The Ole Miss defense was intent on increasing its pass rush this year, and that’s not showing up in its sack numbers through three games.
Defensive coordinator Dave Wommack believes the pass rush is better in spite of the statistics.
The rush shows up in the pass defense numbers, he says. Over the last two games, blowout wins over Vanderbilt and La.-Lafayette, opponents are 21-for-56 passing, just a 37.5 percent completion rate.
“I think it’s discouraging sometimes to the D line. You don’t get sacks and all that, but we’ve had so many pressures and hurries, and all those things have resulted in good things for us. You’ve got to explain that to the D line, but they want the sacks,” Wommack said.
Ole Miss shares the NCAA lead in interceptions with eight, many of them a result of that pressure.
The Rebels have just four sacks, and they’ve come from four different players: Robert Nkemdiche, Marquis Haynes, John Youngblood and DT Shackelford.
Texas A&M leads the SEC with 4.25 sacks per game.
Wommack says sacks are harder to come by as offenses work at a quicker release from quarterbacks.
“That’s where a lot of the offenses are this day and time. They get it out. They’re not going to take those minus-yardage plays,” Wommack said.