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Mackey, Scott Suspended At Ole Miss

You can probably go ahead an pencil in a couple more losses for Ole Miss as Houston Nutt makes his way to the exit.  The team was expected to lifeless against Louisiana Tech and it was in a 27-7 homefield loss on Saturday.

Now, on top of the emotionally-draining coaching change, Nutt’s team will have to soldier on without two key players.

Starting quarterback Randall Mackey and running back Jeff Scott have been suspended along with backup receiver Korvic Neat for Saturday’s game against LSU and possibly for the Egg Bowl, too.  The oft-cited “violation of team rules” was given as the reason for the punishments.

“I hate it,” Nutt told The Jackson Clarion-Ledger last evening.  “Got to learn how to handle change and it’s tough for a lot of them.  Especially when the season doesn’t go just right, it’s easy to let go.”

As for the suspensions carrying over to the Egg Bowl, Nutt said, “It looks like two (games) right now.”

Zach Stoudt will start at quarterback and Barry Brunetti will see some time against LSU’s suffocating defense, too.  Congratulations.

Mackey and Scott ranked first and second on the Rebel team for total offense.

Credit Nutt for asking the UM administration for the right to go down with his ship, because that vessel is most certainly going down fast at this point.

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SEC Headlines – 9/27/11 Part One

1.  Alabama linebacker CJ Mosley is questionable for Saturday’s game with Florida.

2.  What if Trent Richardson had signed with the Gators?

3.  Speaking of Richardson, the website SportsByBrooks.com is making accusations about his car and his home.

4.  Auburn’s defense has been bad all season, but now it’s offense may be starting to stumble.

5.  AU will be wihtout receiver Trovon Reed this weekend.

6.  That struggling Tiger defense will have to stop Marcus Lattimore on Saturday.

7.  Bobby Petrino says Arkansas is still looking for its offensive identity.

8.  LSU conceded yardage to West Virginia… but they didn’t give up many points.

9.  Tiger players are embracing their new #1 ranking.

10.  Following an overtime win over Louisiana Tech, there’s a greater sense of urgency in Starkville.

11.  MSU might be looking at more changes along its offensive line.

12.  Despite a woeful offense, Ole Miss is sticking with Zach Stoudt at quarterback.

13.  Freshman linebacker Serderius Bryant says he wasn’t intimidated by the size or speed of Georgia’s players.

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SEC Headlines – 9/7/11 Part One

In order to dig deeper into expansion today, we’re going to keep things short on the “daily news” front with headline-driven day:


1.  Gene Chizik is impressed with MSU’s Vick Ballard and Chris Relf.

2.  Auburn is ready to simplify their defensive playbook.

3.  Alabama’s receivers look to improve.

4.  ESPN’s Mark Schlabach believes expansion could reduce fans’ passion.

5.  Mark Richt is in a battle for his survival at Georgia.

6.  Arkansas backup quarterback Brandon Mitchell made the most of his opportunities last week.

7.  The New Mexico Lobos have nothing to lose against the Hogs on Saturday.  (Hopefully the Lobos take to the field to this theme.)

8.  Former LSU assistant Bradley Dale Peveto will lead Northwestern State up against his old school on Saturday.

9.  The Tigers are now a bigger target for foes after their win over Oregon.

10.  Zach Stoudt will start at quarterback for Ole Miss this weekend, but Randall Mackey might play, too.

11.  Five MSU players suspended last week have yet to hit the practice field this week.

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SEC Headlines – 9/6/11 Part Two

1.  Wide receiver Duron Carter could make his presence felt Saturday at Penn State.

2.  Good thing, ’cause Nick Saban didn’t like the play from his wideouts last Saturday.

3.  Bama and Penn State both have questions at quarterback.

4.  Auburn will be looking for “hard nosed, old school” defense against Mississippi State.

5.  Getting linebacker Eltoro Freeman back should help.

6. Arkansas’ O-line wasn’t perfect, but it has “a lot to build on” after a blowout win over Missouri State.

7.  Running back Dennis Johnson is doubtful for this weekend’s game with New Mexico.

8.  The Razorbacks need to improve to reach a championship level.

9.  LSU’s lineup is taking shape after a Week One win over Oregon.

10.  The Tigers bested the Ducks with defense and a power running game.

11.  Ole Miss players are expressing confidence in new starting quarterback Zach Stoudt.

12.  Despite injuries at running back, the Rebels will be looking to run against Southern Illinois.

13.  Facing Auburn on Saturday, Dan Mullen says the Cam Newton situation is old news.

14.  Bulldog receiver Jameon Lewis is electrifying… when he makes good decisions.

15.  It’s unclear whether D-lineman Fletcher Cox will return from suspension this week.

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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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SEC Headlines – 8/10/11 Part Three

1.  Today will be a big challenge for freshmen at Mississippi State.

2.  It’s two-a-day time in Starkville.

3.  25-year-old assistant coach Angleo Mirando is handling MSU’s receiving corps this season.

4.  Trying to raise $150 million, Ole Miss is eyeing a new basketball arena and an expanded football stadium.  (So UM can have even more empty seats will fans mill about The Grove during games.)

5.  Houston Nutt is taking it easy with oft-injured defensive end Kentrell Lockett.

6.  Quarterback contender Zach Stoudt turned in an impressive practice in pads yesterday.

7.  A knee injury will cost Florida tight end AC Leonard up to two months.

8.  The Gators have already identified their top three receivers.

9.  UF’s O-linemen are hoping off-field camaraderie leads to on-field success.  (The off-field camaraderie involves dressing up in professional wrestling costumes, by the way.)

10.  Will Muschamp has been trying to build a closer, tighter team in Gainesville.

11.  Just-cleared Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones says he “never stressed” the NCAA’s decision.

12.  Isaiah Crowell and Richard Samuel put up good numbers in UGA’s scrimmage this morning.  (So does that mean they’re good or the Dawgs’ defense is bad?  That why we pay little attention to scrimmage stats.)

13.  Receiver Marlon Brown’s stock is finally rising in Athens.

14.  You can add Louisiana-Monroe to Georgia’s 2015 football schedule.

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New OC Lee Wants To Cut Back On What UM Did Last Year

New Ole Miss offensive coordinator David Lee wants to make some changes to the Rebels’ attack.

“I’d like to try and cut back what they did last year,” Lee said.  “It looks like (Jeremiah) Masoli brought a lot of ideas, the coaches coached it, and sometimes it was feast or famine.  I’d like to have four or five concepts, including the direct snap and get some consistency in that segment of the offense.”

When it comes to who’ll be running those concepts, Parrish Alford of The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal says Nathan Stanley, Randall Mackey and juco transfer Zach Stoudt will be the top three quarterback options.  Barry Brunetti will join the others if the NCAA grants him a hardship waiver following his transfer from West Virginia.

Stoudt told Ross Dellenger of The Jackson Clarion-Ledger that he’s looking forward to the competition.  “Everybody’s on the same level.  We’re all going to get our opportunities.  There is no guy right now.”

The four quarterbacks are not mirror images of one another.  Brunetti said, “I assume with me and Mackey we are kind of more of dual-threat guys.  But (Lee) is going to throw us into the fire under center just like he’s going to throw Stoudt and Nathan in the fire with the option.”

If Brunetti gets his waiver, expect him to be Option 1 for Lee and the Rebels this spring, followed by Stoudt.  The Rebels brought in Masoli last season because they weren’t comfortable handing the reins to Stanley.  And Mackey is coming off knee surgery and that might hamper his availability in the spring.

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Thursday Recruiting Roundup

Here are some Thursday recruiting links.

Houston Nutt made these comments about his four junior college signees from Wednesday.

Kyle Veazey has this report on Ole Miss’ signees.

Ole Miss signed a quarterback (Zach Stoudt) and will get another one who’s transferring in.

Quarterback Zach Mettenberger made his transfer to LSU official on Wednesday.

Wide receiver Javares McRoy will be sticking with his commitment to Florida.

It looks like a Georgia-Tennessee battle for tight end Jay Rome from Valdosta, Ga.

Georgia has to be anxious in recruiting. The Bulldogs haven’t received a commitment since August.

Who are the nation’s top defensive end prospects? ESPN examines.

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