By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
NASHVILLE – When Ole Miss quarterback Randall Mackey enters the game today, it won’t be because Rebels coach Houston Nutt wants him to sit deep in the pocket, make multiple reads and throw downfield.
In the Rebels’ two-quarterback set-up – as Mackey platoons with Zack Stoudt – Mackey is the run guy.
Mackey may play an increased role at Vanderbilt as the Rebels and Commodores open SEC play with an SEC Network television kickoff at 11:21 a.m.
But Mackey doesn’t believe he has to be the central focus of a running game that has been erratic without senior starter Brandon Bolden.
“No, we still got some backs. We still got Jeff Scott and Devin Thomas, but Brandon’s pretty much all right. We are just doing good with the running game right now,” Mackey said.
Bolden and his backup, Enrique Davis, were both injured in the season-opening loss to BYU.
Both have practiced this week. Nutt said Scott will be the starter, but Bolden is expected to play. Scott had 210 all-purpose yards last week against Southern Illinois including 118 on the ground on 16 carries. He scored four touchdowns, one of them a 67-yard punt return.
An expanded package for Mackey, who rushed six times for 36 yards last week, would give the Commodores something they haven’t seen in their video study of Ole Miss.
Another new look would be freshman wide receiver Nick Brassell at cornerback.
Brassell played some defense in August camp but has been used exclusively at receiver in games. He’s rushed three times for 11 yards and caught one pass for six yards.
Brassell worked with the defense this week and will likely be used both ways.
A position change of note has been the move of freshman linebacker C.J. Johnson to defensive end where he is expected to play today.
Elsewhere on the injury front, middle linebacker Mike Marry (foot) is questionable. If Marry can’t play, redshirt freshman Ralph Williams and true freshman Keith Lewis will split time at middle linebacker.
Click video below for preview of Vanderbilt/Ole Miss game.