Two weeks in and here's what we know about Ole Miss football this spring.
One, the offensive line has not looked good, and that's not surprising. Two tackles are being replaced, a third starter, guard Matt Hall who would probably be moved to tackle, is being held out for an unspecified reason that could affect his eligibility for the fall, and the
OL is learning a new up-tempo system that is very different from what they ran a year ago.
The line wasn't very good last year, and at times then-offensive coordinator David Lee felt that there was a lack of understanding as he continued to stress a more simpler approach in play-calling.
Hugh Freeze has said from the very beginning that it would take time for the offensive line to come around, and maybe last Thursday's practice, with a handful of downfield completions in the passing game, was a step in that direction. We'll see.
Barry Brunetti has the lead in the quarterbacks race but isn't running away with it. Bo Wallace is right behind. For two weeks both have made routine plays, but there have been few spectacular plays, the OL development being part of that reason.
Randall Mackey is still a running threat under center, a different threat than Brunetti. Brunetti is a skilled runner relying on awareness and vision. Mackey is faster. There's got to be a place for Mackey on the field if he doesn't win the job at quarterback, and right now he's got an outside shot at best.
Would Mackey come in as a running quarterback? That might depend on Bo Wallace's role.
If Brunetti and Wallace are both playing, you have to wonder if there are enough snaps to bring in a third specialized guy. David Cutcliffe did that successfully for one game, but it would be hard to make the three-QB thing work over the long haul. You know, the Rebels are pretty thin at running back. Might Mackey make an appearance there? He's too good an athlete not to utilize with an offense that lacks big play-makers.
Nick Brassell has gone from being held out the first week for academics to making some big plays at receiver and being labeled an “NFL corner” in his second week. There's been good work from Wesley Pendleton and juco transfer Dehendret Collins at corner this spring.
Add Brassell in the mix and the developing Senquez Golson in the fall, and that could become a strong position. Brassell must stay eligible, though.