Derrick Nix -

The Ole Miss run game against Wake Forest was so-so and hit-or-miss. A couple of days ago, we gave you OL Coach Mike Markuson's views on the ground game. Today, RB Coach Derrick Nix gives us his views on improving that phase of the offense from the running back perspective.

Ole Miss Running Backs Coach Derrick Nix is a get-it-done kind of guy.

There's no room for excuses.

He's also a realist and, as a former running back himself, a coach who undestands what happened at Wake Forest in the Rebs' loss that only netted 107 rushing yards on 29 carries.

"From our perspective at the RB slots, I have to have patience right now," Nix explained. "We were inconsistent, we didn't hit the holes hard enough at times and we didn't use our vision very well.

"But I have to remind myself that all of these tailbacks, including junior Cordera Eason, were playing in just their second collegiate game. The more they play, the better they will be."

Run Game Coordinator Mike Markuson and Coach Houston Nutt established a mandate this week in practice to everyone involved to get the run game working better - period.

"At our positions, we have been focusing harder on the run game since Sunday," Derrick said. "We are stressing making the correct reads, trusting ourselves when we see something to go with it, and playing behind our pads.

"As a running back, you also have to make guys miss and break tackles. That's part of our deal, our responsibility. Not all holes are going to be wide open - make something happen on your own."

Nix said hard work will solve a lot of the issues the young backs are facing.

"They all asked Sunday 'what can I do to get better?' and I told them we were going to correct the little things and rep things hard," Nix noted. "They had a great attitude about it. There is no magic wand. I know we've got the talent, it's just a matter of hard work and experience now.

"Every rep they get, they gain experience and things will fall more and more into place the more experience they get."

There's also a matter of developing the necessary chemistry with the offensive line.

"It's very important for backs to know exactly what the offensive line is going to do in every situation and building a bond with them of knowing how they are going to react," Nix added. "The average person might think all backs do is get the ball and run to daylight, but we have to understand blocking schemes and understand defenses in order to get a presnap read as to where the hole might be.

"Again, the more reps each back gets, the more comfortable they will be."

Nix said he likes having a stable of backs who are dependable and productive, but he also is looking for one guy to separate himself a little from the pack as well in games.

"I like keeping them fresh and giving them all some carries, but we're also looking for the guy who develops the hot hand during the game," he closed. "When we hit on the guy who is in a rhythm that day, we will feed him the ball."

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