"Georgia's defensive tackles - all three of them - are loads," said Ole Miss Offensive Line Coach Art Kehoe as he prepared his group for battle with the Bulldogs today in Athens. "Jeff Owens, Geno Atkins and Kade Weston are big and physical and they use their hands well. A major key to the game for us will be how we hold up with the center-guard blocks.
"Their ends can run and are physical. Their starters from last year graduated, but the kids they have now have experience and are good football players. Their lienbackers are new guys, but they fly around too."
Kehoe said Georgia's defensive mindset is based on movement.
"They move all the time. They will work slants and angles and an inside-outside game against you. They mix it up well," continued Art, who was Georgia Coach Mark Richt's college roommate at Miami. "A lot of what they do is similar to what we run. They like to corner crash, to cross blitz and things like that. They are a tough team, hard to deal with, but we're working hard to make our adjustments and get it right."
Kehoe said the communication on the OL against Florida went pretty well.
"We broke down on a couple of line calls in teh run game, but overall our communication was good. Obviously, it was not good enough, but it was better. We made good adjustments and handled those well," he explained. "Our team is about winning in the fourth quarter and running the football. We haven't done either consistently enough yet, but we are making progress.
"The guys are paying attention and giving it their all. They are working their butts off. They are getting there, but they aren't there yet. We have to make first downs in the fourth quarter. We have to win games late. In the last 16 games or so, we have been in seven or eight dogfights that went into the fourth quarter and we haven't gotten it done yet, but it's coming. Some of that is on us and we are addressing it every day. It's good that we are competing, but it's not good that we aren't winning."
Kehoe said the Rebels, against Florida last weekend, shot themselves in the foot too much.
"We had five penalties on the offensive line that were critical," he lamented. "That's not like us. We had problems with line of scrimmage discipline. In a tough game, you can't have any of those if you want to win. I don't remember Florida having any like that. They won.
"If you want to beat the Floridas and Georgias of the world, which we do, you can't do those things. We're doing everything we can to address that issue. We'll get the snap issues straight."
Art wants to see improvement from the offense in the Red Zone as well.
"That's the hardest part of the field to operate in, but we have to get it right. Snap discipline, communication is key," he said. "We have to score touchdowns when we get down there. Field goals won't get it done.
"A field goal is OK at times, but we need more TDs. Certainly, you want to at least score, but we need more touchdowns. Against Florida, we failed at finishing, third downs, Red Zone, making first downs with the game on the line and converting touchdowns. That pretty much sums it up and tells you what we are addressing to a tee."
Art Kehoe -
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