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Green Wave defense ready for the Tigers

August 17, 2011

West Point will have their hands full some argue when South Panola rolls into town on Saturday.

The Green Wave struggled at times defensively in the jamboree against Louisville, especially in the secondary.

But after a week of watching film, Green Wave defensive coordinator Kendall Pickens feels pretty confident his boys will step up to the task at stopping the Tigers.

“We got to get more pass rush on the defensive line and in the secondary, we just have to work on techniques,” he said.
Pickens said they weren’t satisfied with their performance last weekend, and this week at practice was a chance to get back to work, and it’s been paying off.

“Their intensity this week in practice, it shows,” he said. “They picked it up and are starting to work hard and concentrate more and putting forth more effort to come back as a group.”

The biggest issue was communication, but the fourth year defensive coordinator says they are working on that every day.

The Green Wave will have to be tough from the opening kickoff. Last season, the Tigers threw for over 1,700 yards and rushed for over 4,600.

But the majority of those stat producers have graduated.

As far as watching film on South Panola, the Green Wave have had to go on previous games like their spring game with the Tigers in 2010 and last year’s 6A championship.

“We’ve just been taking what we can from what we’ve seen in the past and try and come up with a basic scheme to how they’re going to run their offense,” Pickens said.

Pickens said the biggest threat for the Tigers on offense will be quarterback Tony Conner, who didn’t take snap last season but is a weapon nonetheless with his speed and arm.

“He’s good,” Pickens said. “We’re not going to put all of our focus on him, but we’re going to try and do our best to contain him, not just him but the entire offensive threat. We want to force them to run on us.”

The entire defense is young, just one returning senior, Brandon Edwards is back. Junior Freddie Reed, who got several reps as a sophomore is also back as one of the most experienced players.

West Point did pick up two new pieces of the defensive system that will be crucial in linebacker Charles Heard a transfer from Houston and Josh Anderson, a transfer from Corinth.

Both players Pickens says have been really vocal and bring to the program a winning attitude which has slowly been rubbing off on everyone else.

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