Matt Luke previews Vanderbilt

The Rebels begin a three game homestand.

Posted: Nov 7, 2017 8:29 AM

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - Ole Miss Football Head Coach Matt Luke met with the media Monday to recap the Auburn game, and preview Saturday’s game versus Vanderbilt (2:30 p.m., SEC Network)

Opening Statement…

“Reviewing the tape, I really saw a lot of positives to pull from the game offensively. I thought our tempo was the best it has been all year. The O-line played by far its best game. In turn, Shea Patterson looked much more comfortable. The biggest thing coming away from that game is we’ve got to finish in the red zone. We had some one-on-one opportunities that we’ve got to make. The space gets tight down there, and we’ve just got to really focus on finishing when we get down there. A lot of positives to take away. Defensively, in the first half, there were way too many explosive plays. Too many chunk plays. It’s just us being a little bit out of position here and there. I thought at halftime, they did a really good job of challenging those guys. They didn’t change anything schematically, but they came out much more focused and played better. I think there were a lot of positives you could take from there, but just too many mental errors and alignment issues in the first half and it cost us. We’ve been on the road for a month now, so we’re excited to get back home and play against a very good Vanderbilt team. I have a lot of respect for coach Derek Mason and the program they have. We’re excited to get back in front of our fans. Coming back, walking through The Grove, playing in Vaught-Hemingway, I think our players are excited about that. We’re going to build on the second half of Auburn. That’s going to be the turning point of our season. We’re excited to get back home three weeks in a row. We’re looking forward to this challenge.”

Injury report…
“Injury wise, Ty Quick will probably be out for a while. He hurt his knee — MCL strain, probably out three weeks. Dawson Knox came out fine. Sean Rawlings played well. Jordan Sims played more, which helped him this week. Benito Jones, Ken Webster, DeMarquis Gates are all a little banged up, but we’ll be fine. Gary Wunderlich, he just keeps tightening his hamstring up. It’s not a major injury, it’s just a nagging hamstring injury. Hopefully he’ll be back this week, but he’ll probably be a game-time decision again.”

On the enthusiasm on the sideline in the second half…
“I really challenged them. I wanted to see a difference. I saw some young guys growing up. I saw Sean Rawlings and Shea Patterson come to the defensive huddle. When guys made tackles, I saw the sideline look like it’s supposed to look. It was probably the best half of football we’ve played since Texas A&M last year. I think they started to see what it can be. We’ve just got to build on that.”

On moving receivers around…
“When I say ‘be simple,’ it means conceptually. You can do things to change the looks but still run the same plays. The more we can do that and give a defense a different look but still run the same play or run the same play with a small variation, I think that makes us better. It made our tempo better. We were in a better rhythm on Saturday against a good defense than we have been. The protection was helped because of it. The ball came out faster because of it. At times, we looked like how a really good offense is supposed to look.”

On getting off to better starts defensively…
“It’s just focusing in and playing with the energy and the focus it takes to win in this league. You can’t give up explosive plays. When we sat down and watched the whole tape together as a defense, it was one guy here, one guy there. You just can’t have those and expect to win on the road in this league. You’ve got to make them earn it all the way down the field. There were countless of opportunities to get off the field on that first drive. Two third downs, had a fourth down where Marquis Haynes had him in the backfield — we just have to make the little plays and just stay the course and keep working and it’ll go in our favor.

On what Vanderbilt did successfully to stop Shea last year…
“We can’t focus on last year. We have to focus on this year. Shea is a different player. They’re a different defense now. They did a good job at mixing up the looks on him though. They had him not knowing where to go with the football. But we’ve got to focus on this year.”

On the Vanderbilt run defense…
“Coach Mason is a good coach and they’re going to be ready to play against us. We’ve got to watch the tape and attack them where we can attack them. But they have a lot of returning players, and we’ll have our work cut out for us.”

On converting on third-and-short…
“The third-and-shorts, we got stopped on one I believe, and it was just a one-on-one where the safety made a good tackle. But we also converted on some fourth-and-shorts. I was happy to see us on the goal line and come in untouched. We got in on third-and-two and ran power a couple times. I was happy to see D’Vaughn Pennamon and Eric Swinney hit some third-and-shorts. We made a lot of improvements on third downs. You saw third and manageable. It wasn’t third-and-15 where you’re taking sacks or having penalties. It was much cleaner. As far as handling the noise, no pre-snap, it just looked better. The thing coming out of it is, when you’re playing against a good defense and you move it down there, you’ve got to score touchdowns. If you move the ball against Auburn and get in the red zone, which we did on the first two drives, it’s got to be 14-14. It can’t be 14-3. That’s the key. If that happens, it’s a different game. We have to finish when we get down there. When you go down there, you have to win one-on-ones. Everything gets tighter. You have to step up. Your focus has to go up and you have to win your one-on-ones when you get down there.”

On the offensive line play against Auburn…
“We challenged them before the game that Auburn’s defensive front was the strength of their team. We just challenged them to play better and they did. They played their best game as a whole. It’s not anybody in particular. They all played pretty well as a unit. I don’t want to single anyone out. I thought they all played well as a unit. Daronte Bouldin really responded and played his best game since he’s been here. He played really physical, got after it.”

On Vanderbilt running back Ralph Webb…
“The best compliment you can give anyone is consistency and he’s been a consistently good player for a long, long time. To take the physical pounding in this league and to keep going, I’ve got a lot of respect for him as a player and a person.”

On what they are focused the most on against Vanderbilt…
“I think building on the second half from the Auburn game. I think some of these young players are starting to grow up and starting to believe. We want to build on that. We want them to walk out there with confidence. We want to build on the positives we saw. Obviously the results aren’t what we wanted, but we have to build on the positives moving forward, and I think that’s what we’ll do this week.”

On the progression of D.K. Metcalf…
“D.K. Metcalf was disappointed in some of the stuff that happened in the first half. He really was one of the guys on the sideline who was very vocal. As a redshirt freshman, that’s very impressive. There was one play on the punt team, he went and got the gunner and took the gunner out. He said, ‘I’m going down there and covering this punt.’ That’s what you want to see. I think that’s the maturing and growing process. In big-time games, you need guys like him to step up. You’re starting to see him get comfortable doing that. I think you’ll see more of that.”

On if the team has found itself…
“I don’t know if they found themselves, but it was definitely a different feell on that sideline in the second half. The result was not what we wanted, but I felt like they thought, ‘If we focus and we play like this, we can play with anybody in the country.’ We said at halftime that this second half is going to be the turning point of the season regardless of what happens. And they responded. If there was ever a time to quit, it was right then, and they didn’t. They didn’t throw in the towel, they didn’t go in the corner and cover up, they came out and they fought. I’m excited to build on that moving forward and finally get back home in front of our home crowd. I saw them having fun playing football.”

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 501652

Reported Deaths: 10024
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34353540
DeSoto32162408
Hinds31977631
Jackson24508383
Rankin22015390
Lee15596235
Madison14597280
Jones13867243
Forrest13461252
Lauderdale11998317
Lowndes11065188
Lamar10522136
Pearl River9547237
Lafayette8557140
Hancock7740127
Washington7443160
Oktibbeha7147133
Monroe6787178
Warren6706176
Pontotoc6677104
Neshoba6642206
Panola6542131
Marshall6476135
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Union605794
Pike5824152
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Lincoln5439135
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Scott473098
Tippah470381
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Itawamba4640105
Adams4592119
Tate4592111
Copiah448792
Simpson4448116
Yazoo444887
Wayne440072
Covington429094
Sunflower4240105
Marion4232108
Coahoma4168107
Leake408688
Newton381779
Grenada3711108
Stone360664
Tishomingo360092
Attala331789
Jasper330165
Winston314691
Clay308977
Chickasaw301067
Clarke292594
Calhoun279447
Holmes267987
Smith264150
Yalobusha234547
Tallahatchie228251
Greene219449
Walthall218764
Lawrence213140
Perry205956
Amite205256
Webster203046
Noxubee186840
Montgomery179657
Jefferson Davis172243
Carroll169338
Tunica160039
Benton149239
Kemper141941
Choctaw133326
Claiborne132837
Humphreys129638
Franklin120328
Quitman106528
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94734
Sharkey64220
Issaquena1937
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 820312

Reported Deaths: 15407
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1148731924
Mobile726221339
Madison52362697
Shelby37640350
Baldwin37266552
Tuscaloosa35120612
Montgomery34123740
Lee23540246
Calhoun22236488
Morgan20958378
Etowah19838500
Marshall18381304
Houston17394412
St. Clair16078339
Cullman15468293
Limestone15354199
Elmore15271286
Lauderdale14323295
Talladega13851283
DeKalb12664261
Walker11221370
Blount10207176
Autauga10048148
Jackson9877184
Coffee9211191
Dale8904185
Colbert8877201
Tallapoosa7093198
Escambia6778134
Covington6715183
Chilton6648162
Russell637559
Franklin5969105
Chambers5612142
Marion5010127
Dallas4979200
Pike4796106
Clarke475884
Geneva4575127
Winston4522103
Lawrence4327117
Bibb425386
Barbour357876
Marengo338390
Monroe331664
Randolph329864
Butler326796
Pickens316584
Henry312866
Hale311688
Cherokee302960
Fayette294180
Washington251651
Cleburne247760
Crenshaw245375
Clay243368
Macon234863
Lamar224847
Conecuh186353
Coosa180340
Lowndes175464
Wilcox168939
Bullock151744
Perry138940
Sumter133238
Greene126744
Choctaw88527
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