Ole Miss defeated Southern Illinois 76-41 on Saturday and will open up SEC play against Alabama at home this week.

The Rebels’ offense has been rolling thus far in 2018, but their defense will need to play their best game yet if they want a chance at the No. 1 Crimson Tide.

Coach Matt Luke joined the SEC Coaches’ Teleconference on Wednesday to preview the matchup, here’s what he said:

  • Excited to be 2-0, excited to play #1 at night at home, looking forward to it.

Have you seen Alabama open up vertically?:

  • Yeah, they have more RPO. Their WRs have speed, it puts pressure on you because you know you have to stop the run and the QB is making good decisions and he can make plays with his legs when things breakdown.

How does a guy that worked for Cutcliffe help you?:

  • Coach Cut is very knowledgeable and he’s been around this league a long, long time. When I started coaching, a lot of that comes from Coach Cut. Very appreciative to have him as a mentor.

What are those values?:

  • Cutting your teeth, the work ethic, all the work that you have to put in to make a good team. Pressing the kicking game, the team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.

Kevontae’ Ruggs:

  • He is expected back, he is out of the concussion protocol. What he makes up in a lack of size he makes up in passion and love of the game.

What do you see from his brother at Alabama:

  • He’s their most physical brother and you see them both having success and that’s a credit to them.

What have you seen from Tua on third down that makes him so good?:

  • It starts with the tools around him. The OL, the WRs, the RBs and the coaches. When things break down, he keeps his composure, that’s impressive for a young QB.

How important will it be to get off the field on third down?:

  • It will be huge, we’ve talked about that all week. I think third downs will be critical.

How does this Alabama team compare to other Alabama teams?:

  • Well, they have no red zone snaps, that’s the same. They are well-coached… They have a great OL, they run the RPOs now and are very explosive.

Do you have a Tua scout team QB?:

  • Grant Restmeyer. He’s our scout team QB.