“I thought so,” said the redshirt freshman from Jackson. “I’m not complete yet. I thought I did some good things. I think I did well in the two-minute. I’ve just got to punch it in in the red zone. I’ve got to finish that. All in all I think I’ve improved since the first week.”
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze mentioned Friday that Buchanan’s consistency had been good and that was apparent in the scrimmage.
“I definitely think (my consistency) is a big improvement from the spring,” Buchanan said. “I’m really hard on myself. I want on every single play to not make a mistake. But we all know that’s not possible. I think I’m improving and making less mistakes.”
The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder was a four-star recruit out of Jackson Prep. In the last year he and fellow backup DeVante Kincade have worked to improve and be ready when called upon – this year that being behind starter Bo Wallace.
But Buchanan said he is approaching the situation as if he is the guy right now.
“My mental aspect is that I’m preparing as if I’m the starter,” he said. “I know I’m not the starter, but any second Bo could roll an ankle or get a concussion or something. I’ve got to be ready for whenever they call a play and always keep a drive going and never have a setback.”
One of the areas Buchanan said he was not as pleased with Thursday night was finishing drives.
“When you get inside the 20, get inside the red zone, we can go tempo up until then. Get inside the red zone, and sometimes you’ve got to slow down,” he said. “Just be smart and make smart decisions. Making completions are the biggest thing in the red zone.”
The receivers are obviously a team strength. The talented group will catch it when it’s thrown to them.
“They’ve improved, even the young guys,” Buchanan said. “They’ve all gotten better, especially since week one (of fall camp). We were a little inconsistent that first week. But we’re getting on the right page now. We really worked that today in more individual workouts. So we’re improving a lot, and they’re getting ready to go.”
A three-sport star in high school, Buchanan said he feels comfortable with the Rebels’ offensive playbook now. But he still works at perfecting that as well.
“I feel pretty good on paper. When they ask me a question, I’m always trying to be ready with an answer. And I feel like I am. It’s just different going full speed. You’ve got blitzes to pick up, and you’ve got to know it in that split second. Mentally as far as knowing the full offense, I think I’ve got most of it. I just need to do it when we go live.”
Like the receiving corps he mentioned, Buchanan believes the offensive line continues to show improvement and more consistency.
“They’ve been doing good. They’ve also improved since week one. With our defense, we like to send a lot of different blitzes. So they’re really getting a tough look. They’re picking up on it and we’re trying to improve each scrimmage. I think we’re getting along that way.”
Same thing for the center candidates – Robert Conyers and Ben Still.
“They’ve gotten better, both of them,” Buchanan said. “I think they’re looking good right now.”