Defensive line coach Chris Kiffin says the center piece of the Rebels’ recruiting class, end Robert Nkemdiche, had a solid debut performance but can improve significantly if he improves his technique.
Nkemdiche relied too much on his strength instead of trying to gain a position advantage against his blocker or blockers.
“He bull rushes right down the middle of a guy. We’ve got to work with him on that, teach him how to rush half man, play half man in the base block,” Kiffin said. “That’s something we’re already working on.”
Nkemdiche finished with two tackles and a pass deflection.
Kiffin said he could have helped Nkemdiche by getting him off the field in certain situations particularly down on the goalline.
The staff’s challenge in scouting new Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels, a Wyoming transfer making his first SEC start, made it difficult for Nkemdiche to be as prepared as he could have been, Kiffin said.
“We didn’t have film on that quarterback other than Wyoming, a different offense. You could see that every time he wanted to escape he would escape to his right. That was something had we seen on film we could have alerted Robert about that. He missed two or three sacks just bull rushing, and Austyn Carta-Samuels escaped to his right every time.”