It’s not often we hear the term “nether regions” in a college football interview, but it was excellent phraseology for Emmanuel McCray as he described what caused him to leave the Ole Miss-Georgia game in the second half last Saturday.
The local beat paparazzi was gathered in the Sanford Stadium press box when Hugh Kellenberger said, “Guys, something’s wrong, Derrick Wilson is in the game.”
Wilson is McCray’s backup, and because there’s so little substitution along the offensive line, a move like that sticks out.
At a time when the Rebels’ secondary was already depleted, the loss of McCray at left tackle would be big. Monday McCray assured us he was fine and in the video posted yesterday told us why he had to leave the game. Ultimately, he returned.
“I got banged up a little bit, but it was more of a ditry play than anything. I got a pancake (block), and I guess he didn’t like that, so he did some things while I was crawling on top of him … my nether regions,” McCray said.
It was a light moment on Monday but a reminder of what goes on at the bottom of the pile in a football game and a reminder of how fragile the depth is on this team.
McCray is a fourth-year junior and is finally getting his chance as an every-down player. He’s been productive.
While OL coach Matt Luke works to build depth and create a trust factor with his back-ups, the fact is, he sticks with his starters most of the time. There are reserves who might jump up and play well in a pinch, but to date they’re largely untested.
Through nine games the Rebels have had the same starting lineup from tackle to tackle all year long. That’s not something they could say in recent seasons.
That stability is a good thing as long as everybody stays healthy.