Randall Mackey doesn’t seem to mind being No. 2 in a two-quarterback system. After more than a year away from game competition, he was just happy to get on the field.
A junior college All-American at East Mississippi in 2009 when he passed for 3,122 yards and 32 touchdowns, Mackey was approached just prior to the start of the 2010 season about taking a redshirt year.
He had been involved in a competition with Nathan Stanley and Jeremiah Masoli.
A year later he was involved in a competition with Barry Brunetti and Zack Stoudt – until his disorderly conduct arrest set back his college debut for one more game.
“It felt good to get out there. It felt real good. I have been waiting for like a year and a couple of weeks,” Mackey said.
Stoudt took advantage of Mackey’s absence and performed well in relief against BYU – well enough to earn the start last week against Southern Illinois.
Stoudt hasn’t managed to “stay away from disasters” as Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt wants his quarterbacks to do, but oddly enough, they haven’t been disasters in the passing game. Stoudt has yet to throw a pick in 43 attempts.
His problem has been fumbles, two in two weeks, each one leading to a touchdown.
If there’s a silver lining to Stoudt’s turnovers, it may be that fumbles could be easier to correct than a gunslinger mentality and poor decisions, something he has not shown.
In the meantime, the Rebels will turn to Mackey to help spark the running game. That was clearly part of the plan entered against Southern Illinois. He played 18 snaps and ran the ball on six of those plays, once for a 25-yard gain on the Rebels’ late touchdown drive.
He also hit Ja-Mes Logan for an 18-yard gain out of the shadow of the Ole Miss end zone.
Mackey doesn’t believe he has to boost the run game.
“No, we still got some backs. We still got Jeff Scott and Devin Thomas, but Brandon’s pretty much all right. He should be coming back soon. We just doing good with the running game right now,” Mackey said.