OXFORD, miss. – Successfully running the ball is demoralizing for an opposing defense as it opens up the playbook for attacking to exploit defensive deficiencies. However, Ole Miss didn’t have to open the playbook much further than playing rushed games in last week’s 48-34 result win over Auburn.
“Whatever they said, I think that’s the most yards in 10 years in an SEC-vs-SEC game. We had two really explosive running games – against Georgia Tech and this game. We have to be consistent and let the ball run really well.”
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin at Monday’s press conference
Consistency and a good run were key against Auburn, as the Rebels’ offense brought in 448 rushing yards, including three rushers (QB Jaxson Dart, RB Zach Evans and RB Quinshon Judkins) who each eclipsed a hundred yards.
— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) October 16, 2022
While acknowledging the running game’s achievements over the past week, Kiffin reiterated that those numbers are hard to come by in the SEC.
“The numbers aren’t going to be like this every week,” Kiffin said.
“coach people. They prepare to stop certain games once you’ve run them. It’s not like we just ran inside the zone normally and did all those yards. There was a lot of schematic perimeter runs and rift blocking and stuff that people will train. You don’t have to keep playing the same pieces and I think they work for a very long time.”
With a road game against LSU coming up this weekend, Kiffin was asked about Tigers QB Jayden Daniels, whose successful rushing and passing performances in the SEC game pose a threat to the Rebels defense.
“I thought he played great running and throwing the other night,” Kiffin said of Daniels.
“I’ve seen him before when he was moved, I’ve only seen him over time. Very explosive player and then they seem to have the receivers going and were really great in third place and generally great when they threw the ball.”
Lane Kiffin on LSU QB Jayden Daniels
SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week Jared Ivey understands this week’s challenge when defending Daniels, and his defense is looking to improve on their performance against Auburn.
“We just have to come and play more physically, be able to do our checks and our reads, and go out and play a more violent game,” Ivey said.
The Rebel defense gave Auburn a season-high 301 rushing yards last week, including 179 yards and two touchdowns against Tiger RB Tank Bigsby. Ivey explained that they continue to practice tackles, which was a disadvantage in last week’s game.
“There’s a lot of things we do,” Ivey said. “We’re doing bagwork, donut stuff and a live phase on Tuesday with the tight ends. So we’re using whatever we can to address something fully out of this time.”
As the offense looks to continue their rapid success and the defense looks to learn from their mistakes, Kiffin explained that there was another factor at play this week: the crowd. Tiger Stadium has historically been a nightmare for street teams, particularly Ole Miss, who hasn’t won at Baton Rouge since 2008.
“A lot of teams didn’t do very well there. They have a great winning record there over the years. Your audience understands football and is just as excited about it as any place you go.”
Lane Kiffin at Tiger Stadium
Kiffin is hoping to continue the team’s unbeaten season and break the Rebels’ six-game losing streak at Death Valley.
“We just have to stay focused and play every game and do our job,” Kiffin said. “[There are] a lot of challenges just staying focused and doing things really well. That will be very challenging.”
The Rebels will be looking to win 8-0 for the first time since the team’s last national championship in 1962 and will continue their fight for the SEC West crown this Saturday in Baton Rouge against LSU. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on CBS.
(Credit Image: Dan Anderson, The Rebel Walk)
Trevor is a senior at Ole Miss and is pursuing a degree in journalism with a focus on sports communication and promotion. He has previous sports experience for another website, including a variety of Ole Miss sports. Raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, he has pelicans and saints in his blood. He was also raised in an LSU family, but his love for Ole Miss continues to grow. Trevor hopes to return to his hometown to cover sports after college. Laissez les bons temps Rouler!