Football training report: defense dominates the day
Jared Redding, OleMissSports.com
Kiffin impressed with defensive performance in Saturday scrum
OXFORD, Miss. – All of the progress and improvements the Ole Miss defense made over the past week was revealed again during their second team scrum inside a damp Vaught-Hemingway stadium.
A week after being set on fire in the passing and running game, the defense overturned the script and immediately received praise from the head coach. Kiffin Lane when he met the press afterwards.
“It’s nice that the weather has held up so we can stay outside, work better outside than inside. It didn’t look like we were going to be able to do that,” Kiffin said. “Our defense reacted very well and played very well. We did one and one and two and two. We did a good job limiting explosive play and not missing tackles. Overall it was a good defensive day. Good to see. “
This time around, the defense was able to cover well in the deep end and come out of the field on the third down. The defensive line, Sam williams in particular, stood out in the eyes of their head coach. Cedric Johnson was also one of those guys helping their cause, releasing a week of frustration from last time by faking in their home stadium.
“(Defensive coordinator DJ Durkin) he takes it very personally and gives us an edge to go even stronger next week,” Johnson said. “Everyone came in with a different level of energy. He made sure we stopped each game as much as we could.”
Johnson, a sophomore from Mobile, Alabama, got opportunities late last season and delivered when his name was called. His late-game sack against Indiana with the game on the line helped preserve an Outback Bowl victory gave him all the confidence he needed to take him to the next level the following year.
“It made me feel more comfortable being a freshman in these big games,” Johnson said. “I think I’m much bigger and stronger. Mentally I have a lot more confidence in myself. I feel like the team has more confidence in me. Coaches at all levels have more confidence in me. me.”
Keeping an attack that should be among the strongest in the country under control has also played a big part in Johnson’s confidence as well as the defense as a whole. Offensive side, Caleb warren has taken notice in advance after the scrum and will look to reciprocate when his teammates return to the training ground.
“We’ve had a few bad plays, but nothing that we couldn’t fix in a meeting,” Warren said.
With fall classes starting Monday, August 23, the Rebels will be looking to focus their attention on their first game of the season, including a mock game at the end of the week.
The Rebels open their 2021 season in Atlanta, Ga. Against Louisville in the 2021 Chick-Fil-A kickoff game. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. CT and will be televised nationally by ESPN.
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