Getting ready for gameday again

As usual, he answered every question with clarity and purpose. But one that was asked brought a huge smile to his face.

"It's three weeks today until that first game," the starting quarterback of the Ole Miss Rebels was asked following Saturday's scrimmage on Hollingsworth Field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. "Have you thought much about how close it's getting now?"

That's when his demeanor changed, from serious responder of questions to a kid knowing that right around the corner is something he's been waiting on for almost two years.

It was the first scrimmage of preseason practice. Jevan Snead, the redshirt sophomore transfer from Texas, had a lot of fun out there as the calendar clicked off one more day until Aug. 30 when the Memphis Tigers roll into town.

He spread the credit around after a pretty good offensive showing.

"I thought it was a good day for me," he said. "But only because my offensive line did such a great job, and my receivers really backed me up. They did a great job. The backs did a great job. The older ones did good and the younger ones stepped up as well. Overall we had a good day."

Rebel Coach Houston Nutt said he thought Snead, who was 12-of-16 for 215 yards and two touchdowns, was even more impressive in handling some things the average eye might not see.

"What you don't get if you're just sitting up in the stands is how many times he got us out of the wrong place and got us into the right place," the first-year head coach at Ole Miss said. "Nobody's telling him to do it. He's responding, reacting and helping his team. That's a real quarterback. That's exciting to me. I didn't think he'd be that far along. Coach (Kent) Austin's done a great job with him."

"I thought Jevan was pretty accurate and made great decisions most of the scrimmage," said Austin, the first-year UM QB coach and offensive coordinator. "He's really picked things up, and there's nothing like doing it live to embed those principles into his brain."

Snead said every day is one more step in his growth as a quarterback, and he feels that improvement.

"I'm definitely getting more comfortable each and every day," he said. "Each rep I get, the more comfortable I get. I'm working hard to make every day better."

Nutt said Snead was good on Saturday.

"The deep balls you can tell, he's really accurate," Nutt said. "We're not playing our top receivers but a series to try to keep them healthy. Boy, he hit some strikes."

Snead said the Rebels have what it takes to score this season.

"I know we have the guys to do it," he said. "It all starts up front and they really protect me. Paired up with our receiving corps, which I think is one of the best in the nation as well, they're going to get open for me. As long as I have some time, we'll put up some points and do some big things."

Snead said the first week has gone well for the team.

"The first day is kind of a refresher course and getting settled in and reviewing everything," he said. "Now we're just taking off and adding some things, picking it up and rolling with it."

The first snap of the scrimmage was a 65-yard pass play from Snead to Mike Wallace. Snead would like to be able to have a tone-setter like that every gameday of his Rebel career.

"That was definitely a good way to start the day off," he said.

That's another day down. Just 20 more to go.

"I really don't know if I can describe how excited I am right now," he said of the upcoming opener, smiling of course. "I'm just ready to step back up and play. I heard the fans get excited a few times today. That gets me even more excited."

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