Ole Miss Coordinators Dave Wommack and Dan Werner didn’t build Troy up to be giant killers or a powerhouse, but in their postgame interviews, it sounded as if even they were surprised about the 51-21 outcome. It was an easy day at the office for the Rebels.
Ole Miss Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner anticipated a big offensive day for the Rebels against Troy, but he didn’t imagine the Rebels would set a school record with 751 yards of total offense.
“We talk to our guys every week that it doesn’t matter who we are playing – we have to get prepared the same way and play good football,” said Werner. “Obviously, they are starting to take those talks to heart.
“The guys followed the gameplan, they were extremely efficient and we were overcoming some penalties that made us look a little sloppy early on until we got those corrected. But even having said that, I didn’t expect to run up that much yardage, especially since we played backups from late in the third quarter on for the most part.”
Was Troy’s defense that bad or Ole Miss’ offense that efficient? Werner wants to lean to the side of Ole Miss getting better on offense.
“Last week, we had over 500 yards against Arkansas. This week we set a school record for total yards. I just think we are executing really well right now,” said Dan. “It’s not like we are coming up with a whole bunch of new plays – although we tweak things weekly depending on our oppoent. ”
“I just think we are executing and guys have bought in that we will put them in position to make plays. It’s up to them to make them and they have.”
The Rebels started off not being able to get much going with the run game, much like last week against the Hogs. Troy was overpopulating the line of scrimmage, so the Rebs went to the passing game, which was on the money, for the most part.
“Once we started throwing on them almost at will, Troy had to back off and play honestly and we were able to run the ball,” he continued. “We ended up with 61 runs for 382 yards – over 6 yards a carry.
“We were also able to throw for another 370 yards, which left Troy in a bad situation.”
Werner called Bo Wallace’s day “efficient” and he was very pleased as well with backup Barry Brunetti‘s play. Wallace threw for 272 yards and rushed for a team-leading 66 yards. Brunetti threw for 97 yards and moved the chains regularly when in the shortgun.
“Bo was very efficient. I didn’t see any decisions that were bad. He wasn’t close to being intercepted,” Dan stated. “We were 11-17 on third downs and a lot of that credit goes to Bo and Barry.
“It has really helped Barry’s game now that he is having some success throwing the ball. Defenses have to play him honestly now because if they crowd the box, he can hurt them throwing the ball now. He’s become a threat to do either.”
Werner was mesmerized by freshman WR Laquon Treadwell’s 25-yard catch-and-run for the Rebs’ first score of the day. Quon broke five tackles on the play.
“I kept expecting him to get tackled and my mind was spinning on what to call next. Then he’s break another tackle and I’m in that mode of what to call next again. Then he scored and I didn’t have to worry about the next call,” Dan laughed. “What a great run he made. We’ve come to expect that of him.
“He is so physical, he reminds me of a young Michael Irvin who was at Miami when I was. Michael wasn’t a burner, but he knew how to get open, he had very strong hands and when he caught the ball he was going to do something with it.”
Freshman Quincy Adeboyejo also had a TD catch of 24 yards.
“That was awesome for him. He is going to be a great talent. We just have so many quality receivers it’s hard to get him in the game right now as much as we would like,” said Dan. “I’m glad to see him get an opportunity and to capitalize on it.”
Overall, Werner couldn’t be happier for the whole receiving corps.
“They went through a little slump for a couple of games, which happens, but since then, they have been lights out,” Werner noted. “We’ve thrown for a lot of yards lately and it’s not all the quarterbacks. The receivers are going and getting the ball. They are talented guys.”
Werner is also happy with the development of the offensive line.
“I don’t believe we gave up a sack today. We gained over 700 yards on offense –the guys up front are doing their jobs” he said.
The one dark spot on an otherwise unblemished day was five false start penalties. “I think guys are just a little antsy to get off the ball quickly and protect the edge or get a jump on pulling,” he explained. “We will get it ironed out, but it is a little frustrating.”
Defensive Coordiantor Dave Wommack said he was “concerned” coming into the contest with Troy.
“I’ve faced them before, two years ago. That quarterback can throw it and their receivers are good,” noted Wommack. “I was definitely concerned, but our guys played exceptionally well after we gave up an early score.
“I was proud to see our backups get a lot of reps and proud we left the game without any injuries I am aware of.”
Freshman DT Robert Nkemdiche had his best game as a Rebel, registering one sack and a couple of tackles behind the LOS.
“He did good. I think he has knocked a lot of the rust off from the time he missed due to injury. All he needs is experience,” said Dave. “The more reps he gets, the better he will get. I was pleased to see him get the penetration he was getting today.”
About the backups who got substantial playing time, Wommack mentioned CB Derrick Jones as one who caught his eye.
“Derrick is going to be a phenomenal player. To see him do some of the things he does so quickly in his career is pretty amazing,” noted Dave. “I wish we could have redshirted him, but the silver lining is that he’s getting valuable experience and we need him to finish this year out.
“I have not seen any of Missouri yet, but our GAs have broken them down and they keep running to may office talking about how big their wideouts are. It’s good to know we can put Derrick in there against those bigger wideouts and feel comfortable he’s out there.”
Wommack has had to scheme around three defensive ends being out – C.J. Johnson, Carlos Thompson and John Youngblood. He turned to D.T. Shackelford, a LB willing to play DE.
“D.T. is valuable to us. He can play LB and DE and that’s important to us right now in the shape we are in at DE,” Wommack noted. “I’m proud he’s getting a chance and producing.”
— Chuck Rounsaville, OMSpirit.com Publisher