OXFORD • Ole Miss won’t go full speed ahead with Auburn preparation for two weeks but will spend some time this week with internal focus.
In addition to healing for a lengthy list of injured players Rebels coach Matt Luke said this week would be about focus on technique, something he says can help players with the “attention to detail” needed to take the next steps and close out games successfully.
The Auburn game plan will be introduced as well.
“We want to look at some of the little things where you focus on yourself,” Luke said. “We’ll be able to get ahead on Auburn as well in some of their looks. That will really help us with that because I think you can do some things that are maybe not as physical but are mental in preparation for Auburn that will help us get ahead.”
Coaches will be on the road recruiting this weekend.
All 10 players Luke named while detailing injuries were on the offensive side of the ball.
The Rebels’ depth issues on that side will make open week practice a challenge, offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez said.
“We’re pretty thin offensively to being with, experience-wise especially, so nearly everybody that’s going to go in and take reps are going to be true freshmen. That’s a little scary. That will limit some of the things we work on.”
Praise for Donta EvansDefensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre was pleased with junior inside linebacker Donta Evans, who played most of the first half as starter Jacquez Jones was suspended following a targeting ejection at Missouri.
Evans had three tackles and an interception.
“I thought Donta played really well. He played every snap. He’s been just playing nickel and rotating in. He did some good things. Had a big pick there on the action,” MacIntyre said.
Jones played the bulk of the second half and finished with six tackles and a half tackle for loss.
Evans had appeared in seven games with one start and had 18 tackles prior to Texas A&M.
He’s listed as the starter ahead of Jones on this week’s depth chart.
“Donta’s a young man that since we’ve gotten here has really done everything we’ve asked, really is into it and has improved all the time,” MacIntyre said.
Dasher’s still on boardDefensive back Vernon Dasher was not a part of the dress roster against Texas A&M but remains on the team, Luke confirmed without specifics.
“He is. He just took some personal time to deal with some things. He’s still on the roster.”
A mid-year junior college enrollee in 2018, Dasher appeared in 11 games with nine starts. He totaled 36 tackles, a tackle for loss and four pass breakups from different safety spots.
He’s listed as an outside linebacker in the new 4-3 system and has appeared in three games.