Wrapping up Media Monday with Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt. ...
The theme for the week at Ole Miss will be “finish,” and that probably requires no further explanation given the fact that the Rebels have been outscored 47-0 in the third quarter in the last two games.
“After watching the film and putting everything to rest I was proud of our effort. I thought our guys played extremely hard. We have to finish and play all four quarters. The first two quarters were outstanding and guys were really flying around, executing and making plays. It shows you what our conference is about. It doesn't matter if its the number nine ranked team in the country or whoever it is, this is the toughest league in America. Everybody has to be ready to play everybody. That sixty minutes is so important and we have to do a better job in the last thirty minutes,” Nutt said.
Finish was a buzz word not far from the lips of the players in attendance.
Offensive lineman Matt Hall said his unit was pretty excited about the rushing success the Rebels had against the Razorbacks, most of it in the first half. Hall said Arkansas did more twisting, stunting and general movement along its defensive front in the second half.
“The thing I noticed was a lot more slants, their defensive line moving a little bit. That can throw you off or help you. There's a little bit of luck involved with it all,” Hall said.
Ole Miss faces an Auburn team that has lost two of its last three, a win over struggling Florida sandwiched between a 38-14 loss at Arkansas and a 45-10 loss at LSU, both on the road. In the meantime, Auburn has had a quarterback change.
“Last year they were Cam Newton's team. Now it's all of them. They run the ball more than they did last year,” middle linebacker Mike Marry said.
That doesn't bode well for an Ole Miss defense that has given up more than 200 yards rushing five times.
Arkansas rushed for 206 yards against the Rebels, about 80 yards better than what the Razorbacks were averaging going into the game.
Out of 120 FBS teams, Ole Miss ranked No. 15 in run defense with 222.86 rushing yards allowed per game.
Auburn is not like Alabama – which rushed for 389 yards against Ole Miss – but is solid in the run game. The Tigers are fourth in the SEC, 35th in America at 183.25 yards a game.
The struggles for Auburn have been in the passing game where they are a very un-Gus Malzahn-like 163.5 yards a game, No. 106 in the nation.