There’s a shake-up in the secondary in the wake of the 35-point loss to Texas. Longhorns’ quarterback David Ash completed 82.6 percent of his passes and has been named the national quarterback of the week by the Davey O’Brien Foundation.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said he’ll start freshman Trae Elston at safety, and jobs are up for grabs at corner with new candidates in the mix there too … junior safety Charles Sawyer and true freshman Quintavis Burdette, who has been working at safety.
Cornerbacks coach Wesley McGriff hasn’t had Burdette in practice but says the Senatobia native has turned heads on special teams.
Freeze says Sawyer is a more natural fit at corner and that he had been playing “tentative” at safety. Sawyer had 12 tackles against Texas, tops on both teams.
Overall defensively, Freeze said the Rebels were out of position a number of times. At other times the “fits” were better, but “physics took over,” Freeze said.
While there were some concerns last week about the Rebels perhaps playing too tight on the big stage it appears the reverse took affect. They may have been too loose.
“I want them loose, but there’s a difference in being loose and a little goofy, and I thought Friday night they were border line,” Freeze said.
Offensive lineman Emmanuel McCray: “That’s where we might have slipped up. It wasn’t being silly or anything, but when you’re on that level and that stage, you might want to be more zeroed in. It wasn’t everybody, and it wasn’t like we were acting like buffoons or anything. This is a new coaching staff, and you don’t know what demeanor they want you to carry. Simple as that.”
Freeze spent a lot of time talking about the need to fix the fits in his opening comments and expressed concern over the negative-yardage plays, nine of them in the game.
He likes the idea of a road game coming after a disappointing loss. It’s a chance to reel in the players. “You kind of get off by yourselves with your team and enjoy the process of getting ready to play another game. Going on the road sometimes increases your focus.”