Peach Bowl Notes 12/28: Ole Miss press conference
Ole Miss co-offensive coordinator Dan Werner and several Rebel football players met with the media Sunday ahead of Wednesday’s Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl match-up against TCU.
Here is video footage of the press conference, courtesy of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
Wallace on receiving corps
Bo Wallace, Evan Engram, Jaylen Walton, Justin Bell and Quincy Adeboyejo joined Werner and took questions from the media.
Wallace was asked about going into the game against the Horned Frogs without either of his main WR targets, Laquon Treadwell and Vince Sanders. “We’re down a couple playmakers that we depended on this year, but we have buys like Cody Core and Markell Pack, who is a young kid who has to step up,” the senior quarterback said.
“Obviously, Evan” he also added, referring to sophomore tight end Engram. “Hopefully he will play the way he did against Mississippi State and we expect that, because he’s so explosive and a guy that’s a mismatch. So we know we’re down some guys, but we have guys that are going to step up and fill the void.”
When asked about how his role has grown since the injuries to Treadwell and Sanders, wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo said, “Probably a lot. Those were our starting receivers at the beginning of the year. They’re both down. Honestly, I have to step up and do what those guys can do.”
Werner: TCU defense is “an SEC-type defense”
Coach Werner was asked about the TCU defense his offense will face, and he commented on how tough they will be to go up against. “To see where they are ranked is impressive,” he said. “You watch them on film, and they’re an SEC-type defense. That’s saying something, because we’re used to seeing great defenses every week and these guys are right there with them.”
When asked what he believes makes the Horned Frogs similar to an SEC defense, Werner didn’t hesitate: “Their athleticism,” he said. “Their defensive line runs around. Some of the teams around the country don’t have the athletic ability that most D-lines do in our league. These guys obviously do. Their linebackers are physical but can also run, and they’re good enough at corner to play man coverage, which allows them to do a lot of different things inside, and that’s what we see basically every week.”
Coach Werner was also asked about the Ole Miss offensive line, given the injury to Aaron Morris who will not play. Rod Taylor will now start, and Justin Bell will move over to Morris’ position. “It’s been good,” Werner said of the unit’s practice thus far. “Rod’s played a bunch this year. Even though he’s a true freshman, it’s the 13th game so he’s got a lot of reps in and he’s ready to roll.”
Justin Bell echoed his coach’s sentiments about Taylor’s ability to step in and play. “He plays with passion and helps us out tremendously,” he said.
“It makes it a more enjoyable experience, getting a young guy in there and knowing he’s going to play 60 minutes, give it everything he has.”
Werner said the Rebels have more depth than in the past and have guys who are ready to step in and contribute. “They’ve been waiting all year to get their reps and get a shot, and what better place than on a national stage to play a great ball game and get us a ‘W.'”
Jaylen Walton is ready to pick up where he left off after a great Egg Bowl
After a phenomenal game against Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl, running back Jaylen Walton is ready to get back on the field against TCU. “Whenever a play needs to be made, I just want to make it,” he said.
“Whenever it’s time for me to carry the ball for the team, I want to make sure I get more yards after contact or with contact and just give it 110 percent every time I touch the ball,” Walton added.
Evelyn Van Pelt
Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.