After facing a Southeast Missouri team that brought a unique option attack to the table, No. 25 Ole Miss will be forced to switch gears in preparation for the explosive offense of the Texas Longhorns. Texas (1-1) is averaging 580 yards a game heading into the showdown in Austin, including 334.5 yards in the air and 245.5 yards on the ground.
“They’ve got great skilled athletes,” defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said. “Their receivers can all run pretty well, and I think they are well coached. They are averaging a lot of yards. They have outstanding running backs, all three of them.”
Last season when the Rebels hosted the Longhorns, it was all Texas in the 66-31 victory. The Longhorns racked up 676 total yards of offense in the game, including 361 on the ground. However, Wommack believes that was a critical learning experience for the team and gives them even more motivation going into this season’s matchup.
“When you look back on that game, which really benefited us in the long run, our kids learned so much about playing and reading their keys, tackling, and playing physical,” Wommack said.
Preparing for whatever comes their way
With starting quarterback David Ash potentially out for Texas, Ole Miss may have to take down backup quarterback Case McCoy Saturday. However, the coaching staff said they are preparing as if Ash will play and also taking into account the potential of seeing McCoy.
“I think you’ve got to,” Wommack said on expecting Ash to play. “I think it is a big game for both teams, and they have some transition going on there, so I think if there is any way possible, he will play in the game.”
On the season, Ash has thrown for 594 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions. His backup, McCoy, has thrown for just 75 yards.
Hilton settling in at corner
Sophomore Mike Hilton recently made the move from huskie to cornerback and got his first start last week against SEMO. Hilton is anticipated to get the start against Texas as well, and the coaching staff feels he has begun to settle in well at corner.
“I think he did a nice job of it,” Wommack said. “I knew he would make some mistakes, but Mike is a tremendous competitor, tough, and he’s a good athlete.”
In his debut at corner, Hilton was able to record four tackles in the Rebel victory. This week he will be taking on a potent Texas passing attack, led by receiver Mike Davis, who leads the team with 13 catches for 177 yards and three touchdowns, and Jaxon Shipley, who is second on the team with 145 receiving yards.
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