What is Ole Miss Head Coach Matt Luke Saying About Auburn?
Matt Luke prior to Ole Miss' game with California on September 16 (Photo: Ole Miss Athletics)
Matt Luke, as you can imagine, inherited a mess when he was named interim Head Coach for the Ole Miss Rebels on July 20, following the resignation of Hugh Freeze.
Luke has led the Rebels to a 2-2 record through four games, most recently falling to Alabama in Tuscaloosa, 66-3. For Auburn, this will be the third straight week that they will face an opponent coming off of a blowout.
Earlier this week, Luke met with the media. During his time at the podium, Luke recapped the Alabama game, as well as previewed the weekend ahead against Auburn.
Luke opened by saying that Alabama defeated his team soundly in all three phases. He then moved onto his next opponent, saying that the Rebels need to move on, and focus on another great SEC opponent in Auburn.
"Auburn is very good defensively and they have a very good front seven. They are really attacking very strong and are a top five defense in the country. Offensively, they are going to run the ball and attack us in the speed sweep motion. They are going to take our eyes and mess with our safety fits, and they have two very good running backs, a good offensive line, and then good receivers they stretch the field with. It is a huge challenge for us, but eight opportunities left. We are excited to get back and get started."
How to succeed against Auburn's defense:
Another element that Luke felt was missing from his team last Saturday, was speed. He hopes to see a difference against Auburn, so that his quarterback can make plays.
"Obviously Auburn presents a lot of challenges. They are very long in the secondary so they can cover your receivers and get pressure on the quarterback. It is the same recipe, play fast, be simple, know exactly what you are doing and just go and attack them. Not play on your heels, but get them on their heels by attacking. I think that is the most important thing that we need to do. We need to be the ones that are attacking and that's what we have to get back to this week."
Where is Ole Miss after losing to Alabama?:
Losing by nine touchdowns to a team considered to be the best in the nation is a humbling experience. Luke is ready to put this loss in the rear-view mirror, and focus on making the most out of his team's eight remaining games.
"We have eight opportunities and we are going to take advantage of each one, starting with Auburn. We are going to take 70 guys to Auburn, ready to go play and pushing the same direction to fight and compete."
Shea Patterson played throughout last weekend's loss. Luke says that the decision to keep him in was all Shea's.
"Shea is a sophomore and we are trying to get him as much experience as possible. He was coming up to me, wanting to stay in the game and wanting to compete. I think him getting as much experience as possible is important."