By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – Ole Miss cornerbacks coach Jason Jones has put together a highlight video of Missouri’s receivers.
He’s had plenty to work with.
The Tigers go 6-foot-2, 6-4, 6-5 and 6-6 with their four starting wide receivers.
“It’s kind of like playing against three or four Mike Evans,” Rebels cornerback Senquez Golson said. “We’ve got the players to compete.”
Evans, at 6-6, leads the SEC in yards per game at 126.3 and in touchdown catches with 12.
Ole Miss held him out of the end zone and limited him to 46 yards on four catches.
The Rebels’ tallest cornerback will be 6-3 freshman Derrick Jones.
Missouri is led by 6-4 senior L’Damian Washington, who is second in the league with nine touchdown catches. Washington is averaging 18.9 yards per catch 75.6 yards per game.
“We’ve got to be physical,” says Golson, who stands 5-9. “These guys, they know how to use their bodies and hands well. I don’t think Evans was as fast as these guys we’re playing this week.”
There were no surprise additions to the list after the Rebels’ 51-21 win over Troy. Cornerback Charles Sawyer, who missed last week, is questionable. Reserve defensive end John Young- blood is expected to play.
Ole Miss freshman Robert Nkemdiche was named the SEC’s defensive lineman of the week.
It’s the second straight week an Ole Miss freshman has won an SEC weekly award. Last week it was Laremy Tunsil for offensive lineman.
While Nkemdiche moves around, he’s mostly at tackle these days. He was part of an Ole Miss defense that held Troy to minus-13 rushing yards in the Rebels’ 51-21 win.
Nkemdiche had four tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack – first of his career – and a pressure.
Nkemdiche leads all SEC freshmen with .88 tackles for loss per game.
While Missouri’s front seven has gotten a lot of attention, the Tigers have been solid on the back end, too.
The Tigers did not pick off a pass in last week’s 48-17 win over Kentucky, but lead the SEC and are tied for seventh nationally with 17 interceptions.
Missouri’s success doesn’t change anything in preparation for Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace.
“Every week we’re going to play against guys that go get the ball,” he said. “There are great defenses in this league. I have to be crisp every time I go out there.”
Nine of Missouri’s interceptions came over the first three weeks of the season. The Tigers had three each in wins against Murray State, Toledo and Indiana.
Eleven Tigers have at least one interception, led by senior cornerback E.J. Gaines, who shares the SEC lead at four interceptions with Rebels safety Cody Prewitt and defensive backs Nickoe Whitley of Mississippi State, Robenson Therezie of Auburn and Kenny Ladler of Vanderbilt.