By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – The decisions of Bo Wallace were a constant story line in 2012 even late in the season.
Decisions always come under scrutiny when a quarterback approaches 20 interceptions as Wallace did in his first season at Ole Miss.
Three games into his junior year Wallace hasn’t thrown a pick. He feels like his decision-making has improved, and he attributes that to head coach Hugh Freeze and to Dan Werner, who coaches the quarterbacks.
“I threw one ball (at Texas) that when I let go of it I kind of wanted to pull it back,” Wallace said.
Wallace threw 17 interceptions a year ago. Some of them were attributed to an ailing shoulder late in the season.
A red flag for Wallace’s ability to protect the ball was raised by Freeze the first week of practice when he took his quarterback to task for decisions. Since then things have settled down.
Now Wallace has gone 102 passes without an interception going back to the second quarter of the Rebels’ 38-17 Compass Bowl win over Pittsburgh in which he threw three touchdown passes but was picked off twice.
“I want to keep it going as long as possible. You’re going to have freak plays in a game. Those are going to come, but I can’t make foolish interceptions like I was doing last year.”
It is expected that cornerback Charles Sawyer will return from suspension this week. Freeze said he had to check a couple of things to make sure Sawyer had completed requirements to regain good standing.
Sawyer did not make the trip to Texas after his arrest for DUI in the early morning hours of Sept. 8.
Sawyer won’t move immediately into a starting role. Freeze praised the play of sophomore Mike Hilton, who made just his second start at corner against Texas.
“That takes my confidence to another level, because it’s SEC ball from now on. I feel more comfortable,” Hilton said.
Hilton had seven tackles, two for loss, against the Longhorns. The Ole Miss secondary broke up six passes.
Freshman to CB
Freshman Derrick Jones, who signed as a receiver but quickly moved to safety, will move to cornerback.
Freeze said he thinks Jones, at 6-foot-3, can be an asset against bigger wide receivers.
Jones, responding to a fan question on Twitter said, “No doubt in my mind I can!”
The Rebels are ninth in the SEC in pass defense efficiency.