Art Kehoe -

Alabama coach Nick Saban is known for his multiple looks and zone blitzing on defense. It will be up to the Rebel OL to thwart those efforts. Read Reb OL Coach Art Kehoe's thoughts on Bama's defense inside.

Ole Miss Offensive Line coach Art Kehoe says Alabama will give his guys a lot of looks, but their defensive success starts with a mentality of aggression.

"It's just another easy game in the SEC," Kehoe laughed. "Coach Saban's forte is defense. They chase the football, they tackle well and they have a good scheme.

"They have a variety of packages whether it's to your third-downs to red zone to tight red zone to whatever the down and distance, and they mix things up well. The biggest thing they do, to me, is chase the ball. It's one thing to have athletes and a great scheme, it's another to get them to chase the ball the way they do. They swarm."

Alabama's mixture of defensive calls is another legitimate issue, according to Art.

"We've seen everything they do at one time or another, but they do it all in one game depending on your personnel groupings," he explained. "They do a lot of things we do on defense. There are recognition problems they present.

"They play some Bear defense, they play a 50 look, they will show a 50 look and drop a DL and bring a safety or a corner. You never know what direction they are coming from. The defense is balanced, but during your cadence they may send a safety or another linebacker and change the whole look of what they are doing. You have to be prepared for everything and react to what they do at the line of scrimmage."

Saban's defenses have always been recognized for his zone blitz packages. Kehoe feels the Rebs will be prepared for that aspect of the game.

"They will look for weaknesses and attack points and then try to exploit those areas. Coach Saban does a good job with that. It's complex to recognize and adjust to. It will be an interesting chess game counteracting and attacking the things they do," he stated. "We have to protect our quarterback.

"They overload things and try to get after you from that overload position. They do some very interesting and effective things on defense with their calls."

Personnel-wise, Kehoe is impressed with Bama DE Wallace Gilberry.

"Up front, they have excellent players, but Gilberry really jumps out at you on film," Art noted. "He's a load, he can run and he can play outside or inside. He's a handful to deal with.

"They also have very fast, active linebackers and safeties. We have our work cut out for us."

This is the kind of challenge Kehoe lives for.

"This game epitomizes why you play in the SEC and coach in the SEC. If you don't enjoy this challenge, you don't have a pulse," he closed. "We will strap it on and match wits and talent with them and see who is left standing."

OM Spirit Top Stories