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Defense prepares for two Auburn quarterbacks

The Rebel football team got back to practice on Tuesday, as they prepare for Saturday's matchup with the Auburn Tigers. Junior wide receiver Korvic Neat gives the offense a spark, while the Ole Miss defense prepares for a Tiger offense trying to find its identity.
Tyler Jackson/The Daily Mississippian

After facing an effective scrambling quarterback last weekend in freshman Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, the Ole Miss defense will once again have to prepare for the unexpected when the Rebels (3-3, 0-2 SEC) take on Auburn (1-4, 0-3 SEC) this Saturday.

Auburn has had its share of struggles on the offensive side of the ball this season, but Ole Miss defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said that at some points it is like the Tigers are running five or six different offenses.

“They concern me because they’ve got some talented guys running the ball back there,” Wommack said. “The line is young, but I think they are getting better each week. They’ve just got to find a plan and stick to it.”

The Auburn offense has yet to really find a true identity so far this season and has struggled to put up many points on the board. The Tigers are also running a two-quarterback system with sophomore Kiehl Frazier and junior Clint Moseley.

“It seems to me like when (Frazier) is in the game, they were running more of the stuff like we run, with a stutter package read and all that," Wommack said. "When the other quarterback was in, it wasn’t as much about that; it was more about the power, stretch game. Other than that, the pass game is the same.”

Wommack also stressed the importance of winning the turnover margin. The Rebel defense is coming off a game in which they forced six turnovers against Texas A&M.

“We always want a big turnover game,” Wommack said. “That is a big thing to us. We feel like we need to win the turnover margin. It is one of our goals each and every week. We’ve got to be able to produce turnovers, and you have to be able to do that to be successful.

Rebels rally behind Wallace

Sophomore quarterback Bo Wallace practiced today after receiving news of his sister being in a car accident last night. Head coach Hugh Freeze said the team rallied behind Wallace today and that he was told his sister should make a full recovery.

“He was a little distant at the start, but I thought he settled in and got better,” Freeze said. “She had a car accident, and it broke her neck, but she does have movement in all her extremities. I don’t understand it all, but the doctors are very optimistic she could have a full recovery.”

Freeze used this as a teaching moment for his team.

“Before practice we had a good team meeting," Freeze said. "Life is tough. We’ve had several of those things here in the last few weeks. We had a good time before, and Bo was a part of that. Part of what I believe is a good team is that you're walking along life together, and we try to stress that to them.”

Neat returns from injury

Junior wide receiver Korvic Neat returned to practice Tuesday afternoon after missing three games with a groin injury. During the first three games of the season, Neat was a crucial playmaker for the Rebels with 14 catches for 151 yards.

“I’m pretty excited,” Neat said. “I got tired of sitting out for three weeks watching the guys. I’m pretty excited to be back. I’m a little rusty. I’m trying to gel my talents back into the system a little bit and still work on my groin.”

Neat was forced to get treatment quite often on his groin to be able to get back on the field and is excited to get back into the offense after seeing sophomore wide receiver Vince Sanders and junior wide receiver Ja-Mes Logan have big games the past two weeks.

After his hot start to the season, Neat said it was frustrating to be forced to sit out.

“It was pretty frustrating,” Neat said. “I feel like when I get into my groove there is always something that happens, but I’m just happy to be back.”

For continuing coverage of Ole Miss football, follow @thedm_sports and @SigNewton_2 on Twitter.