Marshay Green -

Ole Miss junior Cornerback Marshay Green had his first start against Samford last Saturday night in a 34-10 victory, but now the stakes get higher as the Rebs open SEC play against Vanderbilt this weekend.

When the media gathered around junior Ole Miss Cornerback Marshay Green after his first start on the defensive side of the ball, there was no beating around the bush with the first question.

How did your first start at corner go?

"Good. I felt comfortable. I had practiced well and prepared well during the week, so I felt fine and it worked out pretty well," said Green, who got the nod over senior Dustin Mouzon prior to the Samford game. "I haven't gotten my coaches' grades yet, but I'd give myself a B or a B+.

"They (Samford) didn't throw many passes toward me, so that made it easier. I had a good game, but I didn't see a lot of action on my side."

Green is trying to take things slowly and soak everything he can up in his development.

"I listen to the coaches, do what they tell me to do and take it one play at a time in practice and in games," he explained. "If I do that and stay focused, everything will come together for me."

Green knows the tune-up game he just played will be nothing like the challenge he and the Rebel defense will face with upcoming Vanderbilt.

"They have a quarterback (Chris Nickson) who can run and throw, and when they do throw they like to go vertical, so we're going to have to be sharp in the secondary," he noted.

Nickson presents a double threat for the Rebels and for the secondary in particular.

"As corners and safeties, we have to keep our eye on the receivers and not look in the backfield, but we also have to be aware when he tucks the ball and runs so we can provide run support," Marshay stated. "We have to be on our game when there is a threat of the QB running when he gets flushed out of the pocket."

Marshay believes Vandy is underrated and knows it will be a tough battle this weekend.

"They are undefeated and have already beaten South Carolina and have that SEC win under their belts. It's going to be a tough game, but I have confidence we will come out on top," Green suggested.

DE Greg Hardy is expected to get some playing time this weekend. What Hardy adds to the defense excites Marshay.

"He's a freak of nature. He can help us in so many ways, particularly with his pass rush ability. He instantly makes the defense better," Green stated. "He will provide a great lift for us if he is ready and can get some quality snaps."

So far, Marshay is pleased with the development of the defense through three games and he's glad to see DTs Peria Jerry and Ted Laurent healthy and playing again.

"Things are starting to fall into place for us. We started slowly, but things are getting better and it means a lot to have Peria and Ted back. They are the foundation of our defense. With those two back, I think we can have one of the best defenses in the SEC," he added.

Marshay not only had a good outing at CB, he returned a punt for a touchdown - a 77-yarder - against Samford. He wants more in that department.

"Coach (James) Shibest challenged the punt return team all last week to make something happen and we did," he said. "If we can keep that up and make punt returns a real threat, that will help the team a whole lot and put a lot of pressure on the opponent's special teams."

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