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Rebel Defense Shines at Practice

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

As the calendar turns to the month of April, the Ole Miss football team is at the halfway point of spring practice with the Grove Bowl just around the corner. 

Head coach Lane Kiffin and his staff had the team inside the Vaught on Saturday for a scrimmage in which the defense dominated. Following practice on Tuesday, Kiffin met with the media and discussed practice.

“I have been pleased with our defense as they have made explosive plays,” Kiffin said. “Attitude and confidence, which is a big key for us. Offensively we have a lot of players out all around, especially skills. That’s not helped the quarterback play, obviously.”

The defense has a lot of returning pieces from a group that was just beginning to get it together at the end of the 2020 season, managing to finish 5-5 and with a 26-20 win over Indiana in the Outback Bowl.

Kiffin and his staff have growing confidence with the team, even after losing last spring due to COVID-19.

“In some ways, it feels like a first year because of not having spring,” Kiffin said. “But having some success on the field as a team and individual players has made this a lot easier.”

Ole Miss junior Miles Battle made the move from the offensive side of the ball to a defensive back position last year.

“I am enjoying (spring) a lot, getting down technical with my technique,” Battles said. “It helps a lot because I’ve switched from offense coming to defense. Just having the extra time to build my craft playing DB has been nothing but beneficial.”

The Ole Miss secondary will have more depth to it this upcoming season.

“Having all the mid-years coming in, it’s just added more depth to our rotation and then just making me better,” Battles said.

The defense looks to carry their newfound confidence into the new campaign.

“Towards the end of the season I feel we kind of came into our own more,” Battles said. “Then we just wanted to build from that… As long as we just keep stacking good days on good days and building the defense and the confidence, we could be one of the best in the country.” 

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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