QBs advance

It's still said to be a three-man race. There's still a lot to learn and a lot to accomplish, but at Tuesday's practice, Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt was pleased with the quarterback play. Read Tuesday's practice report inside.

"We had a good day today," said Nutt. "We got a little break from the stifling heat and the guys gave it to us. We executed better on offense.

"We took care of the ball, no bad snaps, no fumbles on exchanges - those are taken for granted but very important. The quarterbacks threw the ball extremely well today."

At one point, Nutt said, Zack Stoudt was 9-10 in various drills.

"He was on the money today," said Nutt, finally smiling a little about the QB situation. "He made some pro throws. (Randall) Mackey made some good throws and threw for a couple of TDs. Barry (Brunetti) threw a couple of touchdowns. They went to another level and we needed to see them do that."

Zack Stoudt
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Stoudt left spring training on a bad note, but since then he's walked a straight line.

"It started in the summer. he went to every class, he worked hard to try to earn his teammates' respect with some leadership," Nutt allowed. "He's done everything right to this point and he looked good today.

"As far as that group is concerned, I really don't see much separation. We have three guys I am not afraid to put in a game. We've never had that before. The first couple of scrimmages are going to be interesting to see who separates themselves."

Nutt, once again, praised the freshmen receivers.

"They go get the ball. They fight for it. They are very impressive," he noted. "They just have to keep learning the system."

Safety Denzel Nkemdiche made his Rebel debut, but he was not in shoulder pads. It is hoped he will be in full pads for Saturday's scrimmage.

"It was good to see him out here. He moved around pretty good - he's just a day behind," Nutt stated. "(PK) Bryson Rose kicked the ball really good, Tyler (Campbell) had a good day punting and Andrew Ritter looked good. Overall, a good day."

The Rebs were missing three players - FB H.R. Greer, FB E.J. Epperson and DE Kentrell Lockett.

"H.R. rolled his ankle and will only be out four days, we hope," Houston said. "E.J. has a slight concussion and should be back in a couple of days. We are just resting Lockett. He's had several surgeries and we have to take it slow with him and watch the swelling form tendonitis. It flared up a little yesterday and we are going to be cautious with him."

Even with Lockett sitting for a day or two, Nutt was enthused about the defensive end slots.

Randall Mackey
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"We feel pretty good there with Wayne Dorsey, Gerald Rivers, Cameron Whigham, Jason Jones and Carlos Thompson," he closed. "Dorssey, Rivers and Thompson have all put on weight and they are all a year stronger and more experienced. We're OK there."

Random Notes:

* It's starting to sound like the proverbial broken record, but two players that were not really mentioned heavily in the preseason continue to step up - MLB Ralph Williams and WR Collins Moore. "Ralph is rotating with the ones in the middle and it's not because Mike Marry is doing poorly," said Nutt. "He's started coming on at the end of spring and has carried that over to fall camp. I can see a possible scenario of having Mike and Ralph on the field at the same time. Collins makes a play a day and catches everything thrown his way, it seems. He has excellent hands and tight coverage does not bother him. He focuses on the ball and goes and gets it, but so do the other freshman receivers. They all go get it when it's thrown."

* A veteran who has shown up this fall so far who missed spring is Slot Derrick Herman. "He's making plays," said WR Coach Gunter Brewer. "He's made a move. He and Philander (Moore) and Collins (Moore) are coming on at that position. They still have a lot to do, but they are making strides."

* The Rebs have a good problem at punt return. Jeff Scott probably leads Philander Moore by a little right now, but the coaches seem comfortable with both and are stating behind the scenes they will probably use both in that capacity. It appears Scott has the edge over the field in kickoff return based on what he did at the end of last year.

* Punter Chris Conley and QB Robert Ratliff are currently in a battle for holding on placements with the edge, at this point, going to Conley, who worked with Rose in the spring and built some comfort with the veteran PK.

* Frosh CB Senquez Golson - like Collins Moore - continues to make at least a play a day and get kudos from Secondary Coach Keith Burns. Senquez is already penciled in for nickel and dime packages if he continues advancing and he is by no means out of the cornerback race. It's obvious from Burns' body language, he loves the Pascagoula freshman.

* Right now, it appears the number two safeties may be JUCO transfer Aaron Garbutt and true freshman Cody Prewitt, but the coaches have not seen much of Nkemdiche yet and are not counting him out by any stretch of the imagination.

* The musical chairs on the DL continued today. For three days, DT Carlton Martin has been secure at the top of the food chain, but today senior Justin Smith was inserted with the first team. It looks as if the DL depth chart is fluid and on a day-to-day basis under Coach Terry Price. Uriah Grant, for the second day in a row, maintained the top spot at the other DT position.

* To get the practice going, Nutt had a brief session of one-on-one in the ring. There were some real good battles. TE Jamal Mosley got the edge on DE Carlos Thompson; RT Aaron Morris locked on to DT Bryon Bennett and did not let go; DT Carlton Martin schooled rookie OL Justin Bell; DT Gilbert Pena got the better of frosh Center Ethan Hutson and DE Gerald Rivers, surprisingly, got the jump on LT Bradley Sowell for the close decision.

* The Rebs will have plenty of beef on the field goal team. Across the front, right to left, will be Matt Hall, Bobby Massie, Jared Duke, DS Will Denny, Tank Washington, Bradley Sowell and Patrick Junen. TEs Jamal Mosley and Ferbia Allen will handle the wings.

* Freshman walkon slot receiver Tyler Baker got an opportunity today and responded by finding a seam between the corner and the linebacker about 16 yards downfield and made a leaping catch of a Stoudt pass. He showed good hands in hauling that ball in.

* To illustrate the way the frosh attack the ball, Marcus Temple was all over Tobias Singleton in the end zone, but Singleton outwrestled him for the Brunetti pass for the score. One play later, Collins Moore hauled in an 18-yard TD from Stoudt in the corner of the end zone and then Stoudt found Moncrief for a 3-yard score on a diving catch. Earlier, Mackey connected with Ja-Mes Logan for a 20-yard score by threading the needle between a safety and a corner in the end zone.

* NWCC Safety Bud Barksdale and Lafayette County QB Jeremy Liggins attended practice.

* The Rebs will be in full pads for the first time tomorrow. Practice is at 4:30 and is open to the public.

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