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November 2, 2011

Notes: Rose perfect but underused

OXFORD, Miss. -- Bryson Rose is one of Ole Miss' best weapons.

But, unfortunately for the Rebels, most of his time is spent on the sidelines.

The junior placekicker is perfect on the season with field goals, connecting on all five attempts. He's also made 18-of-19 extra points, but while Rose's quality is without question, the quantity is a quite the issue.

Opponents have attempted 16 field goals and 31 extra points. The scoring discrepancy and Ole Miss' 2-6 record somewhat hide Rose's stellar season. After converting 16-of-18 kicks last season the North Carolina native improved the already top-tier numbers.

He just doesn't get a lot of chances to show it.

"Obviously I want to get more field goal attempts," Rose said. "That would help the team out by putting more points on the board. I want to help in every way I can, but the only thing I can do is what I'm asked."

Rose has made 15 consecutive field goals - dating back to last season - and is three field goals made shy of the SEC record of 18-straight made by Tennessee kicker Fuad Reveiz in 1984. Rose is also the nation's active leader in career field goal percentage - just more than 91 percent.

Rose, who played golf in high school and routinely shoots in the 70s, credits that sport for some of his improvement on the football field. Kicking requires mental acuity, and there are related points in the two tasks - swinging a golf club and kicking a football.

He worked a great deal during the summer on his football form, and he also played a lot of golf.

"With the mental aspect (kicking) is the same thing as swinging," Rose said. "Playing golf helps me get the mind right. Last year it was new to me, and I felt like I was scooping the ball. This year I'm hitting it a whole lot better. I'm more confident and feel better about it.

"I focus on the step by step of kicking."

Rose walked on out of Wakefield High School in Raleigh, and after redshirting in 2008 and serving as Josh Shene's apprentice in 2009, the 5-foot-11, 202-pounder won the starting job. He also won a scholarship.

"I thank Coach (Houston) Nutt for giving me the opportunity to come here and walk on the team," Rose said. "I think the world of him and (special teams) Coach (James) Shibest.

"Hopefully I'll have a chance to get a few more the rest of the way."

YOUTH MOVEMENT CONTINUES WEDNESDAY: Freshmen Cody Prewitt and Serderius Bryant joined the starters in the stretch line on Tuesday, and Houston Nutt said youth remained the focus on Wednesday.

"I'm anxious to see it game time, but they've taken the game plan in and are working hard," Nutt said. "Bottom line, it's like swimming, you've got to throw them in the water.

"We've still got Damien Jackson and guys there that are going to help us in a lot of areas, but Cody Prewitt is getting better, learning, and Serderius Bryant, Keith Lewis keep getting better."

As of now, the Rebels don't plan to limit their attack in order to help the freshmen along.

"Just try to keep going with them and teach them on the run," Nutt said. "They are learning pretty well right now. We'll see the speed of the game when the lights come on, how they react."

Nutt said Ole Miss has been able to open the playbook back up in recent weeks after a stretch of simplifying the calls. Brandon Bolden (13 carries), Jeff Scott (14) and Randall Mackey (13) all had somewhat equal touches against Auburn, but that wasn't the focus going in.

"It just fell that way," Nutt said. "What is by design is get the ball in those guys' hands… We've been able to do that. The last three weeks we've had some good game plans, execution has been good. We just want to score more points and execute a little bit better in the second half."

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