Cassius Vaughn did not start at cornerback the first two weeks of the season, but he was elevated to the first team for the Vanderbilt game last weekend.
It was a good first experience for him, he said.
"It could have been better, but it as good for me to get some experience and to figure out the speed and tempo of the game," said Vaughn, who won the starting job in spring but lost it to Terrell Jackson due to inconsistency in August. "Once I adjusted to the tempo of the game, which was faster than I expected, it got more and more like practice and I got more comfortable."
Vaughn realizes that his next challenge, the Florida Gator wide receivers, will only speed things up because the corners have an extra duty besides coverage - taking the pitch man in the Gators' option package.
"It will be faster because Florida has more team speed than Vanderbilt. The whole team has to be ready and we have to take care of our assignments to a tee," he stated. "Everyone has to do their job and rely on the next guy to do theirs.
"The option is a scheme where everyone has to be where they are supposed to be to stop it. If we do that, we feel Florida is beatable - everyone is beatable on any given Saturday. We have put a lot of reps in on the option this week and what we have to do. Jevan Snead hs been running it for the scout team and he's given us a great look. I think we have gotten the hang of it. It puts a lot of pressure on you, but if you are assignment sound, like I said, it can be handled. It all boils down to doing what we are coached to do."
Vaughn is on the kiickoff coverage team, which has not done well to this point in the season.
"We have to keep working it until we get it right. We have to improve there. Again, we have to take care of our responsbilities and do what the coaches say and the plays will come," Cassius noted. "We haven't been doing that."
A win over the Gators would mean a lot, obviously, Cassius stated.
"It would be a great boost for everyone associated with Ole Miss. It would show everyone we are for real and we know how to play the game on the highest level at Ole Miss," Vaughn added. "We beat them and it will be a bigtime benefit to everyone in Oxford and Mississippi.
"We are excited about it because you don't get too many opportunities to play the defending national champions. It's what you live for as a college football player.
"We haven't quite put everything together yet on defense in the first three games, but on film you can see we are close and we keep getting things tighter. Maybe this is the week we have a complete game. That's our goal."
Cassius Vaughn -
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