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Preseason Football — Veterans step up, Quarterback battle continues

 

For the second day in a row, head coach Houston Nutt was pleased with his team’s performance on the practice fields.

“We had another good one,” Nutt said of Wednesday’s practice. “We have had two really good back-to-back days. I was excited about them pushing through it today, when it got a little hotter than it has the last two days.”

Nutt said that he is happy to see some of the older players pushing the freshmen.

“Some of these younger guys are growing up and some of the older guys like (Kentrell) Lockett and Joel Kight are helping the younger guys”

Nutt mentioned senior running backs Brandon Bolden and Enrique Davis, as well as senior offensive tackle Bradley Sowell and junior tight end Ferbia Allen for their play on Wednesday.

The defense has recently been struck with a few small injuries which has been frustrating for the coaches.

“We try to have physical practices without taking guys to the ground, but we are still having a hamstring pull here and there – which is aggravating, but hopefully they won’t be out too long,” Nutt said.

Junior Randall Mackey took the first snaps with the first-team offense for the second day in a row, but it was sophomore Barry Brunetti and junior Zack Stoudt who stood out at the quarterback position Wednesday, according to Nutt.

“Barry Brunetti had a great day and Zack Stoudt had a real good day as well," Nutt said. "It seems as though each day a different one has a great day.” 

Smith takes starting position in defensive tackle rotation

Ole Miss brought in a pair of junior college defensive tackles in Uriah Grant and Gilbert Pena to bolster the interior of the defensive line, but senior Justin Smith has emerged this fall practice as someone who can also be a major contributor at the position.

After an average spring, Smith has turned it on during fall practice and has worked himself into a starting spot, just 17 days away from the season opener against BYU on Sept. 3.

“I started off with the second (team) defensive line and struggled a little bit during the spring, but I’ve working been working hard this summer,” Smith said. “We’ve got a lot of competition on the defensive line and all of us have been pushing each other. There’s been a lot of competition and I think it has helped the defensive line as a whole.”

The progress made by Smith during fall camp has not gone unnoticed by head coach Houston Nutt.

“Another senior that is playing really good for us,” Nutt said of Smith. “I am very proud of him. He has been very tough throughout camp. His leadership has been outstanding.”

Golson "en route" to Oxford

Freshman defensive back Senquez Golson was missing from practice for the third day in a row, but was expected to be back in Oxford sometime Wednesday evening and ready to practice Thursday, after turning down the Boston Red Sox on Monday.