Sunday, January 23, 2022

A.J. Finley Says It’s Time for Ole Miss Football to ‘Get Rolling’

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

A.J. Finley making an interception against the Gators. Photo courtesy of Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics

Ole Miss sophomore defensive back A.J. Finley and the rest of the land shark defense is preparing for the task of taking on the Vanderbilt Commodores this Saturday afternoon in the Music City.

“[Vanderbilt] is big on the outside receiver. We really have to stop their deep balls and stop the run game,” Finley said. “All of their receivers are over six foot they’re pretty big guys so we got to be physical on the perimeter and get off blocks and make tackles.”

The Rebel defense have played in some close games in the past few weeks that have gone the other way. 

“It is always tough going in and losing late in the game,” Finley said. “As a team, we’re really focusing on finishing a game so late in practice we always have a two minute period and get tired.  We come into practice and gotta go in the game work hard and finish.”

Over the last two weeks the defense has found a rhythm and success.

“We’ve been a lot better on doing our job,” Finley said. “We still got some things that we need to correct as well, but as a team, we’ve made an improvement.”

The Commodores have not played a game since Oct. 10 as they try to get back to speed.

“…We’re not trying to get back going,” he said. “We’re already fresh … know what we are doing … got to get rolling.”

The Mobile, Ala. native and the rest of his teammates are halfway through the grind of a tough 10-game conference-only slate, and they know there is still more work to be done.

“Losing is never how I expect things to go,” Finely said. “For the rest of the five games, I hope we get out and get dubs. I just want to go and win more games. We just got to go and finish.”

The Landshark defense lost a leader last week when Jaylon Jones was ruled out for the remainder of the season. 

“Missing someone with that much experience always hurts, but I think we found a way to get our job done,” Finley said. “It always hurts to lose somebody like that, but we got to keep pushing forward.”

Finley and the Rebels will square off against the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday at 3 p.m. on the SEC Network.