DaMarkus Lodge Offers Assessment Of Kent State Defense

DaMarkus Lodge Offers Assessment Of Kent State Defense

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Will Alabama score over 50 points for the fourth week in a row? Will Tua Tagovailoa continue to thrive against a much tougher Texas A&M defense? Can the Tide stop Aggies QB Kellen Mond?In this weeks episode of Alabama Head to Head, AL.coms Lauren Sisler and WJOXs Jim Dunaway discuss some of the biggest challenges the Texas A&M Aggies present for the Crimson Tide.Top-ranked Alabama enters week four of the college football season coming off its SEC opener, defeating Ole Miss on the road 62-7. The Crimson Tide returns to Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday to host Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies. Nick Saban is currently 12-0 against former assistants. Kickoff is set for 2:30pm CT. 

Luke, though, still couldnt put last weekends 62-7 loss in the rearview mirror, as he was peppered with questions about the Crimson Tide. In a call that lasted six minutes and 44 seconds, six of the seven questions asked of Luke pertained to Alabama.

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“You know what, offensively, I think we could have done a better job just protecting and maybe getting the ball out a little bit quicker,” Luke said. “Maybe not quite as many down-the-field balls, even though we were successful and had a chance for the first two plays being touchdowns. Maybe triggering the ball a little bit faster.

In McGriffs first season as coordinator, Ole Miss defense registered 115th of 129 teams, finishing dead last in the SEC and giving up 460 yards a game. McGriff is a talented recruiter, and there is something to be said about giving him time to succeed with guys who fit his schemes. But with NFL-caliber skill at nearly every offensive position, this team has no time to waste.

“Obviously, defensively, weve just got to make the plays in one-on-one situations. A couple of times we got out of our gap and let Tua scramble for a first down. But again, just knowing exactly where your help is, what leverage you want to play with. But I dont think, as far as the one-on-ones, we wanted to go in being aggressive, so I dont think we would have changed that.”

“Up front to me was the difference in the game. I thought they were able to get pressure on Jordan (Taamu). It probably started with that quarterback draw where they were able to get a good hit on us and force a turnover. But they were able to get pressure on the quarterback, where weve been pretty comfortable in the pocket for two games before that,” he said.

In these contests, Ole Miss has a lackluster 4-7 record. The offense averages only 27.8 points and 279 yards through the air per game. Compared to the rest of the SECs records versus Power Five opponents, Ole Miss scoring offense would be seventh-best, behind Missouri, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Auburn, Georgia and Alabama.

“Looking forward to bounce back from a tough loss to Alabama. We had a really, really good practice yesterday and were excited about the challenge of taking on Kent State. Its an 11 oclock kickoff, so an early game, but looking forward to getting back on the field to try to get that bad taste out of our mouth,” he said.

Theres a constant anxiety and uncertainty about co-editing a website, especially when youre not particularly or consistently good at editing a website in the first place. Theres a further anxiety when the biggest game of the season to date for Red Cup Rebellions devotive football team is occurring in the smack-middle of a hurricane evacuation. The Rebs playing the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in Week 3 in Oxford initially promised some real possibility for craziness — especially given these teams recent back-and-forth history.

Luke was asked his thoughts on the Kent State offense and the problems out of the gate that has plagued the Ole Miss defense for the last two weeks.

“Kent State is an up-tempo spread offense. They do a really good job of spreading the field with wide stacks and bunches to try to create space to run the ball inside. They do a really good job with their screens and there and-goes off the screens where they pop the screen and throw it deep. I think they do a nice job with that,” Luke shared.

Perhaps some followers of Ole Miss football had other, nay, better expectations for Saturdays outcome. Perhaps others more or less expected another lopsided outcome, but held out a candle of hope that the Rebel offense could (maybe, sort of) hang with Bamas explosive new machine. Still others perhaps expected a loss but anticipated encouraging results and extrapolations inside that loss. Most, er, all things in life run on a spectrum of pessimism to optimism.

“As far as us getting off to a faster start, I think that goes to the coaches and getting guys to execute earlier and just executing the call and doing it with passion and energy. I think well do that this week.”

Ole Miss (2-1, 0-1 SEC) and Kent State (1-2, 0-0 MAC) will be televised on the SEC Network. It is the first meeting between the two programs.

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