Rebels’ Marquis Haynes confident Ole Miss will bounce back after loss to No. 1 Alabama
OXFORD, MS. – Defensive end Marquis Haynes made sure he brought his A-game against No. 1 Alabama. He even made sure he rattled Crimson Tide freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts. And despite the scoreboard showing a loss, Haynes is confident Ole Miss will bounce back.
If the Rebels want to bounce back, they will need to figure out what’s causing them to lose double-digit leads after a solid first half performance.
It was déjà vu all over again for No. 17/19 Ole Miss (1-2, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) on Saturday afternoon against the Crimson Tide as the Rebels were going for their third consecutive win against the defending national champion. But Ole Miss couldn’t hold onto its 24-3 lead–much like what occurred in the season-opening loss to Florida State.
As for Haynes, he played a huge part in the Rebels’ first half dominance, sacking Hurts for a loss of nine yards to the Alabama 44-yard line that resulted in a fumble that was recovered by John Youngblood, who ran it 44 yards for a defensive touchdown. Haynes finished with four tackles (two for a loss of 13 yards).
After the game, Haynes described the team’s locker room as a positive one, explaining what he told the team.
Fighting the injury bug
The Ole Miss defense has taken a hit since the beginning of the season.
The Rebels are playing without junior cornerback Ken Webster, senior defensive end Fadol Brown, and sophomore defensive end Victor Evans. With those guys out, the young players – many with little or no experience – have had to play big minutes.
But Haynes isn’t worried about a lack of depth. The Jacksonville, Florida native feels whoever suits up on game day has to be mentally and physically prepared to play at a high level, though he admitted the team was a bit fatigued due to the injuries.
Ole Miss allowed the Crimson Tide (3-0, 1-0) to rush for 334 yards, with 146 of them coming from Hurts, who completed 19 of 31 passes for 156 yards.
After the game, everyone, from the staff to the players, took blame for the inconsistency in both second halves against the Seminoles and Alabama. If the effort is better, however, Haynes believes Ole Miss can bounce back.
“We just have to learn how to finish,” Haynes said.
Haynes touches on one sack
A local reporter asked Haynes if he thought he had killed Hurts on his big sack in the second quarter. Haynes’ response was “Yes, I think I did but overall, Jalen really earned my respect after that.”
The last three games in the series with Alabama have all been decided by six points or less.
The 91 total points in Saturday’s game are the second-most scored in a game this series. The teams totaled 94 points in a 59-35 Alabama win in 1980.
(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics)
Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men’s basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.