Ole Miss Football: A Positive Look At The New Crimedawg Defense

OXFORD, MS - OCTOBER 01: Zedrick Woods
OXFORD, MS - OCTOBER 01: Zedrick Woods /
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Defensive Line

Coach McGriff has a very talented group within his defense to work with. Like him, it all begins with his coaches. With Freddie Roach as DL coach and Bradley Dale Peveto as LB coach you have practically a new staff. In fact, DB coach Jason Jones is the only holdover from Wommack’s old staff. There is a new plan for success and it revolves around new faces and experienced talent.

When you look at the returners for this defense you immediately think of Marquis Haynes. The Chucky Mullins Award winner is on the verge of having a record-setting season at DE. Of course, you have to consider the source of the mayhem which allows Haynes to record-chase this season. It comes in the form of two big-time DTs in Breeland Speaks and Benito Jones. Up front for the Ole Miss defense there will be chaos on the line of scrimmage.


One of the trouble spots we saw last season was at the linebacker spot. Of course, we were very young there last season when it came to depth. Seniors DeMarquis Gates and Taylor Polk return and the experience they bring can go a long way to making the Rebels defense return to tough LB play. Don’t forget sophomore Willie Hibbler and I’m sure we’ll see a lot of freshman Josh Clarke.

The key for this defense is being able to rely on solid linebacker play. If you look at the Ole Miss roster the lack of experienced depth jumps out at you pretty quick. However, this season should be better with the incoming talent at the LB position should they remain healthy.