No Decision

David Lee said a week ago he needed 100 more scrimmage plays to determine a starting quarterback. But you'll have to forgive him if he's still not quite ready after Saturday night's scrimmage.

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That's because his three quarterbacks vying for the No. 1 spot for the Rebels against BYU are all still so equal. They do different things but they do many of them well.

Hear Lee on the continuing drama.

"It's been a doggone dilemma, that's for sure," said Lee, still pleased that any of the three could start. "All three of them can move the team. All three of them can move the ball club."

And they all have clear-cut positives.

"Who's the best option quarterback? No question it's Brunetti," said the Rebels' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. "Who's the best dropback passer? No question it's Stoudt. Who's the guy that can be elusive in the pocket, extend the play, can run the option, can run the ball, can pitch the ball, it's Mackey.

"So we'll sort through this, watch them some more, and we'll name a starter when we're ready to name a starter."

All three said they felt more comfortable in this Saturday's scrimmage than last Saturday's.

"I was real comfortable out there," said Mackey, the junior who was 4-for-9 for 69 yards with a touchdown and an interception, also rushing six times for eight yards. "It was another week of practice with the offense. I was feeling pretty good tonight."

Brunetti, Mackey
Chuck Rounsaville

"I thought it was better than last week," said Stoudt, a junior who went 7-for-15 for 91 yards Saturday night. "I thought I made some improvements and got a little bit better. I thought I was more fluid with the offense and more comfortable with everybody. We all seem to be meshing and coming together a little bit more. We all did a lot better this week."

Brunetti said it's all for one and one for all, as far as he's concerned.

"We're all three anxious, because we all have our times, we all have our glimpses, and all have our struggles," said the sophomore who was 4-for-8 for 73 yards and a touchdown, also rushing three times for 12 yards. "Whoever gets it, we're going to support them the best way we can. And we'll be the best backups we can. Whoever is the starter. We hope he leads the team to a victory."

On one scoring series that began at the 50-yard line, Stoudt was 3-for-5 for 43 yards with Brandon Bolden taking it in from the 3-yard line on his only carry of the night.

On another, Brunetti took the team downfield from the 50 to score, as he went 2-for-3 for 38 yards with a scoring strike of 26 yards to Devin Thomas. Brunetti also rushed three times in that drive for 10 yards.

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt said he's been pleased with them all and he's comfortable with them all.

"Here's the thing about our three quarterbacks. They all do some good things. That's what's made it so difficult," Nutt said. "Each of them has strengths. Each of them can play. We're not afraid to put any of the three in a ballgame. That's what makes it difficult, but I'm glad we've got them."

Mackey got the nod to start the scrimmage and immediately proceeded to throw an interception right into the awaiting arms of junior cornerback Wesley Pendleton.

"We started off slow, but the second series the offense came together as one and we started moving down the field," Mackey said.

"A little bit of a rough start there," Lee said. "Randall's a little bit impatient with our under route, both under routes. We'll have to look at the tape. I saw it one way; he saw it another. His first pass he was a little nervous too and he threw the interception. After that I thought he played really well and moved the team. He obviously can throw deep. He's elusive. He keeps the play alive. He extends it."

With the Cougars in town two weeks from today, Lee said there's still time. And he needs it to evaluate them further.

"We're not ready to name one yet," Lee said. "But I really believe, fellas, all three of these guys can play. All three have a strong facet to them that can help us hopefully score points this fall."

Mackey summed it up perfectly.

"Whoever's going to be the guy, that's who it's going to be as the starter."

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