NOTES: RBs, PKs, & PC

Mark Dodson and Jordan Wilkins got substantial snaps against Presbyterian College. Two of the lesser used running backs in a talented Rebel backfield found multiple opportunities Saturday.

Dodson had two major first-half highlights. One came on a 65-yard run for a touchdown that put Ole Miss up three scores. Along with Andy Pappanastos’ extra point, that made it 21-0 Rebels early in the second quarter.

Later in that period just before halftime, Dodson was again on the run, this time a 62-yard scamper for a score. Pappanastos’ point after made it 35-0 at halftime.

Dodson only had one other carry during the first 30 minutes, and his total receiving yards by intermission were 128. He didn't carry the football in the second half, and his average per carry wound up 42.7 yards.

Wilkins had five carries by halftime and 69 yards to show. But no scores.

In the second half the freshman from Cordova, Tenn., rushed five more times, and his total for the day was one touchdown on 171 yards.

Dodson, from Memphis, Tenn., said he looked forward to today’s game, but he uses the same approach to every game and situation.

“You try to take advantage of every opportunity you get,” he said. “I feel like the coaches put the right guy in for the best situation. I just have to wait on my time. That’s how it is.”

Wilkins said, when asked, if he thought he might have earned more reps with his game performance.

“That’s up to the coaches. It’s out of my hands,” he said. “But whenever my number is called, I always want to go out and give 110 percent and do whatever I can to help the team win.”

Wilkins said he simply focuses on getting better, knowing that’s what helps his team most.

“Just improving week to week, whatever the team needs for me to do,” he said. “When the yards are there, just go get them. Run hard and be physical. Get first downs, and then the big runs will come.”

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said both Wilkins and Dodson had good games for his team.

“Jordan Wilkins and Mark Dodson, the physical, downhill running they did was very impressive,” he said. “How does that equate against some of the defenses we will play in weeks to come, I’m not sure. But I know I was impressed with what we saw (today) for sure.”

Freshman Eugene Brazley from New Orleans, La., had 10 carries for 45 yards.

I'Tavius Mathers was held out against PC after a concussion in the Auburn game. Jaylen Walton didn't carry the football against the Blue Hose but had one kickoff return for 23 yards.

The PKs

Freshman Gary Wunderlich had settled in the past few games as the Rebels’ placekicker. But he sat out the Saturday game against PC.

“He probably could have played today, but he’s got a strained hamstring,” Freeze said of Wunderlich. “At this point in the year it’s not worth risking further injury when we can probably get him to 100 percent by the next game.”

Pappanastos did the placekicking in the first half, while Andrew Fletcher did so in the second half.

A freshman from Montgomery, Ala., Pappanastos was good on all five extra point attempts in the first half. He missed a field goal from 42 yards, and the game's final extra point as well.

Fletcher, the senior from Nashville, Tenn., who had been the Rebels’ placekicker in the early going this season, made his only extra point try of the second half. But a field goal attempt of 37 yards was blocked.

Pappanastos and Nathan Noble shared kickoff duties against the Blue Hose.

PC's Stay

Presbyterian College head coach Harold Nichols was complimentary of Ole Miss. He said he and his team knew what they were getting into by playing on the road in the Southeastern Conference.

“We knew it was going to be a tough battle, obviously, when you are playing a team like Ole Miss,” he said after his team fell to 5-5. “They have a lot of speed. They are big, tough, and physical. It was all about what I expected it to be.”

Nichols said the players looked forward to the experience of playing on the SEC road.

“Ole Miss has a great gameday atmosphere, and our kids were excited about coming over here and playing. Unfortunately we did not play as well as I would have hoped.

“Some of it had to do with us, but a lot of it had to do with them. Credit goes to Coach Freeze and his staff. They have a great team.”


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