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August 18, 2012OXFORD, Miss. -- Following Saturday's scrimmage, a reporter asked Hugh Freeze about possibly redshirting one of his freshmen running backs.
After a chuckle, Freeze said there's slim chance of sitting I'Tavius Mathers or Jaylen Walton.
"Not in my mind right now," Freeze said. "I wish we could. We'll talk about it game week and maybe hold one, but we'll probably turn them loose."
Saturday's 90-minute scrimmage as part of the Meet the Rebels event showed why the coaching staff is so high on the young ball carriers.
Mathers scored three of the scrimmage's six touchdowns, including a 58-yard touchdown run. He finished with 100 yards on 13 carries.
Walton showed some toughness between the tackles, as he has all camp, and had 42 yards on eight carries.
"I'm crazy about our two young backs," Freeze said. "I think Jaylen and I'Tavius are phenomenal kids, competitors. They haven't missed a snap of fall camp. They've been beat on and hit. You guys are there. We're live, and they bounce back up and go again. I'm so proud of them."
Jeff Scott was held out of the scrimmage and Randall Mackey received limited touches but was successful on the few chances, totaling 45 yards on four carries.
"Nothing is wrong with Mackey, we're just taking care of him," Freeze said.
The quarterbacks remain the story of fall camp, and despite a glove on his throwing hand due to a blister, Wallace had the better day, though he wasn't able to finish it off for the second scrimmage in a row. Wallace started the day 9-of-11 and finished 14-of-25 for 83 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also ran for a 12-yard touchdown.
Late in the scrimmage, Wallace threw a red zone interception that Cody Prewitt returned for a touchdown. The interception obviously counts, but offensive coordinator Dan Werner said there was contact, and Wallace made the correct read.
Brunetti had a few nice runs and was 6-of-12 throwing with one touchdown.
"Quarterbacks were OK, more consistent today," Freeze said. "They are starting to understand it more. Quarterback play has been a little better."
Despite a couple sacks, Brunetti had 17 yards on 10 carries and Wallace had 31 yards on six carries. The officials blew quarterback runs dead at the first contact, so yardage would have been better in live play.
"We had a few penalties, but I expected that," Freeze said. "I told them to call it hard. Had good lanes for quarterback runs, and those are blown dead so who knows how far we'd get on that.
"I think you would have gotten more. On scrambles Barry is elusive, and Bo is pretty elusive, too. We'll find out soon."
Defensively, Tanner Burns led the Rebels with seven tackles, Denzel Nkemdiche had four tackles and an interception, and Ralph Williams had three tackles and a sack.
Ole Miss NEWS