The intention was to have this notebook posted last night, but life happened in waves after 9 p.m., so I’m checking in this morning.
Every sports writer at some point earns his own “locked in the stadium” story, and mine was mild last night in comparison with some other adventures I’ve experienced.
Still, I did wander around VHS a little with my cell phone flashlight, and I’m fighting off the effects of a summer illness.
The first major scrimmage of August camp was supposed to highlight the quarterbacks but was taken over by the Senquez Golson story instead.
Golson talks like a guy who’s about to sign a pro contract. The Red Sox have come back with a push to bring him in, and people close to him believe his parents want him to sign. Last night he talked about “little things” that still had to be worked out in the contract. A decision will happen today if it hasn’t happened already.
Golson played sparingly with the second and third teams in the scrimmage. His play was not affected by the possibility that the Rebels may have had a millionaire running around in the secondary, said Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, who added he would work Golson as hard as he could as long as he was in uniform.
Golson is probably the team’s fourth cornerback at this point in camp. Not that he can’t rise higher, but his loss, assuming he signs, is about depth and his enormous potential. He’s a tremendous athlete.
The top three corners are Marcus Temple, a senior back from missing the spring with sports hernia surgery, third-year sophomore Charles Crawford and junior college transfer Wesley Pendleton. Pendleton looks faster and more confident than he did in the spring.
Regarding the quarterbacks, Barry Brunetti was 2-for-6 for 24 yards with an interception. He also led a five-play, 65-yard touchdown drive that was capped by a 4-yard touchdown run by Enrique Davis and included Brunetti’s own 32-yard run.
Randall Mackey was 3-for-9 for 82 yards, and was 2-for-9 for 41 yards with a 35-yard touchdown throw to Donte Moncrief.
Part of the unimpressive passing numbers were due to an improved pass rush. I counted four sacks in the scrimmage, and the quarterbacks routinely were forced to sidestep pressure to keep a play alive.
There’s been a lot of talk about an improved Wayne Dorsey at defensive end, and Dorsey showed that with five tackles and a sack. Cameron Whigham had five tackles and a sack.
Junior college transfer DT Uriah Grant had a pair of tackles and generally seemed to hold his ground and be around the ball.
Offensively, the Rebels were able to run the ball effectively at different times with some good play from the offensive line. Brandon Bolden and Jeff Scott were held out, but Davis and Devin Thomas did some good things on the ground.
The toss sweep looked to be an effective play.
At the end of the day there was no real movement in the quarterback race.
There’s a closed practice today, and we’ll see on Monday what type of depth chart change occurred as a result of the first scrimmage.