Bo Does Best

Through two weeks, Ole Miss has settled on two quarterbacks: Barry Brunetti and Bo Wallace.

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Unlike last week, when Randall Mackey was still in the competition, Saturday's scrimmage was a two-quarterback affair. The snaps were divided evenly, though Brunetti, like he has most of spring, was the first to take reps.

Ole Miss offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dan Werner said each player made nice plays in the some two-hour scrimmage. However, there were poor plays, as well.

"Well, both of them had flashes of brilliance and some not so good," Werner said. "The big thing we talked about the last time was about throwing on time, and I didn't think we threw on time as well as what we should have.

"We did protect the ball until the very last overtime drill. It's a great teaching tool because we don't turn the ball over until the very last drill, and in that thing it ends up costing you a ball game. So, hopefully we'll learn from that."

Brunetti finished the day 12 of 17 for 119 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. His touchdown throws were each from 20 yards out. Wallace was 10 of 23 for 113 yards and three touchdowns. He didn't turn the ball over, which wasn't lost on head coach Hugh Freeze.

"I'd be so pleased with one on one play, and then so made at ‘em the next. Just in my gut, standing out there, I thought probably Bo had a little better day," Freeze said. "But Barry had his share of good plays, too. We'll go and grade it and evaluate it and see."

"Up and down. You know, I'd make a pretty good play, then come back and make a little mistake mentally," Wallace said. "Just up and down. I'm not real pleased with it, but at the same time, it's never as good as it seems, it's never as bad as it seems. Coming out, it was definitely in the back of my mind to hang on to the ball. Coach Werner harps on us all the time about it. It's the No. 1 priority, really."

Werner said the head-to-head battle between Brunetti and Wallace is neck-and-neck.

But Brunetti isn't focused as much on the competition, as what he can control. Saturday wasn't one of his better days. His second interception came at the end of the scrimmage, in the overtime period. He attempted a pass to Korvic Neat between defenders, only to see safety Charles Sawyer come away with a turnover.

"Mostly, right now, I've been focused on what I can control," Brunetti said. "I can't control what Bo does or what they decide. I've just got to do what I can do. What can I do on this play to help my team? What can I do on this drive to help my team? That's all I think about, what can I control?"

Brunetti has been the presumed leader throughout the spring. Again, he's taken the first snaps every practice over the last two weeks. However, Wallace has kept the race tight. Saturday only added to his candidacy.

Wallace completed touchdown throws of eight, 14 and 20 yards in the scrimmage.

"Barry's going to make plays every scrimmage. He's athletic," Wallace said. "He's going to move around in the pocket. I'm not really competing against Barry. I'm just coming out and trying to have the best day I can every day."

Ole Miss has but three practices left, including the annual Grove Bowl a week from today. Freeze said he would like to see a quarterback emerge over the final week.

"Just keep us on schedule, take care of the ball. That's the two main things," Wallace said, when asked of what he needs to do to separate himself in the competition. "Hearing chatter on the sidelines, they're always encouraging me."

"Finish. Finish strong. Finish drives," Brunetti said. "Control the offense better. Most importantly, finish."

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