Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron didn’t win back-to-back championships by having happy feet in the pocket.
The question for Ole Miss is can it get enough rush to make McCarron uncomfortable and provide some help for its secondary.
I thought pass rush was better against Texas even though the Rebels managed just one sack.
Junior defensive end CJ Johnson did not agree.
There wasn’t much rush against Vanderbilt, because the Rebels really weren’t trying. The plan called for dropped more defenders into coverage and rushing just the linemen.
There were more blitzes and pressure packages called against Texas.
Through three games the Rebels are averaging 1.33 sacks a game, ninth in the SEC and down from 2.72 from last season when they were second in the league.
Alabama’s revamped offensive line, meanwhile, is giving up two sacks a game, 10th in the SEC.
Johnson led Ole Miss with 6.5 sacks last year. Right now Issac Gross has 1.5 sacks to lead the team.
As Johnson notes in the video above, the Rebels are getting pressure in the form of tackles for loss, just not getting sacks right now. The TFLs indicate they’re winning some battles at the line of scrimmage.
Johnson says he still sees a talented Alabama offensive line even with different personnel. He believes the Rebels can increase their sack numbers, that they’ve been getting close but have been missing.