Rebels Hold Second Scrimmage Of Spring Drills

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Charles Sawyer (Courtesy Josh McCoy)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Charles Sawyer (Courtesy Josh McCoy)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

April 14, 2012

OXFORD, Miss. – It was a back-and-forth battle between the offense and defense in the second scrimmage of Ole Miss’ spring football drills Saturday in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which hosts the BancorpSouth Grove Bowl in just one week.

“It was a slow start offensively, but then, they were excellent,” said first-year head coach Hugh Freeze. “Defense didn’t get the stops down there at the start. Then I thought it was up-and-down from that point forward. We could have done some things offensively to make us look better, but I wanted to try everything that we had scripted.

“There are so many valuable lessons that we need to show them on tape and hopefully get cleaned up before next Saturday.”

Competing for two hours on the warm, sunny morning, Rebel quarterbacks Barry Brunetti and Bo Wallace each had their moments, accounting for four touchdowns apiece between red-zone and team drills.

Brunetti rushed for two scores while tossing a pair of 20-yard TDs, one to Ja-Mes Logan and the other to Vince Sanders. Logan also hauled in two touchdown passes from Wallace, who also connected with Terrell Grant for a TD and ran for one score.

“In my gut, I thought Bo probably had a little better day, but Barry had his share of good plays too,” said Freeze, who also noted the progress of his offensive front.

“Our line did get better today on some things,” he said. “On some portions, our line was physical, and their pads were down, at least the first string. I thought they did some good things.”

The Ole Miss defense picked off a pair of passes on the day. JUCO transfer Dehendret Collins collected the first, while junior Charles Sawyer notched a late interception in the end zone. Freeze singled out those two among the bright spots of the secondary this spring.

“We are very thin (in the secondary), but there is some talent there,” Freeze said. “Dehendret has really come on every practice. Wesley Pendleton has had one of the more consistent springs and Sawyer also in that category. We have to get more consistent play out of the other guys back there. Cliff Coleman had a decent week.”

With spring practice wrapping up in seven days at the BancorpSouth Grove Bowl, Freeze said his squad needs to continue to improve mentally but has competed hard these past three weeks.

“I think the buy-in is probably at 80 percent or so,” he said. “We just need more of an understanding of who we are and what we do in these schemes. We have a long way to go in that regard. I think they are starting to understand about taking care of the ball and effort and attitude. I think their effort has been pretty good for the spring.”

Kickoff of next Saturday’s BancorpSouth Grove Bowl is set for 1 p.m. CT with stadium gates opening at noon. CSS will televise the game live.

Available through the athletics ticket office, tickets are $10 general admission, $40 for the southzone club level and free for Ole Miss students, faculty and staff. All proceeds benefit the M-Club's J.W. "Wobble" Davidson Scholarship Fund.

Saturday’s festivities will kick off with tailgating at 10 a.m. in The Grove with food, merchandise and children's games, and at 10:45, the team will tread the traditional Walk of Champions. At 11 a.m. on the Grove stage, Eli Manning headlines a group of Rebel greats set to take part in an awards ceremony and panel discussion on the NFL.

Other events of Grove Bowl Week are the Rebels' Choice Awards Monday at 7 p.m.; a softball doubleheader with Kentucky Wednesday at 4 p.m.; the SEC Women's Tennis Tournament Thursday through Sunday; the Chucky Mullins Award Banquet Thursday at 7 p.m.; a free concert in The Grove with Gavin DeGraw and special guest Craig Morgan Friday at 8:30 p.m. and a baseball weekend series against Arkansas.

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