Wednesday, August 17, 2022

MoMo Sanogo is Ready to Change the Ole Miss Defense

By John Macon Gillespie

Momo Sanogo throws up a Landshark sign. Photo by Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics

MoMo Sanogo is a part of a defense that, statistically, has been among the worst in the nation this season, but he is intent on helping change that.

Sanogo spoke with media earlier this week on issues like players “fitting” in a defense, keeping focus and sticking to the correct assignments.

“I feel like it’s been a lapse of mental focus,” Sanogo said. “We need to be focused on our specific job every play and go win our one-on-one matchups. I think if we do that, we can be a really successful defense.”

There has been much talk about a talent deficiency on the defensive side of the ball for Ole Miss so far this season, but Sanogo believes the root cause of the Rebels’ problem stems from a different issue.

“It’s about how you perform and whether or not you do your job,” Sanogo said. “That’s what it comes down to.”

For a defense that has struggled to generate stops this season, confidence, or a lack thereof, has become somewhat of a factor in the minds of the defensive Rebels, but Sanogo believes that a few positive swings in Ole Miss’ direction can help change that trajectory.

“Obviously when you’re not performing to your standard, there’s a drop in confidence,” Sanogo said, “but I feel like we’re plays away from that confidence being through the roof.”

Sanogo touched on different mistakes that have been made on defense this season and stated that while it is impossible to eliminate all mistakes from football, they need to serve as learning experiences moving forward, beginning this Saturday. 

“Once you make that mistake, it needs to be corrected,” Sanogo said. “You need to be conscious of the mistakes you’ve made in the past and learn from them.”

This week, Ole Miss travels to Arkansas to take on the Razorbacks, something that Sanogo sees as a large opportunity to begin righting the ship defensively.

“I think it’s very important. We fully trust our offense to go out there and do what they do. Now it’s time to go against a good offense that put Auburn up against the ropes and go make a statement defensively.”

Kickoff between Ole Miss and Arkansas is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

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