Ole Miss will find out a lot about itself through the remaining six games it has left on its schedule, beginning this weekend when the Rebels head to Little Rock to take on a 1-5 Arkansas team looking for a break through opportunity.
Some news and notes from Matt Luke’s Monday press conference:
Miller and Hartsfield day-to-day
C.J. Miller and Myles Hartsfield both left Saturday’s win over ULM with ankle injuries, seemingly another blow to a depleted secondary. But the injuries don’t appears as if they will sideline the two defensive backs for an extended period of time. Luke said both are day-to-day and will try to play this week. He noted that Miller’s is probably a little more serious. Miller came back to the sideline on crutches after leaving the game.
“I think C.J. may be a little worse off,” Luke said. “Myles came back and C.J. did not. They will try to go this week, but we will know more as the week goes on.”
This comes one week after the team was forced to move running backs Tylan Knight and Armani Linton to the secondary to try to sustain some semblance of depth after losing Montreal Custis, C.J. Moore and Jaylon Jones for the season. Both Knight and Linton played in Saturday’s win.
“With our injuries, we are going to have to play everyone at that spot,” defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff said. “We are hoping that C.J. progresses fast. If not, Armani will have to pick up the load. With him having come over from offense recently, we would prefer to not have him play 80 snaps per game. Having him and C.J. both play at that position would be great. We will have to see how C.J. progresses this week, if not we will have a plan B.”
Sanogo becoming most consistent linebacker:
Middle linebacker Mohamed Sanogo has become the most consistent option for Ole Miss at a linebacker position where the Rebels are young, inexperienced and have struggled mightily. Sanogo had five tackles — one for a loss — in the win over ULM.
The Rebels are playing a pair of freshmen in Jacquez Jones and Kevontae’ Ruggs a lot of snaps at linebacker and Sanogo has helped stabilize things when they are in the game. He could also slide \ to outside linebacker if needed, along with sophomore Donta Evans, who has made a push up the depth chart the last two weeks.
“Sanogo will be the first guy we move out there if we need a player,” McGriff said. “Donta Evans — who gave us a spark Saturday — can play both positions as well. When you see those guys move to those positions, it is not by mistake. We are trying our best not to put two freshmen out there at the same time. So that causes us to have to play a Mike (middle) linebacker at the Money (outside) position.”
Arkansas finding themselves on the offensive side of the ball:
If a team could ever feel good about itself after a 65-31 loss, it was the Razorbacks this past week against Alabama. Arkansas has struggled mightily on the offensive side of the football primarily because of the personnel deficiencies stemming from the firing of Brett Bielema and first year head coach Chad Morris taking over and implementing a much different spread system than the two-tight end attack Bielema ran. The Razorbacks scored 31 points and compiled over 400 yards of offense against the Crimson Tide. They’ve settled on a quarterback in Ty Storey, who went 25-for-39 for 230 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, and appear to be finding their footing on the offensive side of the ball.
“They’re using Storey as their starter and have a package for Cole Kelley, so I think they have settled into that,” Luke said. “They did a tremendous job with shifts and motions, keeping Alabama off balance and then getting their right ends involved. They did a good job slowing the pass rush down with some screens and things like that. I think they are settling into who they are.”
Ole Miss vs Auburn has been set for an 11 A.M. kickoff.