By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
Bo Wallace’s return to form begins in earnest next weekend.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said Wednesday that Wallace, a junior quarterback, is scheduled to begin a throwing program in 10 days. Wallace missed spring practices after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.
“We’ve consulted a lot of the top doctors, and we’ve got a plan in place for him,” Freeze said during an SEC coaches teleconference. “I know he’s anxious to do it, and he’ll execute the plan. … The doctors still feel like everything’s going well.”
Wallace hurt his shoulder against Tulane on Sept. 22, and the injury got progressively worse as the season went on.
Freeze said Wallace’s throwing program will be a “gradual process. Obviously, you want to make sure you don’t overdo it at the first part, but he’ll do quite a bit pretty early. They’re going to push it pretty aggressively.”
With Wallace out for the spring, Barry Brunetti and Maikhail Miller (Itawamba AHS) got the bulk of the snaps. But the Rebels, who went 7-6 last year, need Wallace back under center.
His first season in Oxford, Wallace passed for 2,994 yards, 22 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He won the Conerly Trophy, which goes to the state’s top college football player.
His importance to the offense was apparent during spring drills, which Freeze said was “dominated” by the defense. Freeze added that three lost starters on the offensive line also played a role in the offense’s struggles.
Ole Miss opens the 2013 season Aug. 29 at Vanderbilt.
MSU’s ‘strong point’
Mississippi State’s offensive tackles were a weak spot last season, but head coach Dan Mullen likes the progress he saw during spring drills.
The Bulldogs, who went 8-5 last year, have both starters back in junior Blaine Clausell and senior Charles Siddoway. Also returning is junior Damien Robinson, who played in 12 games last season.
“That’s a strong point,” Mullen said. “I see those guys all getting comfortable. It’s hard to say, we have potentially three starting tackles, which is a good position for us to be in going into the season.”
Robinson said earlier in the spring that the offensive line as a whole has grown more comfortable within the schemes and with each other. Mullen has seen that.
“They understand what we’re doing, and they’re playing with a little bit more confidence, which certainly is a big plus.”
MSU opens the season Aug. 31 versus Oklahoma State in Houston.
Miles on scheduling
There has been chatter about the SEC possibly expanding from an eight-game to a nine-game league schedule, but most coaches aren’t keen on it. As for which teams play which, LSU coach Les Miles questioned the need for permanent cross-divisional opponents.
“I wonder if a computer might pick a fair scheduling by random draw,” Miles said. “The key piece for any conference, certainly, is to allow equal access to be champion. I suspect that there’s going to be some questions there.”
LSU’s permanent Eastern Division opponent is Florida.