By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Ole Miss appears headed down the path of a two-quarterback system, but Zack Stoudt still sees a clear line of demarcation.
“Whether I’m right or wrong in saying this, I feel like I’m the starter,” he said.
Stoudt, a true pocket passer, was indeed the starter in the Rebels’ 42-24 win over Southern Illinois last week and will be again when the Rebels open SEC play Saturday morning at Vanderbilt.
Randall Mackey, a more run-oriented quarterback, also played against Southern Illinois. It was the college debut of Mackey, a junior college All-American who redshirted last season.
Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt backs up Stoudt’s view.
“I feel really good about Randall. He is comfortable with the things we have given him. He can throw and run options. He can do some different things for us. We are not afraid to put him in the game at certain times, but we will start with Zack Stoudt,” Nutt said.
Stoudt, a first-year junior college transfer, doesn’t feel nervous about sharing time under center.
“I’m not looking over my shoulder. I like when Randall goes in. He mixes it up and throws the defense off guard. It kind of gets the defense on its heels when I go back in,” he said.
Stoudt finished the BYU game in relief of Barry Brunetti.
‘Better every week’
Nutt named Stoudt the starter at last Monday’s news conference, and Stoudt benefitted from going through the week of practice as the No. 1 guy. He’s pleased with the progress he’s seen and eager for more.
In two games he’s completed 24-of-43 pass attempts for 258 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.
He hasn’t been turnover-free, however. Each week he’s lost a fumble that has led to a touchdown.
“I was a lot more comfortable going the whole week as the starter,” he said. “It’s getting better every week, but it’s no where near where it needs to be.”