OXFORD – Ole Miss players say they’re sticking behind embattled quarterback Jevan Snead after the Rebels’ 22-3 loss to Alabama.
“We know we’re a better offense than what we showed. We’ve got to pull together,” wide receiver Dexter McCluster said. “When Jevan makes a mistake, we just try to pick him.”
Offensive coordinator Kent Austin said there is “probably some validity” to Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt’s assertion that the pressure of off-season expectations has affected Snead.
But there are other areas Austin hopes to improve within the offense. Ole Miss had just 212 yards against Alabama, and its best players didn’t register much on the radar.
McCluster had 15 yards on six carries and 22 yards on three pass receptions. Tailback Brandon Bolden carried 10 times for 11 yards.
“Jevan will get his stuff corrected,” Austin said. “We need to get our guys to make plays.”
Snead talked about getting back on the practice field and getting better. He used the 2008 season as a point of reference.
“Coach talks about having a short memory, and I can’t get down on myself,” he said. “We can’t listen to what others are saying. We had games last year where we played bad, but we got better.”
– Linebackers D.T. Shackelford and Patrick Trahan, running back Enrique Davis, cornerback Marshay Green and McCluster all left the game with some type of injury. Only Davis (who was favoring his lower leg as he was wheeled off the field) and Green did not return.
Green appears to have a cracked rib and some sort of injury to the kidney, Nutt said.
There’s no word on how long Green and Davis will be out.
Shackelford was already suffering from a high ankle sprain.
– Alabama drove 61 yards in six plays in the closing minutes of the first half to score the game’s only touchdown on a 31-yard run by Mark Ingram. As the game turned out, Ole Miss would have lost a battle of field goals, but the touchdown, coupled with the Tide’s defense, gave it a comfortable margin the entire second half.
– The Rebels take on Alabama-Birmingham (2-3)for homecoming. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
– “We hit the guy (Ole Miss QB Snead)just about every time in the first half and I think it affected him. It affected them. In the second half, we probably didn’t execute as well. We made some errors, didn’t cover some guys on screens. We ran some blitzes wrong. But we kept competing.” – Alabama coach Nick Saban.
– Snead led Ole Miss in rushing with 44 yards on four carries. … Snead had thrown a touchdown pass in 13 consecutive games before Saturday. … Bolden notched career-highs with four receptions and 76 receiving yards. … Linebacker Trahan was credited with seven tackles and has 17 stops in his last two games. … Freshman Tyler Campbell averaged 45.6 yards on five punts including a booming 71-yarder in the third quarter. … Kicker Joshua Shene converted his lone field goal attempt and is 5-for-5 on the season. … Ole Miss started five wide receivers, including freshman Pat Patterson.
Parrish Alford/ NEMS Daily Journal