By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – A sagging offense for Ole Miss will not result in a change in the pecking order among three quarterbacks once locked in a race deemed too close to call.
West Virginia transfer Barry Brunetti won the job by default following the late-August arrest of Randall Mackey, one of his two competitors.
Brunetti played most of the first half of the opener against Brigham Young but hasn’t played since.
Zack Stoudt won the job in the meantime and has started each game since. He has moved the offense at times but has thrown just one touchdown pass and six interceptions in the last two games.
Mackey has played off the bench in three games. He’s passed for 106 yards with a touchdown and one interception and has rushed for 54 yards.
Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said both members of his two-quarterback system “did good things when they had time” in the Rebels’ 27-13 loss to Georgia.
“Both of them are trying to have a good role. We’ll continue to evaluate and keep that going,” said Nutt, whose team travels two time zones west to face Fresno State this Saturday.
Following last weekend’s games, the Rebels rank no better than No. 102 in any major category on offense in the NCAA statistics. Ole Miss ranks No. 118 out of 120 FBS teams in total offense with 235.0 yards per game.
At his weekly news conference on Monday, Nutt predicted another shot at playing time and success for Brunetti, but he didn’t offer specifics.
Against BYU, Brunetti – in a very limited game plan – completed 2-of-3 passes for 4 yards and rushed three times for 13 yards.
He was replaced by Stoudt on the Rebels’ final drive of the first half which ended in a field goal and a 3-0 lead.
“I think he’ll get another shot, another opportunity. You just have to wait your time, and I think he knows that,” Nutt said. “He’s practiced very well with limited time, and he’ll get his chances. I think good things will happen for Barry. I don’t know when, but good things will happen.”