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First, let’s all address the 800 lb gorilla in the room. Our defense is very porous at best. However, this defense is simply learning to play together. They’ve seen what playing hard can do. So far we’ve seen very little of the true Landshark D which we had grown used to under former DC Dan Werner. Of course, that was last season and now we have current DC Wesley McGriff.
Personally, I really don’t like the bend but don’t break defense which this has become. Eventually you run into a Bama or an Auburn and you get humbled. We’ve seen it happen this season. Although this defense has faltered at times through three consecutive losses, they did show up big time for homecoming.
The Rebels defense held Vandy’s ground game to only 188 net yards which is a dramatic improvement from the defense thru three losses. They also pressured the Vandy QB. Vanderbilt Commodore’s quarterback Kyle Shurmur had a rough afternoon thanks to the Rebel defense. On the day the Rebel defense got to Shurmer six times. Marquis Haynes and DaMarquis Gates practically lived in the backfield all day. Haynes and Gates both combined for 5 sacks in the game. Haynes also had a safety in the game.
So far, this defense has shown improvement. They are beginning to play hard and fast and that’s always a recipe for success in college football. Fewer mistakes on coverage and a much better performance when it comes to tackling mean a better grade.
Defense Grade, B-