During the Cotton Bowl press conference, Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt, adding a little levity to the occasion, was discussing the Texas Tech offensive machine.
"Tyrone (Nix) is already worried," Nutt said. "They are prolific."
The line about Nix got a chuckle from the press because those who have covered the Rebels this season know Tyrone doesn't "worry" about - read: fear - any offense.
"I'm not worried about anything. Our kids just have to prepare. If we prepare and do as well as we can on the practice field. . . ," his voice trailed off. "We'll see what happens in the game."
And Houston, despite the quip, knows Nix isn't shaking in his coaching shoes.
But it's obvious Nix respects the Red Raiders.
"They are good," Tyrone stated. "They are fundamentally sound, they know how to throw the football and they know how to run it too.
"They have two outstanding running backs as well as excellent receivers and a sharp QB."
Nix believes it will take a team effort to handle the Red Raider offense.
"It will be all 11, but it starts up front, like it does every week," Nix continued. "We have to stuff the run and pressure the pass, just like every week. Then it works back to the linebackers and the secondary and their responsibilities."
Tech likes to throw out of the shotgun and get rid of the ball as quickly as possible with timing routes. The question was posed - against that type of offensive philosophy - about the amount of pressure Nix expects to get on QB Graham Harrell, who wasn't sacked very often in the regular season.
"I don't know how much pressure we can get, but we are going to try a lot of things. We'll mix it up. We'll play some zone, rush them all, mix it up and see what works," said Tyrone. "If something hits, we'll keep using it. If it doesn't, it won't be because we weren't trying everything we know to do."
Tech WR Michael Crabtree won the award for the outstanding wideout in the country again. Nix is not surprised.
"He's a great ballplayer," Tyrone stated. "He has a good QB and the OL protects long enough for them to make plays. He's a heckuva player."
The Red Raiders employ wide line splits on the offensive front, something Nix is very aware of.
"They use that to try to buy some more time for the quarterback. The defensive ends have to go a little further to get to the passer," Nix closed. "It can also open up running lanes. It gives the appearance of big holes for backs to run through.
"I think it is an advantage and I don't know why more people don't use the wider splits. I don't know how we will respond to it, but we have a plan and we'll see how it works."
But until then, Nix isn't going to worry about it.
It's not his style.
Tyrone Nix -
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