After directing the Ole Miss offense to a 28-25 win over Memphis in the opening game of the 2006 season, Rebel Quarterback Brent Schaeffer, who dazzled fans in his own right, took the humble way out for his part in the victory.
"My job was easy," said Brent. "All I had to do was not make any mistakes, which is always my number one priority. The other guys made most of the plays and the offensive line gave us the opportunties to perform.
"The quarterback always gets the credit because he's the guy with the ball most of the time and he's the one who fans follow with their eyes, but the ofensive line is the reason teams succeed or fail. They are behind the scenes, kind of, and don't get the credit, but they deserve it."
That's been said many times before by quarterbacks and running backs, but you get the feeling Schaeffer really believes it.
"I knew if I played mistake-free, the OL and the skill players would carry us," he continued. "I know if they continue playing like they did against Memphis, we will have a lot of success."
Brent said another "sound" performance is what will be required aginst the Rebs' second foe - Missouri.
"It's all about not beating yourself," he declared. "Limit your mistakes and play your game - execute - and you put yourself in a position to win.
"The Memphis game was a good day for everyone. We got the 'W' and I'm always satisfied with that, but there are a lot of things we can do better. We need to continue to improve and get more and more comfortable with each other and, in the meantime, keep playing error-free football and we will be alright. I know Missouri will be good. We just have to go out there and do our thing and prove we are good too."
Brent said he loves to make plays himself, but he believes those will come naturally so his focus is on directing traffic while eliminating mistakes.
"Coach (Dan) Werner is all about doing things the right way. We believe he will put us in the right positions to make plays and all we have to do is execute properly," Brent stated. "That's what we have to continue to do and that's what has to be my priority. The plays I can make will come to me if I am running things smoothly."
Brent defined the offensive line as the foundation of the offense, but he's not limiting his praise to them. He likes the playmakers around him as well.
"To have guys like BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Mico McSwain and Dexter (McCluster) and Robert Lane and several more, it takes a lot of pressure off me as the quarterback. I know I don't have to make as many plays - I just have to get them the ball and sit back and watch them work," he explained. "It feels good to be in that type of situation."
Brent has been asked many times why McCluster was his primary target against Memphis. He has explained many times that it wasn't planned that way, it just went down that way.
"The game just lent itself to that. Memphis' defense gave us Dexter. He was out there on the island in man coverage and Memphis was focusing on Robert (Lane)," he said. "We ran a bootleg on the goalline and Robert was supposed to ease out into the end zone and two guys hit him before he could get off the line of scrimmage.
"Coach Werner wants everyone involved, but we aren't going to force the issue. If an opposing defense is leaving someone open, we are going to throw the ball to him until the defense changes their plans or covers him. Memphis never covered Dexter and I kept getting him the ball.
"Robert and several more will make a lot of plays this year. We made a lot of plays in practice. We aren't worried about it. It will come."
Brent Schaeffer -
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