Pondering the Ole Miss quarterbacks this morning.
At his campus media day Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said he’d like to redshirt both freshman quarterbacks, “but you have to have another one ready to play.”
Clearly Freeze has been getting Devante Kincade ready to play.
Back in the summer I thought if a catastrophic situation occurred with Bo Wallace that Ryan Buchanan might be the guy whose preparation would be fast-tracked based on what I’d read about his ability in the pocket.
While there was a lot of excitement for the signing of Kincade, I wanted to see him in camp. Sometimes guys branded as “dual threat” quarterbacks rely too heavily on their running threat and are simply not as strong with their passing threat.
To be at its best the tempo offense must have a guy who is accurate in the intermediate passing game.
Kincade has shown touch and accuracy. He’s also thrown some freshman passes, but clearly Freeze is getting this guy ready to play.
I thought Kincade, especially if he progressed with his passing, could move into a wildcat role. Maybe that happens, but Kincade is threatening Barry Brunetti for the No. 2 spot.
Buchanan has done some good things in practice, but he hasn’t gotten the reps that Kincade has. Kincade is splitting No. 2 reps with Brunetti in the periods open for media view.
If Wallace were to go down with injury early you probably still turn to Brunetti, but Brunetti would have to elevate his passing game to hold off Kincade — provided Kincade continues to learn and improve. It’s only been a week and a half of camp.
The best thing that could happen for Ole Miss is for Wallace to play well and stay healthy. After being called out for poor decisions last week he appears to have strung together a couple of good practices.
Running is an important element from the QB position, and Wallace, Brunetti and Kincade can all do that, some at a better clip than others.
The bottom line is that while depth is thin there are playmakers at receiver, and whoever is at quarterback has to get those playmakers involved while protecting the football along the way.