• TheDMonline.com Staff Member?
  • Log In
Share |

Wallace feels the heat

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said on Monday that there would be competition at practice this week for the starting quarterback job. Sophomore Bo Wallace knows he has to improve his game to solidify the position and is ready for the challenge.
Austin McAfee/The Daily Mississippian

 
There are points in every game where a play breaks down and the quarterback has to rely on his instincts and intangibles to attempt to make a play. 
 
The same applies for Ole Miss sophomore quarterback Bo Wallace, who is now faced with the challenge of adjusting those instincts as he learns what works in Southeastern Conference play and what doesn’t. 
 
Turnovers are something that Wallace knows Ole Miss cannot afford, as the Rebels’ margin of error in games they want to win is incredibly slim. 
 
“The thing that’s most frustrating is I think I’m playing solid, it’s just (that) the one or two mistakes that I’m making (are) crucial and absolutely killing us,” Wallace said. “It’s not like I’m missing open guys or anything like that. It’s just the mistakes I’m making are turning the ball over, which ends up getting us beat.”
 
Changing his instincts and becoming more conservative with the ball when there isn’t a play to be made is a process for Wallace after a season of big plays at East Mississippi Community College last year. 
 
“It’s very tough because last year it’d be third-and-20, and we’d end up getting that conversion,” Wallace said. “We just would out-athlete them and things like that, but here, you can’t really do that. This is big-boy ball, and you have to burn them.”
 
After Saturday’s two-interception performance against Alabama, Wallace now has six interceptions on the season. That number ties him with Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray for second most in the conference, although Bray has 81 more attempts on the season. Auburn quarterback Kiehl Frazier leads the conference in interceptions thrown with seven. 
 
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze commented on Wallace’s two interceptions during Monday’s press conference. 
 
“First one, he’s out of the pocket,” Freeze said. “He should throw it away, but he threw it right to them. His mechanics were awful on it, and he’d be the first to say that to you. The second one, he’s just greedy thinking that Donte (Moncrief) is going to go up and make a play.”
 
Wallace agreed with those statements and admitted that he is just trying to do too much. 
 
“It definitely is (a forcing-it thing),” Wallace said. “I got greedy on that one, and then just trying to make a play on third-and-15 when you’re probably not going to get a third-and-15 conversion against Alabama anyway.
 
“I think my problem right now is (that) coaches say punting is a good thing, which in my head right now the last couple of games, it (hasn’t) been, ‘Punting is a good thing.’ I’m just pressing too much.”
 
The response to Saturday’s game is that the Rebels will have more competition than usual at the quarterback spot this week going into Saturday’s game against Texas A&M. 
 
“Interceptions are a part of the game, and as quarterback you’ve got to have a short memory and you’ve got to forget about them and you’ve got to move on and all of that,” Freeze said. “But if it’s a reoccurring pattern on just bad decisions and bad throws, then I think we as coaches have got to explore other avenues.”
 
For Wallace, he says, it’ll be “the same week for me.”
 
“I think as close as the race was the whole time, I’ve always thought Barry (Brunetti) was right on my back,” Wallace said.
 
For continuing coverage of Ole Miss football, follow @thedm_sports and @bennetthipp on Twitter.