The Ole Miss offense was smooth and essentially flawless, assignment-wise, against Memphis in the season opener two weeks ago.
Unfortunately, they laid an egg the following week against Missouri, netting less than 200 yards of total offense.
The explanation from everyone involved - coaches and players - was that there were fundamental mistakes in execution across the board on just about every play.
"Different guys broke down on nearly every play. We'd miss a block, not get to a block, take a false step, run a bad route, make a bad read - you name it, we did it," Ole Miss Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner said.
The remedy, to him, is simple - back to the basics.
"We went back to step one. We said 'here's how we've got to block - we have to come off low, we have to get on guys quickly.' We are running our basic stuff and making sure we are taking care of the small things that we didn't take care of against Missouri," Werner explained. "We've been real fundamental with the guys this week and they have responded.
"I think they learned the value of doing things the right way the first two games. When they did things corectly against Memphis, we clicked. When they didn't against Missouri, we didn't click."
Werner said the Rebels have not simplified things in the offense. They are just trying to run the system more efficiently, like the Memphis outing.
"We're still going to run our offense. We haven't taken anything out of the package. We're just hammering on how we're blocking, not who we are blocking. I think the players have their assignments down, they just didn't execute against Missouri," he explained.
Werner said he can sense an urgency on the team and more excitement about correcting what they did wrong.
"Our players have been excellent in terms of listening and trying to do things right this week," he continued. "They have been excited in practice and are anxious to correct what they did wrong against Missouri.
"I think any time a team with pride, which we have, plays like they did against Missouri, they will be anxious to get back out there and make things right. I have been pleased with their response this week."
He's seen some leadership emerging too.
"I see guys stepping up and taking control of things more and more. I am pleased with what has happened this week as we prepare to open our SEC schedule in Lexington," he stated.
Did Werner think the young Rebs first time on the road had an impact on the results last Saturday?
"Maybe, but we didn't seem road rattled. We just seemed out of synch and, as I said, not gettingit done as a unit," he closed. "We'd have 10 guys on the same page and one guy not getting it done, across the board.
"If the road had anything to do with it, they should be over that now. They have experienced a road game and should have learned what it's all about."
Werner, looking for a silver lining from the Missouri game, said the good thing about the mistakes made against Missouri are correctable.
And his troops have exerted a lot of energy this week trying to correct them.
Dan Werner -
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