Saturday Swoon

It hasn't rained all preseason practice, and it hasn't rained since this afternoon's practice. But during most of the couple of hours designated for a scrimmage on Saturday, it poured.



"I just asked the guys if there was any lightening. On Aug. 29 it might be raining," Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said. "We can at least add that to our experience in getting ready. We didn't handle it extremely well. The quarterbacks' balls had no real zip on them. I don't know if we were prepared for it, training staff and equipment guys and what not. But it was a good experience. I thought we handled snaps and handoffs pretty decently. But we sure didn't have much on our passes."

Freeze wasn't feeling too good after the scrimmage with the way his team performed. But he admitted that is nothing out of the ordinary. As a matter of fact, it's common.

"I've never left a preseason scrimmage feeling good. Ever. At any level," he said. "Because you just really don't know what to make of it. Our staff offensively has to look at themselves first. I don't think we had our kids ready to go. That's frustrating. We'll discuss that."

But all that can change from day to day, and has the last two days.

"(Friday) in the live scrimmage, the offense dominated," Freeze said. "The defensive guys had a little chip on their shoulder. This is our 11th practice, and everybody's fatigued and legs are tired. But (the defense) certainly responded better than the offensive guys did today."

Freeze said it was simply a matter of preparation today that was not to his liking.


D.T. Shackelford
Bruce Newman

"It's hard for me to point at our players. I don't think we had them ready today," he said.

Random Notes:

* Four-star linebacker Nyles Morgan, a former teammate of current Rebels Laquon Treadwell and Anthony Standifer, attended the scrimmage. He arrived in Oxford last night for an unofficial visit. He'll leave tonight. The North Panola duo of running back Justin Conner, a 2016 prospect, and ATH Willie Hibbler, a 2015 prospect, was also in attendance for the scrimmage. Conner is the cousin of current Rebel safety Antonio Conner.

* Memphis, Tenn., kicker Gary Wunderlich took in the scrimmage, as well. The 6-foot, 180-pound Wunderlich, a member of the recruiting class of 2014, is currently committed to Virginia. He holds an offer from the Rebels, who will have to replace kicker Andrew Ritter following the season.

* Speaking of Conner, as much as has been made of Robert Nkemdiche, Laquon Treadwell and Laremy Tunsil, he's been somewhat of a forgotten man, despite being a former five-star prospect and the top prospect in Mississippi in the 2013 signing class. He's made a quick transition to the college game, rotating between the first and second teams with Mike Hilton at husky. He had an interception of senior QB Barry Brunetti in the scrimmage.

* Nkemdiche - Robert, that is - didn't participate on Saturday. The staff opted to hold him out due to a groin strain - a precautionary measure, as the injury isn't concerned serious. When asked post-practice, Freeze wasn't seem overly concerned. Nkemdiche, if you remember, was with the first team at defensive end opposite C.J. Johnson for the majority of the week.

* More injury news: Freshmen RBs Mark Dodson (thigh bruise) and Kailo Moore (concussion) were MIA for the scrimmage. Dodson is day-to-day. He should be good to go after the day off. Moore, however, will have another concussion test tomorrow. If he passes, he could start running, according to Freeze. DEs Carlos Thompson and Cameron Whigham, also out with concussions, are close to returning.

* There's quite a battle brewing between Brunetti and true freshman Devante Kincade for the No. 2 quarterback job. The pair split reps evenly with the second team in the scrimmage, with mixed results for both. Brunetti: 6-15, 142 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Kincade: 3-4, 16 yards.

* Jared Duke has had a strong start to fall camp. The senior is currently running with the first team ahead of Aaron Morris, who reported to camp overweight after off-season surgery. Duke is being rewarded for his efforts as much as the staff is looking to motivate Morris, as Freeze and offensive line coach Matt Luke alluded to this week. Morris, to his credit, has responded to the demotion. He put back-to-back strong practices together to end the week. Definitely a battle to watch as Ole Miss inches closer to its season-opener at Vanderbilt.


Bo Wallace
Bruce Newman

* Ole Miss is off tomorrow. The Rebels will return to practice on Monday. All practices from this point forward are closed to the public, and media will only be allowed to view the first four periods.

More scrimmage stats:

Quarterbacks:

Bo Wallace: 6-11, 125 yards, INT
Ryan Buchanan: 1-2, 10 yards

Receivers:

Laquon Treadwell – 3 catches; 53 yards
Korvic Neat – 1 for 4
Quincy Adeboyejo – 2 for 50
Donte Moncrief – 1 for 38
Cody Core – 2 for 50
Collins Moore – 2 for 9
Jordan Holder 2 for 59
Nicholas Parker – 1 for 8 and a touchdown

Rushing:

Jeff Scott: 3 carries, -5 yards
Bo Wallace: 9 carries, -23 yards
Jordan Wilkins: 5 carries, 5 yards
Barry Brunetti: 4 carries, 6 yards
I'Tavius Mathers: 4 carries, 16 yards
Ryan Buchanan: 2 carries, 5 yards
Jaylen Walton: 3 carries, 6 yards
Devante Kincade: 2 carries, -10 yards

Interceptions:

Chief Brown 28-yard INT of Brunetti in end zone
Cody Prewitt 5-yard INT of Wallace

Sacks:

Keith Lewis 1 for -7
Billy Busch -1 for 12
Serderius Bryant 1 for -7
Tony Connor 1 for -5
Walker Sturgeon 1 for -3
Fadol Brown 1 for -6
Bryon Bennett 1 for -6


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