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OM Safety Cody Prewitt: Bread and Butter of Defense

It’s a formula the Crimson Tide has used forever, it seems. Run, run, run then, when the opposing defense gets sucked in, play-action pass. According to Ole Miss Safety Cody Prewitt, discipline is the only way to combat it’s effectiveness.

Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Communication
Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Communication

The defensive positions that feel the most pressure against an offensive attack like Alabama uses is, without question, the safeties.

Against Bama, the first chore is always trying to stop the run, but in doing so, defenses have to commit more players to the box then they would like.

Consequently, that usually involves the safeties filling a run lane.

That’s when the Tide changes courses by faking to the back and throwing downfield.

Those who follow SEC football closely have seen Alabama do it hundreds of times. A formula, for them, that is tried and true because normally their run game is so potent.

Rebel Safety Cody Prewitt knows what to expect and how to combat the play-action.

“We will have our keys to watch for. If you have your eyes in the right place and follow your keys, you can get used to it,” Prewitt noted, “but there is no doubt it puts more pressure on you to be alert.

“One false step or one missed or poor read of the keys we have to follow and it’s a big play. Alabama won’t throw it 40 times, usually, but when they do throw the ball, they are effective and good at it. They have a senior quarterback who has won two national championships and they have excellent receivers – probably their best receiving corps in a while. There is no doubt they are good at what they do.”

The Rebels lost the game in Tuscaloosa a year ago 33-14, but Prewitt remembers it as a hard-fought contest that gained the respect of the Tide players.

“I felt like we played them hard and were more physical than them. I’m sure they will remember that and will come out Saturday with their best,” he noted. “I think it will be a throw down.

“We have no doubts this will be a 60-minute battle and we know we have to play as mistake-free as possible. That’s where they get everyone – they grind and grind until you make a mistake and then they hit you hard with a big play. When you play them, though, stopping the run has to be the first priority.”

Prewitt has no illusions about what Tide team the Rebels will face when it’s time to kick it off.

“They had some players miss some time against Colorado State. We fully expect them to be fully loaded Saturday,” he continued. “That’s what we want – their best in that atmosphere.

“We want to see where we stand and there’s no better place than in Tuscaloosa with two undefeated teams. We love to play in that type of environment.”

He fully understands the Rebels will have their hands full in this contest.

“They have always had great backs and a tough, physical line, but now I think they are more multi-dimensional because of the experience of A.J. McCarron and the trust they have in him, plus, as I said, the best group of receivers, who can all make big plays, that they have had,” he noted.

Prewitt said he does not think there will be an issue in the Rebels being focused for 60 minutes. In fact, he believes it will be easier in some respects than in some games.

“You’re playing the number one team in the nation and you know if you make a mistake, they will hurt you,” he explained. “In that sense, it’s easier to maintain your focus and stay tuned in and alert.

“Every play can be a game changer against them. They thrive on your mistakes. They are patient and disciplined and you have to react in kind.”

The Rebels, according to Prewitt, are a more confident team than they were a year ago when they invaded T-Town.

“We are already two games (wins) ahead of where we were last year at this time. We lost to both Vandy and Texas last year. We won them both this year. We are really confident,” he added. “I also think it’s a humble confidence. We are not over-confident, we are just looking forward to matching up with the best and seeing what happens.”

Prewitt had an opportunity, to say the least, to get two interceptions against Texas, but he dropped them both, to his chagrin.

“We need playmakers and I want to be a part of that. Missing those picks against Texas was a real character builder for me. I know I can’t let those chances get by me from now on,” Prewitt said.

The magnitude of this game is as big as it gets for this Rebel program, and Prewitt clearly gets that.

“I think it goes without saying that this is the biggest challenge we have faced,” Prewitt closed. “If we were to pull it off, there’s no doubt it would be huge for Rebel Nation and this program.

“But I try not to think about all of that. Our job is to go over there and lay it all on the line for 60 minutes. That’s what we intend to do.”

Run, run, run, play-action.

It’s coming.

The Rebs, and Cody Prewitt, say they are braced for the inevitable.

Chuck Rounsaville, OMSpirit.com Publisher

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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