Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Jacquez Jones’ Take on Rebels’ Defense Struggles Against Florida

By John Macon Gillespie

Jacquez Jones looks on as the ball is intercepted by Ole Miss during Saturday’s season opener. Photo courtesy of Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics.

While Ole Miss’ offense looked explosive and capable on Saturday, the Rebel defense struggled mightily in a 51-35 loss to No. 5 Florida.

Kyle Trask and the Gator passing attack had a record-setting day. Trask threw for 416 yards and six touchdowns on the day, four of which went to tight end Kyle Pitts. Ole Miss linebacker Jacquez Jones had eight tackles on the day and was available to media after the game.

Jones commented on the efficiency of the Gator passing attack and what led to their success.

“Really, we weren’t prepared for how good their passing game really is,” Jones said. “We barely could get to the quarterback. We couldn’t get any pressure, and they just picked us apart. That’s something we’ve got to go in and fix.”

Jones and company had trouble covering the aforementioned Pitts who accumulated 170 receiving yards on the day. Pitts is expected to be an early pick in the NFL Draft.

“It’s hard,” Jones said. “[Pitts is] a great player. At the end of the day [covering him], is going to make me a better player.”

Although the Rebels struggled to stop the pass on Saturday, Jones believes the unit will improve in the weeks to come.

“We’re going to still be aggressive,” Jones said. “I put this game on me. Come Monday, next week and the rest of the season, this will be a new Ole Miss defense.”

The Rebels will hit the road next week for their first test away from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium when they take on Kentucky. The Wildcats fell to Auburn on Saturday 29-13 and came into the week ranked 23rd in the country. For comparison, Kentucky’s Terry Wilson threw for 239 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the game while the Wildcat backs mustered 145 yards on the ground.