By John Macon Gillespie
Ole Miss fell to No. 5 Florida 51-35 on Saturday, and defense was the Rebels’ weakness on the day.
Ole Miss gave up record-setting numbers to Gator quarterback Kyle Trask as they struggled to generate a pass rush and were outmatched in the secondary. Media members were given access to defensive back Keidron Smith on Monday, and Smith discussed the difficulties his unit faced on Saturday.
“[It comes down to] simply execution,” Smith said. “Coach called a pretty good game plan. It’s just up to us as players to line up correctly and execute. We shouldn’t have given up that many points and plays to the quarterback and tight end. We just have to learn from our mistakes this weekend.”
When asked how he and the defensive backs plan to fix a problem like execution, Smith said that they have to “lock in and pay attention to detail.”
Although execution was an issue for the Rebel secondary this weekend, Smith admitted that he felt that his unit was outmatched physically by Florida’s receivers.
“To be honest, I felt like it came down more to athletic ability,” Smith said. “It’s up to us as leaders to keep everyone’s heads held high.”
Ole Miss travels to Lexington this week to take on Kentucky who is fresh off a loss to Auburn. As of now, the Rebels don’t expect to see the same passing attack from Kentucky that they saw from Florida, but they do plan to see a healthy dose of the run.
“They’re disciplined up front and try to run the ball downhill,” Smith said. “Run-game heavy, and we’ve got to win on the outside.”
The last time Ole Miss and Kentucky faced off was also in Lexington, and D.K. Metcalf hauled in a game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter to knock off the Wildcats.
Ole Miss and Kentucky are scheduled to kick off at 3 p.m. on Saturday.