AUBURN, Ala. — It was far from the most complete game his defense has played this season, but Kevin Steele left the box in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium last Saturday night with a victory.
No. 9 Auburn held Ole Miss to 7 second-half points in a 40-29 victory that extended the Tigers’ winning streak to five games. Steele’s defense allowed a season-high 465 passing yards to Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly, with the majority of those coming in the first half.
Steele will speak to the media Wednesday night for the first time since the trip to Oxford. Follow along here for live updates as the veteran defensive coordinator shares his perspective of the Ole Miss game and previews what’s next for Auburn as it takes on Vanderbilt this Saturday:
- “We won the game (vs. Ole Miss), but it wasn’t up to our standards … in the words of Al Davis, ‘Just win, baby.'”
- “I thought the guys really responded in the second half. There were some fourth-down stops and forced field goals … It gave us an opportunity to get their attention and re-center ourselves to what made us successful so far. That’s been a very big positive for this week.”
- On Vanderbilt’s offense: “They get lots of hats in the gap. We’ve got to run-fit well and tackle well.”
- On the missed tackles vs. Ole Miss: “I think when you play that many plays, fatigue sets in … I think some guys tackled well the whole game.”
- On CB Carlton Davis: “You evaluate the entire body of work … I think it was something that was a good lesson for him. He responded really well Sunday. When you play out there on that island, you’re going to have days that are different than other days.”
- On CB Josh Holsey: “Josh is a competitive guy. He’s a wise guy, and I mean that in a positive way. He’s got a lot of wisdom. He knows what his abilities are, and he knows the abilities of the guys he’s going against.”
- On Vanderbilt RB Ralph Webb: “He’s relentless, just relentless. He’s a complete player. He can hit the holes well.”
- “At first, you sit there and go, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of yards.’ And we won’t defend that many yards. But they had 64 passing plays. That per attempt yardage isn’t as high as you normally see.”
- On the injuries on the defensive side of the ball this week: “We’re all in a good situation right now.”
- Back to Vanderbilt: “Conceptually, they’re very good at what they do. (Quarterback Kyle Shurmur) is very smart. He’s thrown the ball effectively.”
- Steele praises the play of Carl Lawson, Jeff Holland and Dontavius Russell on the defensive line against Ole Miss.
- Steele points out that Ole Miss was 4-of-4 on third downs in the first two drives of the game. “That’s bad.” The Rebels went 4-of-13 for the rest of the game on those money downs.