Perfect

Wondering how the new placekickers were going to fill the shoes left by Josh Shene was a common thought over the past few months. Sophomore Bryson Rose has answered those questions in the first two games. Read about it inside.

Honestly, there was a lot of concern headed into the 2010 season how the Rebel placekickers would hold up after a below average spring session.

But while some other areas of the Ole Miss team have not been as crisp as one would like, sophomore Bryson Rose has stepped up to take charge on field goals and extra points.

After two games, he's been very good. Make that "perfect."

Rose currently leads the SEC in all kicking categories and is 4/4 in field goals and 9/9 in extra points.

It doesn't, and can't, get any better.

"Bryson has been extremely good, a very pleasant surprise for us," said Coach Houston Nutt. "We were worried after spring training because none of our placekickers did very well, but in August Bryson stepped up.

"I didn't know how he'd respond in front of large crowds, but it has not fazed him. He's been on the money so far."

Bryson Rose

Bryson is happy with his success to this point, but he's keeping a level head about it.

"It's really one kick at a time. Josh (Shene) taught me that. No matter what happened before, it's one kick at a time," he said. "I'm feeling really good where I am right now, but I have to stay in the moment - one kick at a time, stay positive, stay confident and go out there and do my job. I really don't want to think about anything else but the next kick.

"Josh always told me that no matter what - make or miss - put the last one behind me and stay in the game."

It's easy for the "regular" players to stay focused, but sometimes kickers are not called up but once or twice in a three-hour period.

"I try to stay loose and confident. Then, when my number is called, I tune in with the concentration," he stated. "I haven't really been nervous. I was more nervous in high school than I am now - I guess I've just been doing it so long that it's natural to me.

"Obviously, every kick you make builds your confidence, but the key is when you do miss one, and we all miss, just put it behind you."

When Bryson hits the field for a kick, he clears his mind.

"I don't really have a trick or anything, but I'm not thinking about anything out there except the kick. I don't look in the stands or anything like that. I just go out there tuned in to the ball and the kick," Rose explained. "In practice, I always try to put myself in game situations and visualize a crowd in the stands. That helps me when there is one."

The whole kicking "operation" is new, with Rose kicking, Richie Contartesi holding and Wesley Phillips snapping.

"Wes and Richie have done a great job. Richie has been outstanding getting the laces away from me and putting the ball down in the right spot," Bryson continued. "I'm very happy with both."

Even though Rose is off to an awesome start, he's not taking anything for granted.

"Every day there is competition. You have to earn your job every day," he continued. "You have to compete with every kick in practice and then make the best of winning the job that Saturday. Then you start the whole process over again the next week. Nobody has a guaranteed spot."

Even though Rose has put the ball through the uprights every chance he's gotten in games, and that's the name of the game, he's not satisfied with the way he's hitting the ball.

"The number one goal is to make the extra point or the field goal, which I have been fortunate to do, but I am not hitting the ball as solidly as I would like," he explained. "I have mishit a couple of kicks this year but they have gone in.

"I'm working on getting better contact, but until then, direction and the fact they are going in are the most important things. I'll get the contact issue resolved."

With 21 points in two games, Rose is on a fast track in scoring, but he's not counting.

"Like I said, one kick at a time. That's the only way to handle this job," he closed.

While there are still some worries about the Ole Miss team, for now, Bryson Rose has crossed placements off that immediate list.


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