By Parrish Alford | NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt didn’t need more practice time to decide on a starting quarterback.
Two days after junior college transfer Zack Stoudt replaced Barry Brunetti against BYU, Stoudt was named the Rebels’ starter for this week’s game against Southern Illinois.
The new Ole Miss starter won’t have the luxury of tailback Brandon Bolden, the fifth-leading rusher in the SEC last season. Nutt confirmed that Bolden is out with a fractured ankle. He did not give a timetable for his return.
Nutt was non-committal on his quarterback starter after the 14-13 season-opening loss, saying he would decide after more evaluation.
Nutt did not guarantee playing time for a second quarterback, as he did in late August when Randall Mackey – competing for the job along with Stoudt and Mackey – was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge.
After Mackey’s arrest, Nutt named Brunetti the starter but said Stoudt would play. Mackey was suspended for the BYU game but will be available for this week.
“We’re going to start Zack Stoudt, and we’ll just keep practicing the other two a little bit, but most of the reps are going to go to Zack Stoudt this week,” Nutt said.
Stoudt replaced Brunetti with 2 minutes, 54 seconds left in the second quarter, the Rebels’ final drive of the half. He played the rest of the way.
Stoudt never got the offense in the end zone but led drives of 49 and 70 yards that resulted in short field goals.
He finished 13-for-25 for 140 yards with no interceptions. He also fumbled when sacked deep in his territory, and BYU’s Kyle Van Noy returned the ball for the winning touchdown.
“He knows where to go with the football right now, and that’s the biggest difference between him and Barry,” Nutt said.