"We didn't get it done against Vanderbilt. We were leaky in our protections too many times and we had some technique problems in getting guys blocked when we had a hat on them," Kehoe said this week after reviewing the game film from the Rebs' 31-17 loss to Vanderbilt. "We had some opportunities to win the game but we didn't make it happen.
"We'll get it fixed in our protections and in our run blocking. It is what it is and we are going to get it right."
Art was asked if going from a power blocking scheme to more zone blocking this year has been a problem in terms of the guys up front "getting it" early in the season. He basically said "no."
"We still run the power stuff too. I think it's more a matter of the oppostion calling some good stuff defensively and us not adjusting as well as we should have," he said. "It's a process and we're still growing with the process.
"The players and I have talked about the urgency of communicating with me on the sidelines when they come off the field. Our people in the box are doing a great job of seeing what's going on, but we have to have every single person on the same page and the players have to tell me what's going on out there too so I can make the adjustments. We all need more feedback - me, the players, the guys in the box - to make the proper adjustments. It's on all of us to get that done. The kids are communicating to each other the checks and line calls on the field, but we all have to communciate better when we are between series on the sidelines. Vandy did some things that hurt us and we didn't get it fixed fast enough - that's on me."
Art said the Rebels have not lost their swagger, even in the face of being 1-2 and about to take on Florida, the number 3 team in the nation.
"We are not going to get down. We are not backtracking. The kids have not lost any confidence. We are just biting down on the problems and trying to correct them as they pop up," he explained. "We will fight and scrap, I pormise you."
Kehoe, from his days at Miami, has had plenty of "contact" with the Florida program.
"This is a typical Florida defensive front. They are stout. They are very well-coached - I think (Gator DC) Charlie Strong does a very good job," Art stated. "Their DL can play you straight up or move around. They disguise things well and they are very talented athletically in terms of getting to the ball quickly. They have a big middle linebacker who is 6-3, 250 and he can run. They have lots of speed. They have shut the run down this year so far. They are not real big inside - they are kind of short, stocky guys, but they use their hands well, they are quick, they jump cadence, they come off the ball hard and they are aggressive. Their DEs are their best defenders. They are not very big, but they are bad news guys. They try to put you in a bad situation - third and long - and then come after you.
"A big key for them on defense is that their offense is playing so well they can take some chances on defense and get into a feeding frenzy type of deal. It's a great opportunity for us."
Art is not surprised they are where they are - number three in the nation.
"They are the defending national champs, they are 3-0, they average 55 points a game, they have great facilities, they have dynamic athletes. They present a fantastic and ultimate challenge and opportunity for us," he noted. "It's a great deal for them to come into Oxford on our campus. It's why you are a fan, coach or player in the SEC - it's a fun deal. Let's get it on. We only get 12 or 13 opportunities to play all year. We work our tails off for those chances. Florida is a chance that we relish as a staff and as a team.
"If you look at Florida and you need motivation to get up for this game, as a coach, player or fan, you need to look in the mirror. It's going to take everything we've got and we are going to bring everything we've got. Where we are in this program, we have to be fired up for everybody we face, but it's human nature to be a little extra motivated for teams like Forida. You can't help that."
Kehoe said Florida runs a similar scheme defensively that Ole Miss does. That should help the Rebs with familiarity.
"There are quirks the average fan will not be able to see that we will see on film and prepare for, but there are a lot of similarities between our defense and theirs in structure," Art said. "That will help us in terms of carryover.
"They have a very nice package and a lot of athletes to run what they do. They expect their second team to do as well as their first team. The bottom line is that we will have to play our best, but isn't that what this is all about every week?"
What would a win over Florida mean to Ole Miss?
"It's a great opportunity for all of us - fans, players, caoches - to play against a team like this," he closed. "They are dynamic and it would mean a lot to beat them.
"We will all be very pumped up to be involved in a game like this. If you are not, you don't have a pulse. We only get to play 12 times all year and this year one of them is Florida, teh defending national champs. There is no reason not to be ready this week - none."
Art Kehoe -
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