Steele and the Auburn Defense Focused on Ole Miss
Auburn Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele (Photo: Auburn Athletics)
Following Saturday’s win over Arkansas, Auburn has moved up in the polls to 15th. The defense played a huge role in the jump. Arkansas entered the day with the conference’s leading rusher (Rawleigh Williams), and passer (Austin Allen). The Tiger defense stood up to the challenge, by allowing a total of 215 yards to the Hogs, only 25 of those were rushing. Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele spoke to the media on Sunday night to recap the big win over Arkansas, to preview the upcoming game with Ole Miss, and even discussed his defense. Steele started by saying that he challenged his defense to do two things: stop the run and affect the pass. How did they do? Steele says that the front did just that. He said that each play, there was either an offensive player being pushed back or the quarterback was forced to pass. He credits technique for their amazing game. On play calling, Steele says that Arkansas called 26 run plays that went for 1.5 yards per carry. Passing, the Razorbacks called for 38 passes, and the defense was able to get to the quarterback 15 times and recorded four sacks. Steele also told his players that they are not allowed to talk about the Arkansas game and that it is time to focus on Ole Miss. On Ole Miss: Steele opened by saying that Ole Miss will be a challenge. The Rebels began the season as a top-10 team and has played a difficult schedule. Despite Ole Miss entering the game with four losses, he says that their record is not an indication of the talent that the Rebels have. Even in their losses, their offense has no trouble scoring. On Young Guys playing against Arkansas: Three non-starters recorded a sack in the game against Arkansas: Andrew Williams, Jeff Holland, and Devaroe Lawrence. In the second half, even more, younger players got the opportunity to get playing time. Steele says that he usually has 8 or 9 guys who he feels confident enough to put in a position to play at any time. On Ole Miss Quarterback Chad Kelly: Chad Kelly is considered to be one of the better quarterbacks in the conference. This season, he has passed for 2,058 yards and 16 touchdowns. Steele compared Kelly to the quarterback that Auburn faced last Saturday, Austin Allen. “They both throw a very, very good pass. The catch radius for the receivers is not too big, it is a very tight window. They both have the ability to keep plays alive.” The difference between Kelly and Allen is that Ole Miss has a run game built for him. Preparing for Ole Miss: Kevin Steele always says that a key component to a game plan is to make the opposing offense one-dimensional. Ole Miss has a run-pass-option mentality, with an improved pass game. Steele is preparing his players for both aspects. Auburn continues their preparation for Ole Miss this week. Kickoff for Saturday’s game in Oxford is scheduled for 6:15 P.M.