By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – Vincent Sanders knows what he has to do to move past a dropped pass and is confident the Ole Miss wide receivers can show more consistency.
That’s good news for the Rebels.
The bad news is that defensive coordinator Dave Wommack doesn’t see drops at all from the LSU wide receivers.
A Tigers offense that looks more explosive in the passing game than in years past is boosted by wideouts Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.
Together they’ve accounted for 83 catches for more than 1,400 yards and 13 touchdowns.
“They’ll go get the ball. If it’s behind them, they’re very good at under throws. You see very few drops whereas last year I thought they had some drops coming into the game. We don’t see them this year,” Wommack said.
WIth the rash of injuries facing the Rebels (3-3, 1-3 SEC) on the defensive side, quarterback Bo Wallace says the Ole Miss offense must carry the day.
“We have to be on point on offense. We have to put up some points,” he said.
As a group Ole Miss receivers have suffered through some drops in critical situations of late.
The most visible was Ja-Mes Logan’s inability to haul in a ball thrown right at his chest that would have resulted in a first down on the Rebels’ last possession in a 38-38 game against Texas A&M. Instead, Ole Miss went three-and-out and gave the ball back to Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel with plenty of time to drive for a game-winning field goal.
Donte Moncrief, considered the leader of the group, has had problems as well. A week after his best game of the season with six catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns at Auburn, Moncrief was held to one catch for 3 yards by Texas A&M.
Moving on quickly
For Sanders, the next opportunity is a must to get your head right and move on.
“Once you catch your next pass that drop’s out of your head,” Sanders said. “That’s the only way I feel you can really get over it. If you drop a pass and don’t get another opportunity to make a play, that drop’s going to stay in your mind a lot longer.”
When Wallace couldn’t get the ball to Moncrief last week he got it to freshman Laquon Treadwell.
Treadwell leads the Ole Miss receivers with 32 catches, eight of which came last week along with the first two touchdowns of his career.
He scored with a 19-yard pass from Wallace and a 16-yard pass from Barry Brunetti.
Moncrief had a big game at LSU last year, with six catches for 161 yards and two scores.
“Most teams are playing two high and covering over Donte, but when he has a chance to make plays, he’ll make plays. I’ve just got to get him the ball,” Wallace said.
The recent rash of dropped passes hasn’t lessened Wallace’s confidence in his receivers.
“I’ve got to keep giving them the rock. I know they’re going to come down with it. I’m going to make mistakes, so when they drop the football I can’t get on to them. I have to pick them up.”