By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – After two games back, Ole Miss defensive end Kentrell Lockett has recorded just three tackles and has yet to produce a big play.
Lockett had already missed the season opener in 2010, then missed the final eight games of the season with torn knee ligaments.
In the spring he was granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA.
Lockett led the Rebels in quarterback pressures with 13 two years ago. He also had 10 tackles for loss and five sacks.
“I’m not going to say I’m eager or anxious for it, because when I have been anxious and hyping myself up to get stuff like that I miss out on easy things. Maybe I miss a tackle, or a ball will be on the ground, and instead of just falling on it and trying to get a fumble recovery, I try to get a scoop-and-score and completely miss the ball,” he said.
“I’m just going to play football. You can put yourself in those situations, but you really have to react to them. You can’t plan on it to happen.”
Lockett says he has no problems with the knee and has complete confidence in his teammates and in himself.
Trusting the system
Reducing the number of big plays allowed was an area of focus for an Ole Miss defense seeking to improve its 2010 numbers.
A week after holding the BYU offense to 316 yards, the Rebels allowed 420 yards to FCS opponent Southern Illinois.
Ole Miss allowed five plays of more than 30 yards. Cornerback Marcus Temple said film review showed some “free lancing” by some defensive players that helped lead to the big plays allowed.
“We got out of our scheme. The coaches talked about that yesterday and told us we have to trust in the defense. Players can’t go out and do their own things,” he said.
Running backs rotation
There’s still no word on the availability of tailback Enrique Davis for this week, though Davis (knee) was expected to return quicker than Brandon Bolden (ankle). Both senior runners were injured against Brigham Young.
Sophomore running back Jeff Scott, who had 210 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns against SIU, said both Bolden and Davis were “running a little” at Sunday’s workout. The Rebels were off Monday and will be back on the practice field today.
“The coaches, they haven’t talked to me and let me know if I was going to be the starter or not. I’m just still working hard,” Scott said.
Scott said he was sore Sunday morning after a career-high 16 carries against SIU, but the soreness left quickly after he warmed up.
He finished with 118 rushing yards and three touchdowns, plus a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Nutt said whether Scott’s special teams duties lessen will depend on how he’s holding up at running back.
“We want him with the ball in his hands because he gives us the best chance to score. Philander Moore will get in the rotation at punt returner. We have a lot of confidence in him. Tobias Singleton and those guys will need to be ready. We will try to keep Jeff going, but it depends on his workload at the other position.”