Wallace the Starter

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze has named his starting quarterback.

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Sophomore Bo Wallace will start Saturday against Central Arkansas, the Rebels' season-opening opponent, Freeze announced Thursday afternoon.

Wallace, a transfer from East Mississippi Community College, had been locked in a tightly-contested competition with junior Barry Brunetti for the job since spring practices in April.

"I plan on scoring every drive," Wallace said Monday. "I think that's really important -- going out there and scoring, and not being taken out of the game. You're scoring every drive, (Freeze) is probably not going to take you out. That's my main focus right now."

Freeze told the Ole Miss Spirit Thursday he still intends to stick by his plan to play both Wallace and Brunetti, going so far as to say the quarterbacks enter the game as co-starters.

However, Wallace will get the first crack at leading the offense.

"To me, going into game one, their kind of co-ones," Freeze said Monday. "I don't get caught up into depth charts anyway, really. I want to know who can play. Who rolls out there the first series, I don't get too hung up with."

Wallace signed with Ole Miss in December and enrolled in January. He made a number of visits prior to his decision, including stops at Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Baylor and Nebraska.

Bo Wallace
Bruce Newman

He held offers from each of those schools, as well as Indiana, Middle Tennessee State and UAB. Texas and Texas Tech also showed interest, though he didn't received a scholarship offer from either school.

He set the NJCAA record for passing yards last season with 4,476 yards in leading EMCC to a national title. He totaled 53 touchdown passes.

Wallace played one season at Arkansas State under Freeze. Freeze replaced Houston Nutt as head coach of Ole Miss in December.

Brunetti, who played in five games last season with two starts, said Monday he didn't care who was named the starter. Brunetti completed 19 of 35 passes for 144 yards and rushed for 100 yards on 33 carries as a sophomore.

"I know we're both going to play," he said. "We're both going to get an equal amount of reps. Whoever's the guy who goes out there to start, hopefully starts us off right and puts some points on the board the first drive."

That guy is Wallace.

Freeze said last week that the flow of the game will dictate the playing time of Wallace and Brunetti.

"If they start out on fire, obviously he's going to get another shot at it the next series," he said. "If it doesn't go quite as well, the other one's probably going to be quicker to get in there.

"They'll both get in there, but it kind of depends on the flow of the game. But when a quarterback gets hot, you certainly don't want to do anything to stop that momentum."

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