Rebels Aiming to Get Back On Track Against Vanderbilt
Oct. 10, 2017

By Brian Scott Rippee, OleMissSports.com

Shea Patterson was jovial and upbeat when he met with the media after Tuesday’s practice. He emitted a positive and loose vibe that presumably stemmed from the practice field as Ole Miss prepares to play its first home game in over a month after a rigorous road trip.

If there is reason for optimism offensively, it’s the fact the Rebels played their best half of football of the season offensively in the second half at Auburn. It’s been something the players have alluded to multiple times as something they can build off of.

“Going into the game we emphasized positivity on the sideline,” Patterson said. “I know a lot of guys took last week as ‘enough is enough’. Guys like D.K. (Metcalf), A.J. (Brown) and myself stepped up and took it upon ourselves to be leaders on the sideline.”

Patterson and Brown were seen in the defensive huddle before the unit ran onto the field in the second half. A sign of a group of guys grabbing control of the team.

“You’ve got to play with more pride and that is what we did,” Patterson said. “We got a little bit of a confidence boost at the end of that game.”

The Rebels have a stretch of winnable games ahead, starting with the Vanderbilt who are also losers of three straight games. It is the first time in Shea Patterson’s career he will be playing a team for the second time. He lost in Nashville last year in his second career start.

“They are really good scheme-wise,” Patterson said. “They are not going to make mistakes and beat themselves.”


 

 

The Commodores have one of the more underrated running backs in the SEC in Ralph Webb. He’s rushed the football 826 times for 3,587 yards in his career. He will be a tough assignment for an Ole Miss defense that has struggled to stop the run this year.

“He’s been consistent and gives a lot of effort,” defensive tackle Josiah Coatney said. “We do have the guys to stop him though. We are doing our best to scheme against him and the offense right now. They are a more pro-style offense, so we know stopping the run will be key.”

Coatney is the team’s third leading tackler with 28, an impressive feat for an interior defensive lineman.

“I know I need to make as many plays as I can because I really do want to win games,” Coatney said. “I have got to kick it up a notch even if I am playing good. It is a will to win. I am trying to do anything I can do.”

He’s become a leader on the defense as well. It has been said more times than once that the halftime locker room against Auburn was where the team made a decision this would be the turning point in their season. Whether that holds true or not remains to be seen.

“It is at that point where someone has to drop the hammer,” Coatney said. “I know I am only a redshirt sophomore. But I really want to win. I want to get everyone in that same mindset.”

Luke challenged the team and they responded by narrowing the gap in the second half of that game. He wants to see that continue through the last seven games of the season.

“He’s a real honest dude,” Coatney said. “He doesn’t hold anything back and is going to let it be known.”

Kickoff Saturday is slated for 2:30 p.m.

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