Its week-two of the 2018 Ole Miss football season and as the Rebels prepare for SIU there has been talk from Oxford about injuries and more SIU.
As week-two of the 2018 Ole Miss football season is getting closer to game day the Rebels are busy working. Coach Matt Luke addressed several things the Rebels would be working on this week in his Monday press conference. Luke also addressed the post Texas Tech injury report and the statuses of those players moving forward and what effect those injuries might have on the depth chart.
After Wednesdays practice Matt Luke once again addressed those same subjects and discussed Southern Illinois a little further. Much of the week the Rebels were forced indoors as a result of the adverse weather from Hurricane Gordon. After a long practice inside the IPF Luke addressed the injury situation.
Luke On Injuries
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While the Rebels got out of Houston, Texas with a big 47-27 win over the Red Raiders it didn’t come without some injuries. Besides the season ending injury to corner-back Jaylon Jones there was also linebacker Kevontae’ Ruggs and wide-receiver DaMarkus Lodge who both suffered concussions.
According to David Johnson of OMSpirit, Luke said both Ruggs and Lodge were still under concussion protocol and being monitored closely. At that time Ruggs was considered doubtful and Lodge who had not practiced was listed as questionable for the SIU game Saturday.
Luke mentioned should Lodge not practice Thursday it would be likely he would be out of Saturdays game. Monday coach Luke had mentioned senior center Sean Rawlings was dealing with shoulder and knee issues but said nothing further about it this week which leads us to believe Rawlings is good to go.
Luke Talks More On SIU
This week coach Matt Luke addressed the Rebels home opener against FCS member Southern Illinois. Luke talked about the excitement of the first home game and the new Rebels who will be able to experience their first ‘Walk of Champions’ and the atmosphere of the Vaught on gameday. According to OleMissSports.com,
"“Some of these kids are freshmen, and it’ll be the first time for them walking through The Grove and having an opportunity to play in front of our home fans. I’m really excited to get back in Vaught-Hemingway and play in front of our fans.” ~Coach Matt Luke"
Ole Miss football kicked off its 2018 season with a win over Big12 member Texas Tech and next week the Rebels will host coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. Coach Luke calmed fears the Rebels might not be focused for SIU.
"“What we really focus on is us getting better and having a standard. We didn’t play our best football Week 1. If we can find a way to get better at all the little things—third downs, red zone—there are plenty of things we can get better at, and that’s what our focus is on.” ~Coach Matt Luke"
Luke turned the focus towards Southern Illinois and discussed the challenge of facing a whole new style of offense which focuses on the run game.
"“I think it’ll be a challenge. It’s totally different going from spread to seeing some three-tight-end sets,” Luke said. “We’re going to play a lot of teams who get in big personnel and try to run it at us. It’ll be a challenge for us to stop the run, and they’re really good at mixing in deep shots off of that.” ~Coach Matt Luke"
Southern Illinois rushed for 300 yards in their season opener win against Murray State. However, this week once again the Rebels will face a tough stingy defense which is clearly focused on creating turnovers. The Salukis had 7 turnovers with 3 going for TDs. SIU may be a FCS team but they are tough and scrappy and will present a challenge for the Rebels early in the game.
Please be sure to visit and like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for the latest Rebels updates. The Rebels will host the Southern Illinois Salukis Saturday with kickoff from the Vaught set for 3pm CT. The game will be televised via SEC Network. Good luck to coach Matt Luke and the Rebels! BEAT THE SALUKIS! Hotty Toddy!