OLE MISS NOTEBOOK: Sympathy from Rebels’ camp

OleMissLogoBy Parrish Alford

Daily Journal

OXFORD – Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott learned of the death of his mother on Sunday and received support from his MSU family.

He got an encouraging word from one of his rivals as well.

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze reached out to Prescott on Twitter late Sunday with this: “Very sorry to hear of your loss. Prayers from our Rebel family are with you.”

Prescott is at home in North Louisiana, and it’s not clear if he was aware of Freeze’s tweet. His own Twitter account does not show a response.

Freeze said he recruited Prescott while he was coaching at Arkansas State.

“I know him. I just think there are more important things than the game of football. As much as we all love it and are passionate about it, want to do well, and want to win and compete … ,” Freeze said. “There are times that there’s animosity between rivals, I get all of that. I understand it clearly, but at the end of the day, a young man has lost his mother. That’s a difficult task for anyone to go through.”

RB competition

While a number of injured Ole Miss players got the green light to play against Arkansas, cornerback Charles Sawyer and running back Jeff Scott have not.

Sophomores I’Tavius Mathers and Jaylen Walton have combined for 381 rushing yards and five touchdowns in Scott’s absence.

Freeze listed both players as questionable for Arkansas but also said that Scott got first-team reps in Sunday’s practice along with Mathers and Walton.

“I don’t think Jeff’s 100 percent. We’ll have to see how the week goes with him,” Freeze said. “Mark Dodson has earned a look, and I like Kailo (Moore) also. It depends on what package we start as to who will be the starter, but you’re going to see all of those.”

Loving early games

The Rebels have had eight straight evening kickoffs and are excited to play football in the daylight with an 11:21 a.m., SEC Network kick against Arkansas.

Monday it was announced the Nov. 16 game against Troy will kick off at 11 a.m., and will be televised by ESPNU.

“I’m so glad we have an early kickoff to wake up and go play instead of sitting in a hotel room and watch games. I’m excited about these early kickoffs,” quarterback Bo Wallace said.

Typically the team has played afternoon football before November. Players don’t expect a difficult adjustment.

“We’ve been practicing in the daytime the whole year. During spring we were practicing at 11, 12 and 1 o’clock. Right now we’re practicing in the afternoons,” linebacker Serderius Bryant said. “We just have to get used to the weather again. I’m very happy.”

parrish.alford@journalInc.com