The quarterback rotation (Matt Jones or Ryan Sorahan as the starter) and the loss of a starting linebacker were the two hot topics Sunday when Houston Nutt met with the media. Nutt said he had suspended redshirt freshman linebacker Sam Olajubutu for a violation of team rules.
Houston Nutt would not commit to a starter at quarterback for the Mississippi State game. When first asked if he would stick with the same rotation with Ryan Sorahan starting and Matt Jones in relief, Nutt at first said, "Probably so."
Later Nutt changed that to, "I really don't know."
Nutt then winced a bit, then dove into the quarterback controversy a little more.
"We all know that Matt Jones is our quarterback," Nutt said. "But he's played his best football the last three weeks coming off the bench. It's so easy for people sitting up there (in the stands) to look and say, 'Why didn't (Matt) start the game?' Deep down, I want to start Matt, but I don't want to change up what we have now. He plays best coming off the bench."
Nutt said he does take the blame for calling an option play with Sorahan in the game at the start.
"We thought everyone would chase the tailback, but they both took the quarterback," Nutt said. "That's my fault.
"I will say that when Matt came in, they chased the tailback and took poor angles. We did change up our option play a little. We had been running it to the two wideout side and we went to the split end side and it was big."
Olajubutu has been the starter since Clarke Moore sustained a broken leg against North Texas. He was suspended Sunday by coach Houston Nutt for a violation of team rules. The suspension is indefinite.
The Hogs are short on middle linebackers already and Olajubutu's loss may force the Hogs to move starter Jeb Huckuba from defensive end back to the position he played last year.
The Hogs have lost Clarke Moore (broken leg) and Brandon Holmes (knee) from the middle linebacker slot.
Nutt said that if Michael Robinson (surgery, broken wrist)can be fitted with a soft cast, he could take the stinger linebacker slot and that Caleb Miller could move to middle linebacker. If not, then Miller would probably start at middle linebacker and Desmond Sims could play stinger. Sims has been trained at both stinger and wolf linebacker and played both this season.
The Hogs played redshirt junior Marcus Whitmore, a former junior college transfer, at middle linebacker for well over half the snaps Saturday against New Mexico State. Whitmore and Huckeba shared the tackle lead with seven each.
Nutt Unsure on QB for MSU
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