Facing the Wofford Terriers presents a new set of challenges. But Wofford may be exactly what the Rebels need to get back on their feet.
The Wofford Terriers are not the Florida State Seminoles. However to be honest with you, I’m glad they are not. Although I still believe we would have beaten the Seminoles if we had not had the two season ending injuries that completely changed our game plan, that game took a lot out of the team and the fans.
Wofford presents a different set of challenges than the Seminoles. The Terriers are a triple option team that relies nearly completely on runs. Passing is done basically to throw a wrinkle in the offense. However, it is not used as a realistic threat. Therefore, this may be just what the doctor ordered.
After spending Monday night concerned about Florida State’s Dalvin Cook while also chasing around their dangerous wide receivers, the Rebels ought to enjoy just focusing on one area of the Terrier’s offense.
The Rebels are aware that the triple option will be a headache to defend. The Terriers are proficient in running it. But their skill level can not compare to what the Rebels ought to be able to field Saturday afternoon. The level of talent in the Southern Conference is not on the same level as that in the Southeastern Conference. Ole Miss should be able to play a lot of young players this week and still win by 35.
But this game is more than just an easy win. This game can be the palette cleanser the Rebels need to get that bitter taste of defeat out of its mouth. It gives them the opportunity to heal some wounds. Plus we get to give reps to those in desperate need of it.
Wofford provides the perfect opportunity to give running reps to underutilized running backs. With Jordan Wilkins being ruled academically ineligible and Eric Swinney missing the rest of the season due to an injury he sustained on his first collegiate run, the Rebels are in need of help at RB.
Once the Rebels gain control of this game and Akeem Judd has hopefully rushed for 100 yards, we could see some of the other running backs get a few carries. Eugene Brazley and true freshman D’Vaughn Pennamon will be counted on this season to step in an take a more active role in the offense. They need this game to get acclimated to the new workload. Plus, you’ll see a good rotation of offensive lineman in the game as well.
The key to stopping the triple option is knowing and sticking to your assignment. Also, it helps to have great push from the defensive line. If there was any positive that came from the Florida State game, it was the play of the defensive line. They proved they could get a push against the great Seminole offensive line. The Rushmen should be able to do it against Wofford.
But our linebackers will have a chance to demonstrate their strength. They should see a lot of opportunities to make plays. If they stick to their gap assignments and tackle well, this would be great practice for the Alabama game. They’ve got to be ready to go against Bama.
We should see a lot more of transfers Rommel Mageo and Detric Bing-Dukes on Saturday. We are going to need these guys to get use to the Ole Miss defensive scheme during live games. They are going to be important to the success of this defense.
Here is where we need this game the most. Our defensive back field was in tatters against the Seminoles. The injury to Ken Webster exposed how much we need help with our defensive backs. In addition to his injury, Tony Conner does not appear to be completely healthy either.
Facing a team like Wofford will take a little pressure off the DBs. They will need to focus on helping against the run. But at least they won’t have to face a passing game anywhere close to what Florida State had. Ole Miss DBs ought to be able to handle every receiver on the Terrier’s team. Plus it would be great to give some of our younger guys an opportunity to step up and vie for more playing time.
The coaching staff should not have to worry about getting beat deep. Therefore, they should not have to give up 10 yard routes. To be honest, the defensive backs need a win Saturday. Not just a victory on the field, but they need to feel good about the role they play in the victory. They need success before the game against Alabama.
This Wofford game came at the right time. After last week’s game in college football, no win is guaranteed. However, the Rebels need to dominate Saturday. It would be nice if this game would mathematically over by halftime. The Rebels could use a happy week leading into week three.