|Ole Miss prepares for LSU's Dorsey, top defensive line|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 15 November 2007 01:58|
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -Coach Ed Orgeron believes Mississippi offensive linemen Michael Oher and John Jerry will be playing on Sundays in the NFL when their college careers are over.|
They'll get a chance to prove their worthiness Saturday. Handle Glenn Dorsey and top-ranked LSU's dominant defensive front and they'll have accomplished something few can claim.
``Those guys are going to have to answer the bell,'' Orgeron said of his line. ``I am going to challenge them this week. I'm sure they can answer the challenge. I feel confident that those guys are going to be ready to play.''
They'll have to be or Ole Miss (3-7, 0-6) will have no chance against LSU (9-1, 5-1), which clinched the Southeastern Conference's Western Division title last week.
The Tigers' defensive line is tops in the SEC and may be the best in the nation. LSU is in the top 10 of five national defensive statistical categories, including No. 1 in total defense. The Tigers are allowing 66 yards rushing and 170 yards passing a game this season.
Dorsey, a senior who passed up millions to return for his senior year and a national championship run, is the centerpiece of the group.
``He just brings it every play,'' Jerry said. ``That's the thing that separates him from the rest of the guys because you don't find many 300 pounders that's going to go hard every play.''
While Dorsey, projected by many as the top pick in next year's NFL draft, is the headliner, the group's play as a unit is what makes it so remarkable. The four starters - tackles Dorsey and Marlon Favorite and ends Kirston Pittman and Tyson Jackson - have combined for 155 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks and 31 quarterback hurries this season.
``Those guys command double teams and make plays in the backfield,'' Orgeron said. ``Kirston Pittman and Tyson Jackson are very good on the four-man rush on third down. Over 60 percent of their pressure comes from four-man rush, which is highly unusual.''
So all hope is lost for Ole Miss, right? As it happens, LSU's strength will be countered by Ole Miss'.
Oher was one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation. He has played well against an endless string of NFL-caliber defenders at the offensive line's most important position, left tackle.
The 6-foot-5, 325-pound junior feels he's up to the task in front of him.
``It's a definite challenge but I had a definite challenge against Florida going up against Derrick Harvey, a first-team All-American,'' said Oher, who didn't allow a sack in that matchup. ``I like big games like this. It makes you bring your A-game and you have to step up to the plate and show people what you got.''
Oher will face off against Jackson mostly and Dorsey on occasion.
``Both of them are exciting players and I can't wait to play against them,'' Oher said.
Jerry, a 6-5, 340-pound junior, said he's heard Orgeron's challenge and will answer it properly.
``If my coach challenges me, that seems like to me that he's kind of like second-guessing you,'' Jerry said. ``So I'm definitely going to be up to the challenge.''
The other starters on Ole Miss' line are center Corey Actis, guard Reid Neely and tackle Maurice Miller. Dorsey figures the group won't need any extra motivation from Orgeron. The rivalry already provides plenty of fuel.
``Ole Miss always plays us hard,'' Dorsey said. ``They are going to play us for four quarters. We are not worried about style points.''
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