Some highlights from Houston Nutt's weekly news conference. Player interviews will resume tomorrow. …
After reviewing video from Ole Miss' 38-28 win at Fresno State, Rebels coach Houston Nutt felt very good about his new starting quarterback, Randall Mackey.
“He did an outstanding job for his first start. He made really good decisions, stayed in the pocket. He wasn't looking to run, but when the pocket did collapse he made positive yardage. He made throws from out of the pocket,” Nutt said.
Nutt said Mackey is the Rebels' best option at quarterback right now, because the team can't give the QB position the complete protection it needs.
“The biggest thing we've seen in the first weeks … when (Zack) Stoudt was protected, he was fine. When Barry (Brunetti) was protected, he was fine. But we're not at that stage. We're not at that point, and the defenses we will see will be better than we've played in the first five weeks.”
Nutt liked what he saw from tailback Brandon Bolden, who had his best game since sustained the fractured ankle in the opener against BYU. Bolden's acceleration and lateral movement, key aspects of his game that had been problematic through the healing process, were much improved.
“He's the best he's been. He's not 100 percent, but he's the best he's been, and with these two weeks he'll be 100 percent pretty much by the time we play Alabama.”
Nutt praised his defense for making timely plays but wants to see his defenders shed blocks and get to the football more consistently.
“They got some real critical stops, and they've been really good in the red zone, and we've gotten more take-aways. I'm proud of all that. I just want to be more physical on the defensive line and with linebackers. I want our safeties to come up and make tackles. We've got to be real physical at the poitn of attack.”
Nutt also gave credit to Fresno State's offense.
“They're a good team, and if you don't go out there with the right frame of mind you will get beat. That tailback (Robbie Rouse) is as fast as we'll see. That wide receiver (Jalen Saunders) is as fast we'll see. The quarterback (Derek Carr) is a good executor and can escape. You draw something up in the dirt, and he makes it happen.”