Due to rainy weather in the Oxford area, the Rebels worked in the indoor practice facility as they…
Michael Oher -
At first glance, that seems like they are about as effective sleeping in their own beds, so to speak, as when they travel.
But that's not really the case.
The Rebels have captured their only SEC wins - over Arkansas and Florida - and played the ears off number 2 Alabama and previously ranked Wake Forest with their traveling shoes on while losing two SEC games - Vandy and South Carolina - while eating home cooking.
"It's strange and something we want to change," said senior Left Tackle Michael Oher, an All-American candidate. "We let some home games slip away in the second half and kind of let go of the rope. The captains and leaders on the team want to address that and see if we can't turn that around.
"We want to make sure everyone understands the kind of opportunity we have ahead of us and make sure we do the things we need to do at home."
Michael said he does not believe there are more distractions for the team at home games. In fact, he feels just the opposite.
"I think our fans need to get more into the game," he said bluntly. "They need to show up earlier and come from the Grove a little bit earlier. That's real motivation for us. To win in the SEC, everyone has to be in it together for the whole game. Players, coaches, fans - everyone."
Oher liked the performance the Rebels got at Arkansas - for the most part.
"We've played better, but it was a physical game and I think we did our part," he explained. "Arkansas never gave up. Their crowd kept them in the game and then we didn't finish the game the way we were supposed to. We let them back in it.
"We played well enough to win and that is the goal, so we're happy, but we know we can do better."
Auburn is next and Oher expects a typical SEC battle.
"Ever since last year I have been looking forward to this game. We didn't get it done over there and I think we should have," he continued. "Auburn is always been very physical and I expect more of the same this weekend.
"What we have to do is play four quarters. You have to play every snap in this league. We had a chance to go up 27-7 at Arkansas and we didn't do it. We had a chance to put Vandy and South Carolina away early and we didn't do it. If we get the chance against Auburn, we have to capitalize and put our foot on their throats and finish."
Prior to the season, Oher had specific goals for himself. Get stronger and play a more physical brand of football.
"I'm a lot better football player than I was last year," he noted. "When I watch the films, I see it. I've gotten better each week. Getting stronger has helped me. I can push defensive linemen out easier than before. I've always been a physical player, but now being physical has become easier because I am stronger."
The ball is in the Rebs' court. They have set the table to accomplish something that could be special considering how far they have come since last year.
Oher believes it's time to eat.
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