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Brunetti Named Starter At Ole Miss

In the end, Ole Miss’ quarterback battle — at least for the season opener — was settled by one player’s off-field decision-making. 

Houston Nutt announced yesterday that Barry Brunetti will get the start against BYU in the Rebels’ opener next week.  Zach Stoudt will also play in the game.

UM’s third quarterback candidate, Randall Mackey, blew his shot at the job with an arrest for disorderly conduct on Monday night.  Allegedly, Mackey got involved in a large bar fight at an Oxford music venue called The Lyric.  During the scrum, Mackey allegedly struck a police officer who was trying to play peacemaker.  He was given a lesser charge because it’s not believed he took a swing at the officer on purpose.

“I am still looking into everything, but the bottom line is that he got into a fight,” Nutt told The Jackson Clarion-Ledger.  “The bottom line, as I tell them, even though there may be 50 other arrests, your arrest is headlines.  Walk away.  Turn the other cheek.”

Mackey violated his team’s curfew by being out after 11:30pm.

“I wish I had known there was a Monday night school party downtown,” Nutt said.  “I really wish I’d known that.  Because had I known that it wouldn’t have happened.”

Credit Nutt for acting quickly on this one and suspending Mackey for a game.  At LSU, senior starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson also broke his team’s curfew and also found himself in embroiled in the aftermath of a bar fight.  But Jefferson has continued to take first-team snaps in Les Miles’ practice sessions.

Brunetti transferred from West Virginia to Ole Miss this past offseason.  He has been the favorite to win the Rebels’ quarterback job, but he’s still been splitting reps in practice.  Now he has the opening day start nailed down and he obviously has a leg up in the ongoing competition for everyday starter.  His performance against a good BYU team will obviously help determine if he can keep said leg up.

 


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