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Football Notebook: Prewitt, Bryant earn first career starts

Addison Dent | The Daily Mississippian


Youth movement continues on defense

Heading into Saturday’s game against Kentucky, Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt is inserting several freshmen into the starting lineup for the first time.

“I’m anxious to see it game time, but they are taking the game plan in and working hard,” Nutt said. “It’s like swimming, you’ve got to throw them in the water.”

On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Serderius Bryant and safety Cody Prewitt are both in line to start at their respective positions against the Wildcats, and Bryant is glad to have the opportunity.

“I feel great,” Bryant said. “A chance to get my first start, I might go out there and play a little better just because I feel a little better. I’m always going to go out there and give it my heart, give it my all every practice and every game. I feel like it’s going to be nothing different.”

Prewitt, who broke his hand just weeks ago, has impressed the coaches with his play on special teams and that has led to an increased role on defense.

“He’s shown toughness on special teams,” Ole Miss defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix said. “He has tremendous speed and athletic ability. Sometimes you make moves because you’re not getting the performance that your looking for from other guys so you say ‘Hey, let’s give this guy a shot.’

“He has all the tools. We recruited him and felt he was one of our best athletes, so we’re going to give him a shot at it.”

Offense needs to show up ready to play

Ole Miss offensive coordinator David Lee has been preaching all week that the Rebels must be ready to play Saturday afternoon in Lexington and that Kentucky should not be taken lightly. The Wildcats’ defense is led by the Southeastern Conference’s two leading tacklers in senior linebacker Danny Trevathan (94 tackles) and senior safety Winston Guy (83 tackles).

“I think the biggest thing is, we better be ready to play,” Lee said. “That bunch up there in Kentucky, they believe they can beat Ole Miss. They’ve got good players up there. They’ve got three guys on defense that could start for anyone in this conference and our guys have got to know that.”

Lee compared the Vanderbilt game to this Saturday’s game and said that he doesn’t want what happened in Nashville to happen in Lexington.

“I don’t want the scenario of Vanderbilt happening again, where we think cause we’re going to show up that they’re not going to play or that we’re better than them,” Lee said. “My biggest concern is our guys not being deep down ready to play.”

Rebels glad to have Bolden healthy

Ole Miss running back Brandon Bolden has continued to battle back from a broken ankle and is finally back to full speed, something that the Ole Miss coaches are thankful for.

“You’re able to open up the playbook a little bit from screens to draws and delays,” Nutt said. 

“You can throw to him, hand to him. He’s very valuable catching the ball out of the backfield and all those things.”

Lee said being able to rely on Bolden and knowing he is completely healthy is “all the difference in the world.”

“We’ll really miss him when he’s gone,” he said.