Monday’s Press Conference: Coach Luke updates injury report, looks ahead to Auburn
OXFORD, Miss. — At Monday’s weekly press conference, Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke, along with defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff and offensive coordinator Phil Longo, spoke to the media following the Rebels’ 37-33 win over Arkansas in Little Rock.
Coach Luke felt good about his team’s victory. “Big SEC road win for us,” he said. “It did a lot for the kids and their confidence,” he added.
“He’ll be done for the season. Long term, he’s going to be fine. But I think it’s going to require surgery. We’re still looking to make sure we have the very best care and everything for him. It’s not a long-term issue. But it is going to be one where he is done for the season.“
Coach Luke on D.K. Metcalf’s injury
The redshirt sophomore caught a 49-yard pass on Ole Miss’ first drive on Saturday in the win over the Hogs. Soon after that series, he left the game and did not return.
Luke indicated the injury may require surgery; however, he also suggested the long-term prognosis is good for Metcalf.
There is, as Coach Longo said at Monday’s presser, no way to replace D.K. Metcalf. However, the Nasty Wide Outs (NWO) are in good hands with A.J. Brown and DaMarkus Lodge who are joined by young playmakers Braylon Sanders and Elijah Moore.
Before his injury, Metcalf had amassed 569 receiving yards for third place in the SEC. His five TDs this season lead the team.
Though he will no longer take the field with his teammates, the Oxford native will use his knowledge and experience to help the Rebel offense scout opposing teams.
Other injuries to the Rebel squad in the game against Arkansas include defensive end Markel Winters who suffered a knee sprain and will be out for about four weeks. Ole Miss hopes to have the senior playmaker back on the field before the end of the season.
Luke was asked how Winters’ absence will affect the rotation on the defensive line. “Having (DE) Victor Evans come back, that certainly helps,” he said. “Having Tis (DE Tariqious Tisdale) in there has really helped. In pass rush, you may see Tis out there a little bit more.”
DE Tariqious Tisdale closes in on Arkansas QB Ty Storey in the Rebels’ 37-33 win Saturday. (Photo: Dan Anderson, The Rebel Walk)
Preparing for Auburn
This week, the Rebels (5-2, 1-2 SEC) host a struggling Auburn team that is coming off a home loss to SEC east foe, Tennessee. The Tigers (4-3, 1-3 SEC) have been inconsistent on the offensive side of the football this season; however, they still possess plenty of playmakers at the skill positions who will make the game challenging.
“They’re very, very good,” Coach Luke said of Auburn.
“They’re going to get back to basics and come in here to run the football and run play-action. We’ll have our work cut out for us.”
Coach Luke on the Auburn Tigers
Defensively, the Tigers front seven makes the unit formidable. Matt Luke, Monday, acknowledged his next opponent’s defensive prowess. “They’re big and fast. They’ve got big linebackers. They’re twitchy. You can’t play on your heels; they’re too good.”
Coach Luke and the Rebels will kick off against the Tigers at 11:00 a.m. (CT) on Saturday in Vaught-Hemingway stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN.