Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Rebels Defense Looks to Excel in 2021

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

The Ole Miss Rebels football team concluded day three of fall camp in preparation for the season opener against the Louisville Cardinals on Sept. 6. The Rebels took the field in shoulder pads for the first time of camp.

The defense is returning nearly all starters from the 2020 team with some established veterans mixed in that transferred into the program.

The media met with co-defensive coordinators D.J. Durkin and Chris Partridge and discussed how the defense looks to expand on the success at the end of last season. Ole Miss’s defense has expectations to improve on last season’s play on the field.

“Your actions are speaking so loud we can’t hear what you’re saying,” Durkin said. “We don’t want to stand around at our practices. Their actions are showing it, all the way from January. … We have to keep stacking those days.”

In the 26-20 Outback Bowl win over Indiana, the defense held one of the best offenses in check.

“First and foremost, no one knows more than us about last year,” Partridge said. “We eat that, and it motivates us every day. We’ve all shouldered that. It took longer than we hoped. We’re constantly getting better. We can gain confidence at the end of the year, and we haven’t taken a step back from last year.”

The Rebels backfield will have the addition of linebacker Chance Campbell, a transfer out of Maryland, who brings a lot of experience. Durkin said, “We are counting on him” as he looks to see time at more than one position.

“He’s played a lot of football,” Durkin said. “He’s really good for our room. We’re going to keep moving around.”