While Ole Miss defensive coordinator Dave Wommack has been adamant that he expects suspended Vanderbilt wide receiver Chris Boyd to play tonight against the Rebels, there’s been no reported change in Boyd’s status.
There’s still time for that to change. It would seem the absence of a 6-foot-4 threat to young cornerbacks would be a good thing for Ole Miss. It certainly can’t hurt, but Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze warned Monday about reading too much into that, citing the recruiting of Vanderbilt coach James Franklin.
“They may have another one sitting in the wings. They’ll have another talented kid, I’m sure. James has had a few years to recruit there, and he’s proven that he’s a very good recruiter. I know he hasn’t sat around and not recruited someone to play in case of injuries. They’ve got good players. Boyd and (Jordan) Matthews have proven what they can do in this conference. You would hope that it eases some of the stress that it puts on your defense, but that’s really speculation. I don’t know exactly what the other guys are like.”
One way to keep pressure off cornerbacks is with pass rush. The Rebels, pretty good with sacks a year ago, expect to have more push from their front line this season. Wommack says he expects to play as many as seven defensive ends. The most mentioned this preseason has been freshman Robert Nkemdiche.
Freeze says the varied looks from Wommack’s defense should help the corners.
“I can’t imagine Dave (Wommack) being any more multiple than he is. We’ve seen about everything you can see through fall camp. If you can imagine it we probably have it in some form or facet. He can’t carry it all in a game. We’re as multiple as you can get defensively.”