OXFORD, Miss. — On Wednesday’s SEC Coaches Teleconference, Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke discussed his team’s loss to Alabama and previewed the Rebels’ upcoming game with Kent State.
“Looking forward to bouncing back from the tough loss to Alabama,” Coach Luke said in his opening statement of the teleconference.
“We had a really, really good practice yesterday, and I’m excited about the challenge of taking on Kent State. It’s an 11:00 a.m. kickoff, an early game, but (we are) looking forward to getting back on the field to try to get that bad taste out of our mouth.“
Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke
When asked what his team needs to do to find first-half success, Coach Luke said: “As far as getting off to a fast start, it comes down to coaching, our guys executing the calls, and coming out with some energy.”
Luke praised Alabama, 62-7 winners over the Rebels Saturday, saying the difference in the game was up front on the line of scrimmage. Defensively, the Tide pressured Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu throughout the contest, winning plenty of one-on-one matchups.
“I think offensively we could have protected better and got the ball out quicker,” Coach Luke said. “Maybe throwing the ball faster,” he added.
The Rebels’ defense had their hands full with Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who led the Tide to a touchdown immediately following Ole Miss’ opening shot to D.K. Metcalf for a touchdown. “They score so fast, it’s a different dynamic with that,” Coach Luke said of the Tide’s ability to answer.
As it has been all season, Tagovailoa’s performance was exceptional. “I was impressed with Tua–he scrambled out and made plays. It snowballed on us,” Luke noted. “I think defensively, we got out of gaps and let Tua run for first downs,” he explained.
With a QB who can throw on the run, a great offensive line, good receivers and great running backs, the Alabama offense will present a challenge to most defenses. “It’s tough to defend,” Luke said.
Next Up: Kent State
Ole Miss hosts Kent State at Vaught-Hemingway this Saturday at 11:00 a.m. The game will be televised by the SEC Network. Coach Luke previewed the Golden Flashes and said they use an up-tempo spread offense and will try to create space and run on the outside.