A Closer Look

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said several newcomers would play in the season opener here. Thirteen of them did in the Rebels' 39-35 win against Vanderbilt to open the season.

Follow SpiritJeff on Twitter

Seeing first-time action were Quincy Adeboyejo, Ontario Berry, Tonny Conner, Evan Engram, Austin Golson, Lavon Hooks, David Kamara, Kailo Moore, Robert Nkemdiche, Temario Strong, Laquon Treadwell, Laremy Tunsil, and Quintavius Burdette.

Stepping Up Early

Among the highlights for the newcomers was a was a direct snap to Robert Nkemdiche on a fake punt for an 11-yard gain and a first down to keep a drive alive. It was the final opportunity of the first half with UM trailing 21-10. But the result was a missed 55-yard field goal by Andrew Ritter to end the half.

Tony Connor had an interception on Vanderbilt's first drive of the game that later resulted in the Rebels' first points of the season, the 30-yard field goal by Andrew Ritter.

Treadwell had nine receptions and made a big splash in his first collegiate game. Those nine receptions accounted for 82 yards and often kept the chains moving for the Rebels. On one drive he caught four passes in a row from Wallace, one of them a one-handed beauty. The drive resulted in a touchdown that drew Ole Miss to within four points at 21-17.

Helping The Cause

Senior quarterback Barry Brunetti scored the Rebels' first two touchdowns of the year with a first-quarter 1-yard run on his first play of the season and a third-quarter 3-yard run. He only had three rushing touchdowns all last season in a backup role behind Bo Wallace.

"This year, we wanted to have a lot of reads for the quarterbacks. The coaches wanted to put it on our shoulders," Brunetti said.

Bo Wallace
Bruce Newman

The Memphian said even though he came in cold in most situations in the game, he was ready.

"I just stay ready," said Brunetti, who only rushed those two times in the entire contest. "Just be ready for my name to be called. It feels great. I told Coach Freeze before the season, I wanted to do whatever I could to help this team. I want to be 110 percent ready."

Back On The Field

Andrew Ritter and Tyler Campbell got back into game action and performed admirably. Ritter's kickoffs were mostly in the end zone, with four of the seven being touchbacks. But after making a 30-yard field goal in the first quarter, he missed from 55 and 44 later in the game. He was 4-for-4 on extra point kicks.

Campbell punted four times for an average of 44.8 yards with a long of 53 and two touchbacks. But none inside the 20.

Bo Knows Winning

Wallace tied a career-high with 31 completions on 47 attempts for 283 yards. He posted career highs in completions (31), attempts (47), and yards (403) last season against Vanderbilt.

Cody Prewitt, who intercepted the final Vandy offensive play of the game to seal the win for the Rebels, had eight tackles, seven of them solos. The pick was Prewitt's fourth of his UM career.

D.T. Shackelford returned for the first time in two years to play in a game. He had three tackles, two of them solos stops.

OM Spirit Top Stories