RB Dilemma

Ole Miss Offensive Coordinator David Lee gives his assessment of the Rebel offense after studying the game film.

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The Ole Miss offense only managed 208 yards and two field goals against BYU in the opener.

In what was anticipated to be a higher-scoring affair, nobody was more surprised than Rebel Offensive Coordinator David Lee.

You could clearly detect his dismay in his comments immediately following the game when he said, "The defense won the game and we lost it."

So, after reviewing the film, did his opinions change?

Not much.

"I don't really remember exactly what I said after the game, but after watching the tape, Barry (Brunetti) did some good things, we just made the move to Zack (Stoudt) after he threw into coverage a couple of times that concerned me," said Lee. "We had not scored any points, so I felt it was time to look at Stoudt. He took us down for a field goal and stayed hot, so I stayed with him the rest of the game.

"That was basically what I thought after the game from a quarterback standpoint, and that was the same after watching the tape."

This week, however, there's a "new" element to the puzzle. Randall Mackey, who was suspended for the opener and appeared to be headed for the first start before his suspension popped up, is off of his suspension.

Lee and Mackey
Chuck Rounsaville

As the old Bobby Darin song "Mack the Knife" states, look out old Mackey's back in town.

"We are giving him some work in practice and hopefully a situation arises in this game where we can play him. I would certainly like to evaluate him in a game situation," Lee continued. "He hasn't been in a game, so I want to see him in a game, which we haven't yet."

Should Stoudt be looking over his shoulder or should Mackey's presence motivate him to do even better?

"I hope it makes him feel like he needs to get the ball in the end zone and to perform so he can keep his job," Lee said. "I hope it motivates him. He doesn't need to play looking over his shoulder."

For the OC, there are more positions to ponder than the QB.

Lee's charge this week is figuring out what he's got to work with now that TB Brandon Bolden and, most likely TB Enrique Davis, are out for the Southern Illinois game.

"Well, we know it hurts not to have them. We are rethinking some things. Korvic Neat was put in the backfield from slot and he had some recall his first day. We also moved a couple of young guys over there trying to figure out what to do," he noted. "We will watch them closely this week to see what they can do, but I think already we feel Korvic will play some in this ball game.

"Devin Thomas is good in pass protection and is a smart player, but he did break down in a critical situation Saturday. He knows what to do, I trust him, but he doesn't have a lot of carries in his career. He'll definitely play in this game."

Then there is the question of TB Jeff Scott. Is he a guy who the coaches can feed 20 carries a game to?

"I'm hoping he's durable. When I was with the Miami Dolphins, I watched Ole Miss put Dexter McCluster in the game as a tailback and I said to myself how little he was, but he lasted the whole year and did awesome," said lee. "I'm not comparing him to Dexter, but you hope Jeff has some durability.

"Those guys from BYU hit us low and hard and chipped bones and hyperextended knees. Watching it on tape, they looked like missiles coming in there. All three of our kids took licks, hard licks. The one Scott got hit on, he got blasted, plus Brandon and Enrique. I faced them when I was at Rice and UTEP and that's how they play - hard and aggressive."

Out wide, Lee was impressed with freshman Donte Moncrief.

"I think he did the best, overall," Lee added. "We had a couple of critical drops. One on third down (Ja-Mes Logan) and one in the end zone (Snoop Brassell), but other than that, they caught the ball well.

"They all need work on their blocking. They can all block better."

Lee was asked if freshmen Tobias Singleton and Collins Moore were getting closer to playing.

"They are getting better. I can't say right now when they will be ready, but they are working hard to get better and they are getting there," he closed. "We need them to come on."

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