By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
More Rebels: Passing efficiency key…
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OXFORD – The competition level will increase for Ole Miss this week, but so too will the Rebels’ options in an offense that accumulated 565 total yards against Central Arkansas.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said he expects running back Jeff Scott, the team’s leading rusher a year ago, to be ready to go Saturday night against UTEP, which trailed No. 4 Oklahoma 10-7 after three quarters before losing 24-7 in its opener.
Scott was held out of the Rebels’ 49-27 win over UCA. Ole Miss rushed for 235 yards, it’s top two gainers being quarterbacks Bo Wallace with 82 yards on 13 carries and Barry Brunetti with 54 yards on eight attempts.
“Jeff looked good yesterday,” said Freeze, referencing the Rebels’ Sunday practice. “He was not pain-free, but he moved around good. I expect him to be ready to go.”
Randall Mackey started at running back but gained just 50 yards on 15 attempts.
After the game Freeze said Mackey had been sick throughout the day. Sunday, Mackey was taken to the hospital for treatment, and Freeze said he was feeling much better.
Although sophomore wide receiver Collins Moore returned to practice last week, his status for the remainder of the season is an on-going decision.
Freeze said he will “turn him loose this week in practice and see how he responds.”
Moore sustained a torn labrum on the second day of camp. He’s wearing a brace on the shoulder and could play with it through the season and delay surgery – if the coaches judge him to be effective.
A decision will come just after the Texas game (Week 3) at the latest.
With Moore out, Korvic Neat started at slot receiver and had six catches for 75 yards.
The need for Miller
Itawamba AHS product Maikhail Miller got into the game late and finished with 15 rushing yards on two carries. He did not attempt a pass.
Freeze says he’ll need a third quarterback this year more than he’ll need to redshirt Miller and that depth issue will necessitate most freshmen playing.
“You’ve got to have three quarterbacks ready to play. I don’t know if that was the best time to (play him), but I do believe we’re going to need him before the year’s up in the stuff we do,” he said. “We made fun of him yesterday. I told him I could have scored on that play where he broke loose and the Turf Monster grabbed him.”