehoe had a couple of days to reflect on his group's performance in the season opener against Memphis, which resulted in a 28-25 Reb victory.
So, how did your guys grade out, Art?
"I thought our effort was real good. It was a good starting point for us. I'm just glad we are 1-0 and can build off of that performance," said the enthusiastic mentor. "We ran the ball pretty good and we protected the passer pretty decently.
"From an offensive standpoint, we didn't turn the ball over and didn't have penalties. We gave up one sack and even that could have been avoided. There were a lot of pluses in that game."
Kehoe, however, like most coaches, is a perfectionist and the Rebel OL was far from "perfect."
"We have a lot of technique things we can clean up and we can do better on our effort, but it makes it easier to make those corrections when you are correcting off a win," he noted. "I don't think I've had many first-game efforts as clean as this one, where there were no penalties and were no turnovers and that can attributed to the kids and the way they played the game with composure in that atmosphere.
"We were real close two or three times to making some real big plays beyond what we made. Next time, we will finish those plays. Brent did get hit three or four times, but he was pretty much unscathed. We never want our QB to get touched, but it happens. Again, we can correct what we did wrong."
Kehoe only played five players on his OL - LT Michael Oher, LG Andrew Wicker, C Corey Actis, RG John Jerry and RT Darryl Harris.
"Thomas Eckers would have been the next guy in the game. We were fortunate that the weather broke a little after a real hot camp. that helped us," he explained. "We ran around pretty good and showed they are in good shape.
"We are real happy we won the game, but now we've got to go get number two and keep getting better."
Kehoe was asked about rookie John Jerry, who not only got his first collegiate action, but played every snap at RG.
"He's going to be a real good player. He makes you into a good coach," said Kehoe. "Corey also did an excellent job, all things considered. We threw those two guys in there with no Division I experience and both responded to my expectations and my expectations are very high.
"The way I look at it as an OL coach is that we had five guys play 61 snaps each. That's 305 possible chances to screw things up and based on that, we did pretty good. But there are so many things we can work on. We tried to finish blocks and gave good effort throughout. Man, it's hard to complain about that, but we are perfectionists and we do have things to do, as I said."
Kehoe was also pleased with Michael Oher's first rodeo at left tackle, Wicker's performance at LG - especially in the pulling/trapping game, and Darryl Harris' effort at RT.
"They are my veterans and they have to carry the load for a while until the other guys develop more," he stated. "They did a fine job. They just have to keep moving forward, like everyone on this team."
Missouri will mark test number two. Kehoe expects the Tiger defense to be stiffer competition than the Memphis defense.
"I expect Missouri to be tough and I expect us to be better. I'm excited about it," he closed.
Art Kehoe -
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