Barry Odom's Press Conference
Barry Odom met the media as his team gets ready to face Ole Miss. Listen to the press conference or read a complete transcript.
"On our team's performance on Saturday against Troy was proud that we came out of it with a win the way that we did, it was 42 to seven at half. And at that point, you know, decided personnel changes to make to go finish the game in the context that we wanted to, and also get a number of guys work and experience that will pay dividends for us as we get down the stretch here. So proud of the effort, you know, I thought defensively after we got out of the first drive, we played really, really well. And I thought offensively did the things within the call, especially the first 18 to 20 plays of the game were really solid, on being very, very efficient.
Another award for Cale Garrett on the on the SEC Defensive Player of the Week, which is awesome, Much, much deserved. And then not only for his performance, but then the entire defense on the number of times that somebody on that side of the ball has been awarded that you know from our conference awards, it's a tribute to the way that they're playing and so good for our team.
And now get into the preparation for Ole Miss and they're a very explosive team. They're playing really, really well. Just look at their stats in conference. They've had three conference games, Arkansas, Alabama, and Vandy. They're scoring 31 points a game, they've been explosive. The thing that is staggering is the way that they've run the ball 310 yards in conference games, they're averaging like 309 point seven I think so 310 yards a game, they're passing for about 180. And you watch every way that they stretch the field and running the ball, and then they attack with a downfield passing game for close to 500 yards you go in conference that's hard to do. So really explosive, they've got three runners that are playing extremely well, both quarterbacks are good, they're good up front, you know, their offensive line will play well, because of who their head coach is. Matt Luke, you know, a decorated player at Ole Miss.
And then you go to the defensive side, you know, number 95 and 97, are as good of players as we will face this year. They're really explosive up front, you know, the tackles for loss, maybe they're in the top three in our conference in sacks. And they're very, very disruptive, and they they do a nice job on the back end on the way that they play their match coverage. So we'll have our work cut out for us, it'll be a great environment, a great environment for SEC football and the kids are excited to go play again at home. They're hungry for more, they're hungry to go be as good as we can be in every area and look forward to getting Saturday night here."
Did Cale say anything to anyone during that first half about being hurt?
"Really, no, he was pretty quiet. But then Cale's normally pretty quiet, you know, he just kind of goes and does his job. So he did say that his shoulder kind of hurt. Then he said I'm fine. And so we took it as that and you know what a performance he had. I told him if you're going to play that way, should have done it earlier, a couple games ago, you know. But, great kid. I hate that injuries are some of the things about this game that are hard to overcome. When you look at it just from a personal standpoint, you hate it for a kid, not only Cale, but you look at, you know, Aubrey Miller, Chris Mills, it's all those guys have had injuries that cut short on your experience of a college student athlete. Hate it, but you also pay honor to the work that they've done. And the things that he's done, represent our University and and he's built a program and the things that he's done. His legacy on looking back on what he was able to accomplish here. The standard that he set on the way is the way you're supposed to prepare and play."
What does it say about him that he played through that and played as well as he did?
"He didn't think it was obviously as severe as it was. And you know, that probably more than anything speaks on the type of mental and physical toughness that he carries himself with. You know, he kind of waited to have a break until he got checked out. It's just, you know, by definition, there's a lot of things you can describe Cale as and kind of in a nutshell, that's just the way he's approached his opportunities that he's had to be, you know, a student athlete here."
Does anything change with the scheme or the way you make calls with Cameron Wilkins replacing him?
"As we get into the game plan going into this week, specifically, we've got to be great tacklers. And that's not just that position that Cale used to play in, and Cam and Jamal and you know, Chad, stepping in there, but it's also, you know, the other 10 guys, we've got to tackle really well. So schematically, the way we call it, ou know, we won't change much. I think it's 10 guys doing their job. And then now whoever's in that role, you know, they've got a job to do today. So going to work. Our guys hate it, obviously, that the injury happened. But also, there's nobody around in our conference is feeling sorry for us. And we better get to work."
The emotional aspect, you called him the heart and soul of your team, is that something you talk about?
"You talk about it , you know, that guy's down the production that he had was, you know, on track, in my opinion to be an all American. I mean, look at the stat line through really four games. Well, it would be foolish to think that everybody says, 'Okay, well, let's just move on to play the next one in a minute.' It's hard, but the game's hard, life is hard, and you deal with it. And then you find ways motivationally, then we're going to go do this little bit better, we're going to prepare a little bit harder. The guys (know) that now's the opportunity to step up and put a little more on our shoulders. And go work."
Have you gotten any word on how the surgery went?
"As Pat Smith said, as I've heard Pat Smith say for every surgery, and this is what you want to hear from your doctor, he said it went perfect. So it's hard to be better than perfect. So I think he's still in recovery. And, you know, I know that they'll get on the rehab really, really quickly."
How confident are you he can recover from this injury?
"A hundred, really, you know, if you can go above 100% it's he'll recover. If the timeframe whatever, weeks and months it is, he'll be that time frame, just the kind of person he is. So I think he's going to play ball for a long time."
Do you have a sense for how long the recovery is?
"I'm really not sure. I think a lot of it depended on you know, today on what the extent of the injury was."
Do you have a sense if a medical redshirt is something he would want to pursue?
"We'll sit down family wise and see if it's something that they want to look into. And like I said the other day, I will pursue any avenue that they want. And, you know, I'm guessing it would be difficult to come by, but you know, it's worth a shot If it's something they want to do."
You mentioned last week that everybody would have to step up if you lost the quarterback. Is that the same philosophy now on defense?
"Now we have a week, it's a team game. And you know, we're going to lose somebody else this week. It's just the way the game is played, you know, and you gotta you can't sit around and you know, worry about who and how and what's going to happen, then you're losing an opportunity to prepare your team and keep going. So you know, I hate it. I don't want it to sound like I'm minimizing that, I'm not at all. I mean, it's devastating. But man, we got to be ready to go play and everybody, whatever 11, we will have 11 on the field. The standard and the expectation that they need to play with it's been set."
What have you seen from Cameron Wilkins in four games?
"He's really athletic. Cam is a smart player. And you know, he doesn't need to try to do too much. He needs to do what was his responsibility and doing his job within the call. He does that we'll be just fine."
Barring any setback do you expect Kelly to play?
"I do. He looked really good today. I think he had his best, I think we had our best Tuesday. I think he had his best Tuesday practice. So anyway, that's, that's a good sign, then now we need to have a really good Wednesday, but I don't think we would change anything on what I just watched."
With Ole Miss potentially playing two quarterbacks, does that change what you do during the week?
"I try to look back and really study and defensively I know they did a lot more in depth than I did. But it seems like it's very similar structure on what they're doing no matter if it's number two or number 10 playing, you know, playing quarterback. They're both good players. And they both are really you know, they got tremendous quickness and speed. And the way that is called it looks like it's called pretty similar no matter who's in there. But they're both really good players."
What's the biggest thing to be wary of when you're facing a Rich Rodriguez offense?
"Well, I think you look at the number of ways that they creatively in the run game, you know, the different ways that they attack you whether you know it's misdirection, the inside outside zone action, all the different ways, schematically that they present themselves. If your eyes are in the wrong spot, then you're going to get gashed and they're going to get some yards. So we're going to be very, very assignment sound, we're going to be great tacklers."
Some of the guys said a lot of the turnovers have been a result of being able to disguise coverage. Is that something you've been able to do more of this year with so many experienced players?
"Yeah, it is. And, you know, we've tried it previously, and we ended up out of position. So you know, this, I think it kind of has come with experience at every position. I think it's also with the teaching that Ryan and David have done on the back end on being able to speak the same language, along with Vernon on what it needs to look like. And then they want to teach that and apply it, but also our kids have been able to go and execute it. So that's been a bonus for us. And, you know, now we've got to do a better job continuing because, you know, everybody sees the same thing we're doing. So you know, that you get into the analysis of self scouting, and all those things and make sure that you've got enough tendencies to to go the other way, as well."
You mentioned David Gibbs, but a lot of the interceptions have come from the linebacker position.
"Yeah Gibbs is taking credit for it too."
Does the cornerback play deserve some credit just for being able to force some of those throws?
"I think we've been as good in our, in our pass defense, as you know, maybe Mizzou has been in a long, long time. And you know, we'll get tested this week. And then, yeah, I've also said, you know, we're three and a half hours from being fools, you know, man, three and a half hours away from being absolutely clueless about, you know, we don't know what we're doing. So the next challenge this week, we got to step up, go do it again."
What stands out about the Ole Miss offense?
"I mean, they want to run the ball and had great success doing that. So you know, first, second, third down, they're running it, and, you know, personnel groupings, you look at, you know, formationally, how they're attacking. But, shoot, if you run it for over 400 yards Saturday night, that's, that's hard to do. I mean, that's really, really hard to do. And now you look at their average, over 300 yards in conference games. It's been a while since I've seen that number. So we've got to be, we've got to be really, really good against the run. But then also, you know, when you see the things they do, throwing the ball down the field, it's going to take a tremendous effort to try slowing down."
It's Homecoming this weekend, what does that mean to you?
"Well, I've got a number of calls in the last 48 hours of the number of guys that are former players that are coming back this week, and maybe this is their only chance to get back on campus. You know, I know they'll have a great experience being back home and on campus and in the city of Columbia, and then having the opportunity to watch their team play. And so it means a lot to me. And we can't wait to see them and want to try to suit a couple of the really good players back out to help us out."
Saturday was a reminder Taylor is just a play away from being in there. What did you think of how he did with a limited playbook?
"I thought he did a nice job. I thought he was efficient. I thought he executed. You know, it's tough, because you want to want to win the game. And it's a tough situation to be in on how you call it. You want to see him to be able to do a little bit more, but also, you know, I thought Iwe handled it well. And I thought he handled the play calling, as far as you know, executing the calls."
When a cornerback comes in, an opposing offense a lot of times will try to kind of attack that spot. Is that something an offense can do with the linebacker position?
"I'm sure they will. Yeah, yeah, by play design, by formation, will try to see if they can get that spot, you know, in a situation that is that strange. So we've got to be on point to make sure that he doesn't try to do too much like I mentioned earlier."
Maurice Massey didn't play on Saturday I don't think. Is he healthy?
"Yeah, he's healthy. And I think he's still got a chance to help us. His habits last week didn't align with what we thought he needed to do to be in position to go play on Saturday. And I think he had a really good day today without getting through all the video yet. And you know, they know every week's a new week and go earn it, you'll go play on Saturday, There is a chance he's going to be a really good player. He's got a good skill."
Is there any chance Trajan Jeffcoat can rejoin the program down the road or is that done?
"I'm not I'm not sure on that. And I don't even know that, I don't have the information to be able to answer that."
We saw Case Cook in red today. Is that something that happened in practice?
"He had a tight back and sort of needed to try to get that calmed down so he got some reps early and then got more mental reps and everything. He'll be fine."
Kelly said he didn't think there was any intent on the play he got hurt. Did you have any communication with Chip (Lindsey) on that?
"I don't think it was either. (He) was flying in and was straining to try to get to make a tackle. You know, it looked awful but I don't think there's any intent there to to try to injure a player."
Looking at the film, were you able to figure out exactly when Cale got hurt?
"We watched it together and he was fairly certain on when it initially happened. You can see where he stands up, you know kind of tries to move it around a little bit. So kind of an awkward position. He ended up making a tackle and pulling the guy by the jersey down, it was outside the frame of the body and he said it felt he said I felt a pop then. And then I think it you know it didn't really set in to what happened till a few plays later."