Highlights of the Sunday teleconference with Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt. ...
Cornerback Marcus Temple (broken ankle) and defensive end Wayne Dorsey (broken arm) each had surgery this morning in Jackson. Both seniors, their careers are over.
Concerning his options at defensive end moving forward, Nutt rattled off a list of names starting with Gerald Rivers and Kentrell Lockett and, when prompted, including sophomore Carlos Thompson, once considered a top-level prospect as a pass rusher, though he's yet to achieve much.
Dorsey had been one of the Rebels' most consistent defensive playmakers with 18 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks, two pass break-ups and an interception going into the Alabama game.
He had added four tackles, a tackle for loss and a sack before leaving in the fourth quarter last night.
Nutt said Temple was playing the ball much better this season than at any time last season, and he did have a really nicely timed break-up on a post pattern early in the game last night.
With Temple out, two-way freshman Nick Brassell got a lot more snaps on defense, and freshman Senquez Golson played quite a bit.
Brassell has settled into a two-way role, however. As he showed Saturday, he can be quite effective on both sides of the ball. Nutt is reluctant to make him a full-time corner or to really increase his percentage of playing time on defense. He said Brassell played 30 snaps on defense, 25 on offense. “You could tell he was getting worn down at the end. When he's full speed, like he was in the first half, he's a real, real threat.”
As far as his position moves in the Alabama game, Nutt thought Uriah Grant, a defensive tackle, “did some good things” at defensive end, though Grant was not credited with a tackle.
He does give the Rebels a bigger body to use against the run, and they need whatever help they can find in that department. Last year in the Alabama game tackle LaMark Armour was moved to end for the same reason.
Nutt said he was pleased with the play of Evan Swindall, who replaced A.J. Hawkins at center, and Patrick Junen, who regained his starting job at left guard.
Hawkins was among the four players suspended on Thursday, though Nutt had already made the decision to start Swindall.