BLOG–Following a strong summer showing on the 7-on-7 camp circuit and equipped with an SEC recruit at wideout in Ole Miss commit D.K. Metcalf and a pair of talented tailbacks in senior Jarius Barnes and sophomore Kenzie Phillips, the Oxford offense created a lot of buzz heading into this season.
But the Chargers’ defense is starting to prove that it’s no slouch.
That wasn’t any more evident than a suffocating effort put forth in Oxford’s 30-0 victory over rival Lafayette in the annual Crosstown Classic Friday night at William L. Buford Stadium.
Both schools did some chirping before the game in the form of rap videos featuring students, players and cheerleaders which went viral earlier in the day, but Oxford’s defense did all the talking once the game started.
Led by what defensive coordinator Steve Herring called “a career game” from senior defensive end Darrius Liggins, Oxford (4-0) pitched its second straight shutout in the series against a Lafayette offense which had scored at least 21 points in each of its first three games and features an Ole Miss commit of its own in senior running back D.K. Buford.
The Commodores (2-2) also lined Buford up at receiver and quarterback throughout the night in an attempt to get the offense going, but it never happened against Liggins and company. Official stats were not available at the time of this post, but Liggins, a Mississippi State commit, was everywhere, racking up numerous tackles, multiple sacks, a pair of pass deflections and an interception off his own tipped ball.
Lafayette was limited to 26 yards of offense in the first half and didn’t get much more in the second, crossing midfield just a few times. Oxford has allowed more than six points just twice this season, both coming against defending state champs (MAIS AAA champion Jackson Prep in Week 1 and Class 5A champion Starkville in Week 2).
Below is a video of Liggins talking about the shutout and how the Chargers’ defense played overall.
Lafayette coach Eric Robertson admitted the Oxford defense had a lot to do with his offense’s shortcomings, and a clip of him giving his take on the Chargers’ defense and how it forced Lafayette to alter its offensive game plan is below.
Look for more coverage from Friday’s game in Monday’s print edition of the EAGLE. (September 14, 2013)