By Adam Brown
Ole Miss co-defensive coordinators D.J. Durkin and Chris Partridge met with the media on Tuesday as they continue to prep for game against the Baylor Bears in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Saturday.
The Rebels defensive players have had a chip on their shoulders dating back to before the season. This season the defense allowed the Arkansas Razorbacks to gain over 600 yards and then wouldn’t surrender that to an opponent.
“This goes back to something we built in the off-season,” Durkin said. “It’s a matter of taking ownership and pride in what we are doing. To improve and play better, the total credit goes to our players.”
Ole Miss will face Gerry Bohanon in the Sugar Bowl. This season, Bohanon has passed for 2,165 yards and 17 touchdowns.
“I think Bohanon is a really talented quarterback,” Durkin said. “He’s a guy that can just throw the ball and run it. I think what stands out the most from their offense is their ability to run the ball. They’re very well-coached. They’re sound at what they do.”
Chance Campbell and Sam Williams have both played key roles on defense for the Rebels.
“Chance has been everything to this team,” Partridge said. “He’s come in and just showed who he was as a person, to get integrated so fast and win the starting spot with his leadership. I mean, he was viewed on day one as a leader on this team and a competitor. He leads with actions, right, not as many words. So he’s a worker. He’s a film watcher. He loves the game. And he brings guys along with him to really show them the way on how it’s supposed to be done.”
Partridge added that Williams has been awesome.
“He’s really, really bought into the football team over the last two years and got away from himself and really just put in the work ethic on and off the field to really change his life. It’s been pretty special,” Partridge said.
On Saturday night, Ole Miss will take the gridiron against a Baylor team that runs the ball.
“The way they run the ball, you know, they run stretch, and then they run it a lot of different ways. They dress it up,” Partridge said. “They’ll hit it in all different spots. You got to be really, really sound in all the gaps. That’s the front, the linebackers, the safeties. The edges, the corners at times, everybody’s got to be sound because they hit it all over the field.”
Ole Miss and Baylor will tee the ball up at 7:45 p.m. on New Year’s night and can be seen on ESPN.