Ole Miss Offensive Coordinator Kent Austin said the media can take his quotes every week about the next SEC defense his Rebel offense will face and duplicate them.
"They are well-coached, they don't give up a lot of big plays, they play with a lot of effort. They have a couple of guys up front who have big time motors and we have to make sure we account for them," Austin began.
Sound familiar? It does to Austin.
"It's like every week in this league," Austin chuckled. "Every time I look up, there's another major challenge facing us from another really good defense. I've said this every week and I'll say it again - we really have to play well to have a chance."
The Hogs will play aggressively, but they have not shown they use the blitz liberally - yet.
"They have not shown a lot of blitzing thus far, but they may blitz a lot Saturday against us. You always have to be ready for pressure. They have not shown a lot of pressure on film, but we are prepared for it if they bring it," he continued.
While Austin's task is daunting on a weekly basis, he feels his side of the ball is developing more weapons as the season progresses, namely TB Enrique Davis, and WRs Lionel Breaux and Markeith Summers have come on stronger of late.
"As they continue to get more comfortable and keep proving they can produce, then obviously they will get more snaps and it helps us," Austin noted. "It allows us to do other things with other players. They are young and still learning to play, but they have made excellent progress and we are proud of that. They will get a bigger role in the offense as they prove themselves more and more."
Quarterback Jevan Snead - even though it was forced from pressure - showed the ability to tuck the ball and run against Alabama a few times.
"I'm not surprised by that. Jevan is a pretty good athlete. We put in the QB draw that he ran on 4th and five and that showed you he can run it," Kent stated. "But what we want is for our QB to distribute the ball when he is able to, but when he is not able to and things break down, we ask him to make plays on his own. We don't ask him to run first and there is a difference, but we want him to run when he has to.
"It's not a perfect world out there on the field. Football is controlled chaos at best when the ball is snapped. When things break down, he has to make plays, but he has to be smart and judicious with those decisions. The only thing I want him to do is to learn how to get on the ground quicker. He's not real conscious of that yet. He just plays football. He's a tough kid and is competitive. I still say all his best football is ahead of him. He's going to be really good in time."
Austin was then approached with a somewhat sensitive subject. In light of some key fumbles/turnovers, is WR Dexter McCluster's "head" OK?
"He's fine. Dexter is as good a person who cares as I have ever been around. You hate to see bad things happen to a person who cares as much as he does," Austin explained. "If he didn't care, it would be a different story, but that's not the case with Dexter.
"Dexter is a guy we will still rely on to make plays for us. He's a playmaker and we will continue to use him as such."
Austin got his CFL Championship ring at practice Wednesday and said he's going to put it in a lock box with his two other CFL Championship rings - one as a player and the other as an assistant coach.
One day, maybe he'll add an SEC Championship ring to his collection.
That's the goal, but it won't come easy.
SEC defenses - one after another, week after week - await.
Kent Austin -
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